St. Macartin's Cathedral
Enniskillen, Northern Ireland
This impressive painting, which covers an entire wall in the cinema room of the Cathedral Hall (Homer Simpson is on the door), was the work of around ten Youth Club/Youth Fellowship members in April 2011.
It symbolises the contrast between the good that is done through Christian youth work in the cathedral and the dangers to which young people are subjected in society.
It all started with a project about drug and alcohol awareness in the Youth Club. The young people and some of the leaders came up with the idea of a graffiti wall which would highlight these issues. Each "junior citizen" came up with an idea of his/her own and explained it to the leaders who then discussed all the collected thoughts before coming up with the design in the picture.
The darker area represents the scourges of alcohol and drugs, whereas the brighter area highlights the activities of Youth Club and Youth Fellowship.
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Kids 'n Teens!
(last updated 10th June 2013)
Ulster Project 2012
The overall mission of the Ulster Project is to help teenagers from Northern Ireland and the United States to become peacemakers in a safe environment where they can practise the skills needed to unite people when differences divide them.
This year twenty-four teenagers from Enniskillen were selected to participate in the Ulster Project. Twelve of them went to Madison, Indiana and the remainder to Cincinnati, Ohio. The two groups were made up of equal numbers of Roman Catholics and Protestants. The Enniskillen group met up twice a week in May and June when they got to know each other and prepared for the adventure ahead. Alison Glass, Eimer Daly and Luke Todd were three of the teens who were selected to take part in the project this summer. For a month they each stayed with a host family whose role was to make the teens feel at home by welcoming them and respecting their culture and religion. Alison travelled to Cincinnati, while Luke and Eimer went to Madison.
Cincinnati is situated in Ohio in the East of America. It is a busy city with lots going on. The host families were spread out all around Cincinnati and the group met up nearly every day. Alison stayed with the Hodge family which lives about fifteen minutes from the centre of Cincinnati. The Hodges were lovely people, very outgoing and welcoming. Lexie, a teenager, was an amazing person who was very similar to Alison. They both got on really well and are still in contact. Every day was packed with lots of fun activities like pool parties, visiting theme parks and having cook outs! There were also service projects in which each teen took part, ranging from helping in nursing homes to volunteering in day care centres. These experiences helped the teens to think about other peoples' daily routine and made them appreciate their lives more. In Cincinnati the group was like a big family; everyone got on with everyone else. This made the experience even more meaningful. Everyone made so many friends - hopefully they will stay in contact indefinitely.
Madison is a town similar to Enniskillen. It is a small close-knit community where everyone knows everyone else. Eimer thought it was a beautiful town with nice shops and loads of places to meet up and hang out. She found it to be a quieter, slower town than Enniskillen where people were more relaxed and laid back. She stayed with the Webber family, living on a small farm twenty minutes from the town centre. Being shown great kindness, she quickly felt at home. Luke had the same feeling staying with the Hill family who had hosted a teen the previous year. They even had a daughter of the same age as his sister at home. The Madison group met up every day. They also attended Church or Mass in a different church every week with their respective families. Every week both the Madison and Cincinnati groups took part in an activity called “Time of Discovery” where they discussed sensitive topics like racism, sectarianism and personal issues. This was a time to breakdown barriers between the two denominations. One of the activities was a "Homeless Simulation". Here the teens experienced a day in the life of a homeless person. They gave up all their personal items and were given random sums of money that they then had to use to buy food in a soup kitchen and clothes and sleeping bags from a thrift store. That night the whole group slept rough on a street and in the middle of the night they were visited by the police and questioned as to why they were there in such unpleasant circumstances. This was an extremely scary experience that made the teens grateful for the homes they went back to the next day!
Alison, Luke and Eimer loved their experience in America and they miss all aspects of the project very much. They
all recommend it to everyone as they have learned so much and made so many great friends - whom they will never forget.
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New: Scroll down to see a photograph of George Irvine on his last night with the Cub troop.
The End of an Era for St. Macartin's Cub Pack
The Cathedral owes an enormous debt of gratitude to the principal leader of the cubs, George Irvine, who for 37 years has endured much as he guided numerous young fellows such as these towards their teenage years and prepared them to take their place in the scout troop. Sadly for us all, time has come for him to voluntarily stand down from this particular aspect of church life. A faithful and tireless worker in the business of the cathedral, George will continue to function in his long-term position as Rector's Glebewarden.
(photo: 10/6/13, by William Holmes)