Neil McCarthy, Ciara Whyte, Lily Smolarek and Meg Cronin are 5th year students at Pobalscoil na Tríonóide Youghal and, on June 1st, they will travel on the Cloyne Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes with a group of other 5th year Youth Helpers from the East Cork area.
Fr. Damien Lynch, School Chaplain and the young Youth Helpers met with The East Cork Journal in Youghal during the week, and the four friends told how they were picked to go with the Pilgrimage. Each interested student in 5th Year Pobalscoil wrote an essay on why they wished to go to Lourdes and what they consider would make them a good candidate. Following on from this a number of students were then interviewed, and Neil, Ciara, Lily and Meg were delighted to be successful.
Fr Damien, as Chaplin Co-Ordinator within the school, provided full information to all 5th year students on the Lourdes Pilgrimage and was involved, with other staff members, in the selection. He said "There are over 60 Volunteer Youth Helpers from the Diocese of Cloyne travelling to Lourdes this year. Their participation enables people, for whom it might otherwise prove impossible to go on Pilgrimage to Lourdes, as they help with meal times, and transport - including wheelchairs, voitures and blue chairs- and assist in the Hospital and Shrine areas". Fr Damien, who first went to Lourdes when he, himself, was a 5th year student, continued by saying that the friendship of the Youth Helpers, their good humour and time spent with the Pilgrims, was the most important of all.
Asked by The East Cork Journal why they want to assist on the Lourdes trip they each replied - (Ciara) "I really enjoy helping people, and love to see them so happy". (Meg)- "I have many reasons but particularly I want to fulful a wish for a family member. I will make friends, and it will influence my faith". (Lily)-My family have been going for many, many years and I am continuing that tradition. I have never been there before". (Neil)-I know it will be an intense experience but I will look at the positives and be glad to help however I can. I'm looking forward to it".
Every best wish is extended to them on their trip to Lourdes this year.