Upon arrival at the Backpacker’s Hostel in Ballycastle, some of the southerners were curious as to why they were staying in the middle of a town set for a carnival when they were expecting a contemplative setting. None the less they were happy to be there and after being welcomed by the northerners they soon settled into the beautiful Backpacker’s Hostel by the sea.
The evening dinner was exquisite and of course prepared again by the tireless, never ceasing, one and only, Therese McKeown, to whom we all owe our unending thanks and prayers for regularly uniting young Traditional Catholics all around Ireland. Unfortunately, her exquisite meal was somewhat overshadowed by a peculiar event which took place during it. The meal came to a sudden stop when a certain northerner, who will remain unnamed to hide his identity, upon looking at a map of Ireland declared, “I wouldn’t be able to tell you’s where Cork is on the map.” Subsequently the other southern counties were a bit hazy to him and the island called Rathlin which he lives in proximity to couldn’t be found on the map either. Fortunately, the Midlanders/Longfordians arrived later on in the night which somewhat distracted us from this tragic event. A short prayer was recited and upon ensuring that the boilers were in working order we went to bed.
Morning came, breakfast was served, and sandwiches were made for the day ahead. The day began with a power point presentation on liberalism by the highly sought after guest speaker Mr. Cathal Ó hAimheirgin. We then took a short walk to the jetty and set sail for Rathlin Island. After disembarking on Rathlin, we took a bus up to one of the three lighthouses on the island before going on a tour and doing some bird spotting. The view was beautiful from the cliff however the height we were up was not for the faint hearted. A peculiar event took place which lead to a casualty amongst our group. The exact cause of this causality remains unknown. There are a wide range of theories including shoulder pain, sunstroke, and attention seeking. Following this mysterious event, we then had a lovely four mile stroll back to the boat, stopping along the way in a small Church to recite the rosary. When we landed back at Ballycastle we took to the streets to do a little apostatizing apostolate. Leaflets were handed out to invite people to Mass at Bonamargy Friary and for many of us these leaflets provided an icebreaker to engage people on the Catholic Faith. It was possibly the best part of the weekend. The experience was a great way to proclaim Christ as King, spread the faith, and help restore the Church. Up to 20 new people came to the Mass we celebrated in Bonamargy Friary on the Saturday evening and some of them returned for Sunday Mass.
In the evening we had a bit of an unorthodox bbq cooked by the girls in the oven and given the taste of charcoal by Joe on the Barbie. Nonetheless it was enjoyed and kept our bodies energized for Mimi’s quiz which was eagerly anticipated all day. The topic of the quiz was ‘Saints’, with a different theme for each round. Unluckily for team ‘Them’, headed by Fr Ockerse, the theme of round one was geography and their team prosessed the previously mentioned northerner who could not locate Cork on a map of Ireland. The quiz was neck and neck with the teams on level points going into the last round, with an interesting twist where each team had to come up with questions for the other. Team ‘Us’s’ questions were slightly on the difficult side. For example, I’m sure not too many people know the patron saint of radiology? It was with questions like this and some speculation of fraudulent conduct, that Team ‘Us’ came out on top in an excellent quiz. Big thanks to Mimi for putting the effort into organising such a stimulating quiz.
Finally, Sunday morning began with the setting up of the Friary for Holy Mass. A number of locals turned up for the Mass which led to some interesting conversions afterward. After breakfast, the
most Rev. Fr. Griego gave a talk on the principles of Freemasonry and afterwards we concluded the outing with a visit to the Giant’s Causeway.
Special thanks to Fr. Griego, Fr. Ockerse, Therese McKeown and all those who helped in organising the outing, in particular Saul, formerly known as Paul for providing entertainment throughout the weekend.