In November, Comhaltas Chríost Rí gathered in Saint John's Church in Dún Laoghaire on the feast of the Miraculous Medal to begin the week-end with Holy Mass. We then met in the adjoining hall for supper before heading to the ceílí in Monkstown. This proved to be a great ice-breaker (literally!) with everyone enjoying themselves! The lively ceili band would prove an interesting illustration for the following day's conference on music.
Saturday morning saw us up bright and early for a short recollection which began with Mass. During Mass, Fr. Griego preached about the necessity of taking time to pause, examine our lives and consider what efforts we need to make in order to become saints which is our duty. After Mass, we assembled for breakfast where we tried to keep the silence in order to remain recollected. Father subsequently gave an insightful conference regarding the combat that we Catholics must meet. In the face of the revolutionary world we live in, we must be anti-revolutionaries. In other words, we must restore order but firstly in ourselves. During Benediction we had the opportunity to meditate and take resolutions on putting order in our lives.
After lunch, where tongues wagged freely after the silence of the morning, the men headed to Kilruddery, County Wicklow where they spent an exhilarating afternoon paintballing, strategically plotting to outdo the opposing team! Meanwhile the girls headed north for a really enjoyable hands on cookery class at the East Coast Cookery school where they watched demonstrations of lemon drizzle tray bakes and a chocolate amaretti cake before trying their hand at it!
Back at Saint John's, our guest speaker from the MJCF (Mouvement de la Jeunesse Catholique de France) gave us a thought provoking conference on music. A definition of music as a harmonious art was followed by a demonstration showing that the beauty of music comes from the correct balance of three elements: melody (appealing to the soul), harmony (appealing to the emotions) and rhythm (appealing to the passions). The revolutionary reversal of the order of these elements resulted in the advent of Rock n' Roll, where rhythm takes precedence over melody. We therefore must take care in choosing that music we listen to because not only does music deeply affect our soul, the constant noise destroys our interior life. Needless to say a lively discussion on the topic ensued over dinner! To conclude the evening we were led in a polyphonic choir practice by the visiting choir master, followed by a traditional Irish singalong!
After Sunday morning Mass, we took to the ice in Dundrum where everyone's antics provoked a lot of hilarity! Back at Saint John's, we were entertained after lunch by a complex and diverting game of wink murder which was great craic and left everyone in good spirits and ready to hit the road home!
Hopefully you can join us for our Christmas special in January!