We had a group of 25 boys attending the very first summer camp that the Servant Brothers held in Ireland. The boys were from different counties from all over Ireland and 3 Spanish boys who also attended. We stayed in the “Kilbride Community Center” located on the outskirts of Roscommon, the Diocese where the Servant Sisters recently founded their first community in Ireland this past spring.
The house where the summer camp was held was in great conditions. We had a gym where we played basketball, futsal, badminton, and other sports. We also had another room that we used as our dining hall and our auditorium. Right by the Community Center there was a church called Saint Bridget’s in Kilbride. There we were able to celebrate Mass and have Eucharistic Adoration every day. In the center of the community there was a field with the grass well cut and we were able to use it as a soccer field to play Gaelic Soccer. We also had the Iron Man contest there and a few other outdoor games.
The cooks were some of the boys’ parents: Edna, Ray, Joseph and David. Jim Kelly, a father of one of the Servant Sisters, and his son James, were the ones who organized the whole summer camp along with Fr. Colum.
Halfway through camp we took a couple of day trips to different places. The first day trip was a hike up Croagh Patrick and a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock to pray and visit our Blessed mother. We also went to go and see the Roscommon Castle. We were surprised by the visit of two bishops during our camp. Our bishop from Alcalá de Henares, Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Plá, came when we were right in the middle of playing Gaelic soccer. The bishop of Elphin, Bishop Kevin Doran, also came to visit us. When he came, we got into a big circle and started to sing songs that we had learned in camp. Some of the boys shared their experiences in this first camp of the Home of the Mother in Ireland. Bishop Kevin encouraged us to bring the enthusiasm and joy that the Lord had given to us in the camp back to our houses and to our parishes.
At the end of camp, 19 boys made commitments as either apprentices or experts in the Home of the Mother of the Youth. When camp was totally over, a few of us made a pilgrimage to Derry to pray at the tomb of Sr. Clare and commend all of our summer activities to her intercession.
Sr. Clare, Pray for us! May we be like you, joy for all those who surround us.