The weekend began with 11am Mass offered by Fr Ockerse, after which the group retired to the hall for a catch-up and a fine feed of freshly prepared sandwiches. Having eaten our fill we moved on to some soul food with a the presentation of this outings Hot Topics. Kicking things off with a particularly “hot” topic Therese gave an in-depth presentation on why the Church condemns cremation and promotes burial, and detailed the circumstances in which cremation is permissible. She then patiently fielded questions from the practical to the ...not so practical. Bernadette then took the role of presenting on the issue of defending the Faith to Protestants, particularly the sacrament of Penance. This featured the arguments Protestants make about the need to confess sins and opened up the room to debate how to approach these arguments.
Hot Topics done and dusted we piled into a Catholic convoy and headed for Marlay Park for Saturday’s main event. Kevin and Scholastique had put in overtime organising a fantastic park-wide Easter-egg hunt for the rest of the group. When everybody had arrived and those of us sensible enough to bring comfortable shoes had changed we were divided into four teams and briefed. The glorious weather soon turned to our detriment as we found ourselves chasing cryptic clues all around the grounds. Several hours later and a few kilos lighter the Pink and Green Teams arrived back at a sprint to find that the Yellow Team had opted for a chilled out afternoon having dropped out of the hunt after a single clue. The rest of us dashed to where the final clue directed us and (after some unfounded grumblings from the Green Team about their Internet connection) the Pink Team were announced as the rightful winners.
The evening concluded with the Rosary and dinner, and a short conference from Fr. Ockerse about the true meaning of Baptism. He used this to underpin the understanding that as Catholics we must ever grow in our knowledge and comprehension of our Faith, and that we can not as adults operate on the logic of something we learned in our formative years.
With that the night was all but over as it was all hands on deck to organise the hall for Sunday’s parish table quiz.
After a beautiful sung Mass celebrated by Fr. Griego it was time for Sunday’s festivities. First of all the meal, managed brilliantly by Cate Godlewsky, was something to be enjoyed by young and old. Her and her Cate-ering team put out a wonderful spread of savoury and sweet treats. After this necessary sustenance it was time for the quiz to commence.
The quiz comprised of ten rounds, seven tables and one goal: victory. There were serious and relaxed rounds, all presided over by quizmaster Brían Ó Caithnia, with corrections and supervision under the watchful eyes of Padraig, Eoin and Brighid. Rounds were separated by musical, poetic and artistic interludes so as teams could catch their focus for the next batch of questions. After several hours of reflection, whispering, argumentation and teamwork the result was announced - victory for Table 4 and the team of Mr. and Mrs. Hogan and Mr. and Mrs. Connolly!
With the quiz over there was nothing left but for the group to band together again to sweep and tidy and restore the hall to its previous condition. After one last cup of tea and some biscuits the weekend was over.
E-chronicle by Matthiew Keating and Scholastique Veyssiere