Youth Page

stconlethsyouthgroupCOME ALONG TO OUR
at 8.00p.m

We meet in Cill Mhuire



Spiritual directors Fr Ruairi O’Domhnaill and Fr Liam Morgan
Group Leaders Yvonne Rooney and Robert Norton.
31st July 2013 – 7 Nights
(Age 16-30)

Accomodation : half board
€599 per person inclusive
Day flight from Dublin Airport

Contact Yvonne Rooney 087 778 8007
Email :
Booking form:
Booking deposit required by February 28th 2013

World Youth Day – Madrid 2011


View the Video of the Palm Sunday Ceremony in Rome with Pope Benedict as the World Youth Day Cross is handed over from the young people of Australia to the young people of Spain.

Youth Night at Novena

ON Monday 18th May 2009 Our Parish Youth Group Hosted the Youth Night of The Novena to Our Lady of Prepetual Help. Click here to view photographs of the Night.

Parish Youth Group interview on KFM

Click Here for : PODCAST of Parish Youth Group on K.F.M. Sunday 15th March 2009


 Members of our Parish Youth Group at the Youth Retreat in Mount St. Anne’s Retreat Centre on Sunday 29th March 2009 with Bishop Moriarty




The BegiNNiNg

Our Youth Group started with a conversation between two people in Lourdes, France. That conversation grew to three people and eventually it grew into our Youth Group.

The conversation involved talking about the way the youth have become disconnected from the Church, ways of bridging that gap and about how the youth see faith. This was the first youth meeting of this group.

youth4The meetings grew in numbers and the youth of Newbridge started thinking about their faith, what they believe in and so on. Someone new turned up at the meetings every week, whether they went to Lourdes as helpers, to World Youth Day in Sydney or they just wanted to do something about their faith. They turn up, friendships are formed, and we enjoy the craic and working together.

I thought about joining the Parish Youth Group for many reasons. It was a chance to gather with my peers, to see religion from a different perspective and to get to know the community of which I am apart. But my main reason for joining the Parish Youth Group was that I could feel my faith slipping away and I thought that the group my restore it in me. I hope it will, and that I will become a more active member in my parish.

A friend invited me to join the Parish Youth Group in its early days. As a group we have bonded well together and I very much enjoy being a member of the group. We have a lot of fun and we work well together. I think the public masses we have organised has given all of us a real sense of achievement.

“You’re some Holy Joe, you are!” This odd and ambiguous statement is nothing I haven’t heard before. As I served as an altar server from 3rd class up until second year, I have grown quite immune to jokes about my “holiness”. However what is it that makes someone “Holy” or “a Holy Joe?” Does it mean someone who attends Mass on a regular basis or someone who can recite all of the Ten Commandments? No, I believe the term “holiness” is a very loose term that is brandished about in a disrespectful and judgmental manner.

People say young people are losing faith, failing to be a regular at Mass every Sunday, so what you’re only “religious”, “holy” or a “believer” if you’re the proud “owner” of a front row seat at your local church? I believe having a faith is about much more than that. Faith is different for everyone and people should be allowed to have their own individual beliefs and practices.

Some people to-day have a negative and stereotypical view of young people. They believe that the way we dress and “carry on” brings about those negative views. As a group we set out to reach out to young people who may wish to reaffirm or rediscover their faith.

youth5We meet every Thursday at 8 PM in the Holy Family Convent. At the meeting we have the opportunity to voice any ideas we may have or things as a group we would like to do. This youth group isn’t simply a way to discover your faith, it’s also a great way to meet new people and create friendships and funny memories to last a life time.

Looking around the room our meeting is taking place in, I find myself thinking how each person is a unique individual with their own personal reasons for being here. As corny as it may sound, each of us bring individual gifts and talents. I believe our mission is to put those talents to positive use in different ways within our parish.

I started going to the Youth Group last September. I first heard about the Youth Group when Susie and David gave a talk at Mass about their experience of their trip to Lourdes and then issued an invitation to the young people present to become members of the Parish Youth Group. I wanted to know more, as I was really interest in become a member however I was very nervous about going to the meeting because I didn’t think I’d know anyone.

The first meeting was in Fr. Joes house and a lot of young people who went to Lourdes and the World Youth Day in Sydney were present. I felt a bit awkward because I didn’t know what had gone on and how they felt when they were there.

There was a lot of talk that night and although I hadn’t been, I felt completely included. Since those initial meetings we’ve gone from strength to strength with two very successful masses in the church and a Christmas visit to St. Brigid’s Hospice among other things.

The gift I got from this group has been freedom of expression of my faith without any judgement in a totally relaxed atmosphere.

Youth1I first heard about the Youth Group at Mass one Sunday, which caused me to consider becoming a member of the group, and I am now glad that I did. Part of what we do at the meeting involves preparing for our special Youth Mass which takes place once a month. We have the freedom to come up with ideas, which we hope will make this mass more appealing to young people. I have met lots of new friends through my involvement with the Youth Group and I very much encourage and invite young people to become members. I can promise that you will make new friends and have a lot of fun.

 I’ve been a member of the Youth Group since September. I’ve been involved in a lot of things, from our Youth Masses, to representing the Parish at diocesan gatherings, to singing at the Drogheda Memorial Hospital on the Curragh. It has really been a wonderful experience I got to a lot of stuff which I would have never thought of doing before. I have really enjoyed myself and its helped me to understand my faith more. I have also made a lot of new friends and have been actively involved in the Masses. I acted in all our dramas, and have written all the scripts. Our drama group is really brilliant but we could not have achieved anything without the help of Fr. Pat, Sr. Kate, Fr. Ruairi and Damien, a big thanks goes to them for everything we’ve done so far. So that about sums up what I have to say, I hope you enjoyed everything we’ve done and will enjoy anything that we will do in the future.

I like being a member of the Parish Youth Group because it gets young people interested in religion. It gives us young people a chance to come together, which provides us with the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. It feels good when we do something as a group for the parish community such as a mass, or perhaps visiting the elderly such as our carol service in the Drogheda Memorial Hospital on the Curragh just before Christmas.

youth4The youth group has come a long way since it first started, we have had a couple of successful youth masses especially our Christmas mass, after which we visited the patients in the Drogheda Memorial Hospital on the Curragh. We presented each patient with a Christmas gift and sang a few Christmas carols for them. It was a most enjoyable evening. Some of us also attend the Mass to mark the anniversary of Carlow Cathedral on the first Sunday in Advent. We are currently in the process of preparing a special mass for St. Brigid on the 01 February at 7:00 PM in the parish church. We very much enjoy our meetings and what we do. Currently we have 22 members, namely; Ronan, Jennifer, Aideen, Livia, Joe, David, Daniel, Francesca, James, Katie, Fiona, Ciara, Eoin, Niall, Emma, Louise, Chris, Caoimhe, Marc, Eileen, Aoife, and Susie. Quiet a crew, but we very much welcome new members.

After participating in the 6.15 p.m. Mass on Saturday 20th December members of the Parish Youth Group went to the Drogheda Memorial Hospital on the Curragh to sing Christmas Carols and to bring Christmas gifts to the hospital. Below are a few photographs taken on the night.

We meet in the Holy Family Convent (beside the Parish Church)


Newbridge Parish Youth Mass

It all started with a conversation between two people in Lourdes, France. That conversation grew to three people and that grew to this, our Youth Mass. The conversation involved talking about how the youth are disconnected from the Church, ways of bridging that gap and about how the youth see faith. This was the first youth meeting of this group.

The meetings grew in numbers and the youth of Newbridge were beginning to think about their faith, what they believe in. Every week, for a long time, someone new turned up at the meetings. Whether they went to Lourdes as helpers, to World Youth Day in Sydney or they just wanted to do something about their faith.

Everyone involved has worked so hard for this to happen and we hope that the youth Mass will become a monthly event in the Parish Church.

Thank You

We, the youth involved in the preparation of the mass would like to thank all those who have made it possi¬ble for it to take place. A special thanks to Father Joe who listened to the two youths in Lourdes. A special thanks to Father Pat and Father Ruairi who were there every Thursday night to listen to what we had to say about our religion. To Sister Kate without whom, the Youth Mass may never haven taken place, to Damien for all his hard work with the music group and to all the others who equally played a massive role in the coming together of the Mass. Thank you!



It seems no length ago since the World Youth Day gathering was held in Cologne, Germany in 2005 with 130 young people present from our own diocese of Kildare and Leighlin. At the end of the closing mass in Cologne, Pope Benedict announced that the next World Youth Day would take place in Sydney Australia in 2008, and how quickly time has gone, it is hard to believe it is now all over.

The preparation work for the Sydney World Youth Day began about two years ago when Trish O’Neill, the diocesan co-ordinator, visited secondary schools throughout the diocese to create an interest in the event. Before long around 140 young people had signed up to travel to Sydney Australia for World Youth Day. I had the privilege of leading a group of 12 young people from Newbridge Parish. In the year previous, the Newbridge group met on a regular basis to organise and plan for the trip, while the overall diocesan group met at Mount Saint Anne’s Retreat Centre from time to time. A major part of the planning involved fund raising to help defray costs, this involved raffles and a few evenings bag packing at Dunne Stores, along with some parish work, (for which the Parish Priest paid us well).

When it came to the travelling to Sydney the Diocesan group was divided into three groups. The first group departed on Saturday 5th of July. Newbridge was part of the second group which departed Sunday 6th. The third group departed on Monday 7th, but unfortunately only got as far as London Heathrow where they encountered unforeseen travel difficulties and thus had to return home. This was the cause of major disappointment and sadness not only for the group involved, but also for the two groups who had made it to Australia, believe me tears were shed, as news broke that third group would not be joining us. The flight journey to Sydney was approximately 21 hours. We departed from Dublin at approximately 5 p.m. for London Heathrow, where we caught at 10 hour connecting flight to Seoul Incheon in South Korea, having spent a couple of hours there, we then complete the final leg of our journey, a further 10 hour flight to Sydney. All in all quiet a journey! We arrived in Sydney on Tuesday 08th of July at 6:30 am, Australian time, to be honest after crossing so many different time zones, I don’t think any of us was too sure of the day or the time, but one thing I do know we were jubilant that we had finally arrived in Sydney.

We then made a two hour coach journey west to the outback town of Boorowa, where our host families had gathered in the local hall to meet us. They took us into their homes, where they treated us to the best of Australian hospitality. Boorowa had been experiencing a seven year drought, that was until us Irish arrived, for the first night we spent there it poured out of the heavens! The locals declared, “the Irish have brought us the rain!” Boorowa is mainly a farming town, which in appearance resembles a town you would see in the Wild West. Over the few days that followed, we got to experience all aspects of Australian farming, some even got to try their hand at sheering sheep (poor sheep!). I for one am glad that we missed out on the lambing season! Every evening there were social events in the town, which concluded on the Friday evening with a special mass followed by a civic reception hosted by the town’s Lady Mayoress.

Saturday morning, bags were repackaged, and good-byes were said, as we departed from Boorowa and headed for the capital of Australia, Canberra. In Canberra we joined with hundreds of other pilgrims from all over the world for an open air Mass celebrated by Archbishop Colderidge, this was followed by a massive youth festival.

After a night of roughing it on the floor of a big hall in a sleeping bag and a McDonald’s breakfast, we were on the road again early on the Sunday morning to the parish of St Charles Borromeo, Ryde on the out skirts of Sydney, where our second lot of host families had gathered to meet us. Again we were treated to the best of Australian hospitality. On the Monday night the parish of Ryde hosted a massive Australian barbecue in our honour. On the Tuesday morning we made our way to a place on the harbour near the Opera house called Barangaroo, where Cardinal Peil celebrated the opening Mass of World Youth Day 2008. Thursday morning brought great excitement across the city of Sydney as everyone gathered at the harbour to catch a glimpse of Pope Benedict as he made his way up the harbour by boat to Barangaroo where he addressed the thousands of young pilgrims awaiting his arrival. I was one of the privileged ones who was on one of the boats that accompanied him up the harbour. However I believe the Kildare and Leighlin group were near him when he disembarked the boat at Barangaroo to address the crowds. The Stations of the Cross took place on the Friday, with Pope Benedict presiding at the first station. The various stations were dramatised at various locations across the city, it was a spectacular presentation. On Saturday morning, we were up early and we made our way across the Harbour Bridge in Sydney to Randwick Race Course where Pope Benedict celebrated evening prayer with 400 thousand young people by candle light. This was followed by a lively concert, and that night we all got to sleep out under the stars along with all the other pilgrims from across the world. The following morning the Pope celebrated Mass, of which during the homily he put the following to the young people: “What will you leave to the next generation? Are you building your lives on firm foundations, building something that will endure? Are you living your lives in a way that opens up space for the Spirit in the midst of a world that wants to forget God, or even rejects him in the name of a falsely-conceived freedom? How are you using the gifts you have been given, the “power” which the Holy Spirit is even now prepared to release within you? What legacy will you leave to young people yet to come? What difference will you make?” In my opinion quiet a challenge to us young people gathered before him.

When the Mass conclude the Pope announced that World Youth Day 2011 will take place in Madrid Spain. This officially marked the conclusion of World Youth Day 2008. We then returned to our host families in Ryde for a well earned early night. Monday we all had a free day, of which many of us used to go shopping for gifts, some even mustered up the energy to go climb the harbour bridge! We commenced our journey home in the early hours of the Tuesday morning with an overnight stopover in Seoul Incheon. I myself feel privileged and honoured to have been part of this pilgrimage, however all credit goes to Fr. Paul Dempsey and Trish O’Neill who were the two main people involved in the organisation of it, nor can we can forgot Bishop Moriarity who gave it his full backing and travelled to Sydney to celebrate with us. We must all so pay tribute to our young people who done our diocese proud in Australia. Here’s to Madrid Spain in 20ll! (Chick on Photographs Button above left on menu bar for photos of our group at World Youth Day)

Fr. Pat Hughes

St. Conleth's Parish, Newbridge and Caragh Parish | Tel : 045 431 394 | Email :
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