Two fields, four days, 20 marquees, 200 volunteers, and 1,000 young people. This is the Clonmacnois Youth Festival.
Nestled in the heart of the Midlands is Clonmacnois, the ancient centre of prayer and scholarly endeavour. Over four days from August 12-15, the Clonmacnois Youth Festival will take place. Known colloquially as the ‘Holy Oxegen’, this is an experience unlike any other. For young people attending the event for the first time one of the most remarkable things that they notice is the smile on the faces of everyone they encounter, the warmth and friendliness of the volunteers, the joy of the priests, the enthusiasm of the band, and the welcome from the organisers. Many friendships are made over cups of tea and there is a sense of belonging to something greater. As one person said “It was so worthwhile, I really enjoyed the whole weekend and I didn’t feel out of place”.
With a programme that has something for everyone, there is a variety of activities over the four days. Events include inspiring talks, a Christian rock concert, dynamic workshops on faith and the journey of life, games and soccer, quiet time for prayer, and time for chilling out and making friends.
This year Fr Larry Richards from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is the main speaker at the event. Coming to Ireland for the first time, he is a dynamic and inspiring priest who is involved in the Reason for our Hope Foundation. He is a frequent speaker at events in the USA and in an authentic and engaging way, he speaks about the person of Jesus Christ. He has touched the hearts and lives of countless young people.
So what do you need to do to come to this event? Check it out online at www.youth2000.ie and register to attend. You’ll need to bring a sleeping bag, warm clothes, wellies, and a rosary beads would come in handy! It’s for young people aged between 16 and 35. There’ll be a network of free buses from around the country so don’t worry about transport, and the weekend is donation only so if you’re a poor student it’s ideal for you too!
So this year, this summer, this very day, decide for something different. Decide for fun. Decide for joy. Decide for friendships. Decide for a great weekend. Decide to come to the Clonmacnois Youth Festival!