In a special gatherings this year to mark this notable anniversary of an organisation that sailed a thousand friendships, life-long memories and even marriages, over 200 members past and present of the group gathered at St. Munchin’s College recently.
The then ‘younger’ Limerick priest had brought a group of Limerick people from their late teens and their early 20s down to the Irish language house Bru na Graige for a weekend to further their faith in a fun environment. And such was the success that they were not willing to wait another year for a second gathering but, instead, regrouped at a location in Limerick. The rest, as they say, is history.
A ‘Limerick’ home for Muintearas was found at the old Good Shepherd Centre at Boland’s Meadow in Foynes. Over the past 40 years Muintearas Íosa has had, on average, six gatherings annually attended by young people from across the diocese in locations from Bru na Graige, on the Dingle Peninsula to Foynes and Roscrea in Tipperary to St. Munchin’s College itself.
Weekends have also been hosted in Dublin, Cork and further afield, attracting not just young people from the diocese but from across the island and beyond.
And Muintearas is still going as strong as ever, evidenced by the recent event when 80 young people stayed-over at the Limerick Diocesan Centre for their Easter gathering.
Congratulating Muintearas on its longevity and ongoing success, Bishop Brendan Leahy said:
Fr. Liston reminded those in attendance at the celebration that Muintearas is Irish for the spirit of extended family and friendship and that’s exactly what they have developed over the years. “The Muintearas achieved a way of doing things that gave evidence on our weekends to this great idea that being a Christian is about being part of a family. Muintearas is an extended family. Our Muintearas is accessible to everyone and our gatherings enables us celebrate the joy and friendship we have had in a glorious mixture of our ordinary humanity and the work of the Holy Spirit.”