6th Year trip to Melleray - September 2009
On Wednesday, the sixth year students visited Melleray with their religion teachers and Claire Collender wrote this account of their trip.
On Wednesday the 6th year students, along with our three religion teacher Ms Cotter, Ms. O’Shea and Ms. Lucey, as well as our year head Ms. Denehy, went on a day trip to Melleray. We all agreed that it would be a nice way to start our final school year.
We arrived at Melleray at around eleven that morning. Brother Dennis, one of the resident monks, greeted us there. We first went to the A.V. centre, where we viewed a video on the history of Melleray, learning facts like the monastery was established in 1831 and that its members have to rise from bed at quarter to four each morning, something I cannot picture myself or my classmates doing at any point. We also discovered that while the monastery once housed 150 monks it now only contains 24.
After this we were allowed some time to visit the gift shop. This sells many wonderful souvenirs, including adorable teddies which recite prayers, pretty glass angels, each one with a special prayer to bring comfort in times of worry and various coloured ping-pongs with the message ‘Smile, Jesus loves you’ inscribed upon them. Almost everybody purchased something as a reminder of our day at Melleray.
Next we got the opportunity to attend one of the monks’ daily services at 12.15p.m. We all took our seats and as the monks chanted and prayed we all felt comfortably at ease. Once the short service had finished Brother Dennis rejoined us. We thanked him for his hospitality and he invited us to feel free to stay at the monastery, whether temporarily or more permanently if we so wised in the future. We will have to wait and see if any of us accept his kind offer.
After what was a very relaxing morning we all popped over to Cloisters Tearoom for some food. Everything on sale there, from chocolate muffins to assorted Panini, tasted as delicious as it looked. Feeling much fuller we were able to walk freely around the grounds. The area is beautiful, especially on a fine day and thankfully Wednesday was one. We then took a group photo in front of the guesthouse. Most of us tried to hide in the back but were not successful.
Regrettably we had to return to school for evening classes, so we left Melleray at half past one. It had been a really enjoyable day. On behalf of 6th year I would like to thank all the monks, especially Brother Dennis, for their kindness, the ladies who prepared such good food for us, the bus drivers who brought us there and back and of course Ms. O’Shea, Ms. Cotter, Ms. Lucey and Ms. Denehy for bringing us there in the first place.
I’m certain that we will remember our relaxing day at Melleray and appreciate it all the more once the homework and revision begin to pile up later in the year.
As usual the T.Y.s are very busy. Alongside their usual studies, they are enjoying First Aid and Self Defence classes. Last week they went to Tramore for the annual surfing trip and on Wednesday, they will be heading off early to the Ploughing Championships. I will a full account of their activities next week.