Our Daily Bread Retreat – Craig Lodge, Dalmally

From Tuesday 9 to Thursday 11 June a number of our pupils, S2-S6,  attended the ‘Our Daily Bread’ retreat at Craig Lodge, Dalmally.  Below are some pupil reflections of their experience.

This week we had the fantastic opportunity to take part in ‘Our Daily Bread’ retreat in Craig Lodge, Dalmally (the birth place of Mary’s Meals).  Though we only had a few days there, each one was jam packed with prayer, music, fun and lots of food!  We were fortunate enough to have both Father Stephen and Monsignor Monaghan with us, meaning we were able to celebrate mass and participate in Confession during our stay.  The team at Craig Lodge made us feel welcome from the moment we walked through the door and shared the story of their faith journey leading them to Dalmally, and during small group sessions helped us in reflecting on our own journey.  As well as these times of prayer and reflection (where we discussed what it is to know about Jesus), we also had the opportunity to feel star struck while meeting the founder of Mary’s Meals – Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, sing along with Paul and his guitar, play a very intense game of Capture the Flag, take part in Prayer Ministries and, of course, meet Maya the dog.  Overall it was a very enriching experience and has helped to bring us closer together as a group and to God.

Poppy Rose Wright (6a6)

I really enjoyed my trip to Craig Lodge Retreat Centre in Dalmally.  It really enlightened my faith and I feel spiritually cleansed.  The first thing we did when we arrived was ice-breakers, getting to know each other and playing games. We got a lot of motivational speeches but my favourite was by Magnus MacFarlane-barrow, founder of Mary’s Meals.  He showed us a very moving film called ‘Child 31’ which highlights poverty in certain African countries such as Kenya, South Africa and Sudan.  That night they gave us rice and porridge for dinner to show us what poor children would eat (we were given pizza later!).

On the second day we celebrated Mass before breakfast which was a nice way to start the day.  We then did a 3 hour hill climb where and on the top of the hill was the Stations of the Cross.  At every station we said a prayer.  Although windy this was a very special experience.  In the evening we played capture the flag in the woods in the dark.

On the whole I would recommend this retreat to everyone.  The staff were amazing, food was great and I have made friends for life.  The priests were very involved in all our activities and the teachers were awesome too!

Samuel Sheridan (2a4)

My trip to Craig Lodge was amazing and will change my life forever. I have learnt lots about my faith through the excellent presentations by members of the Craig Lodge community. Craig Lodge is the birth place of Mary’s Meals, an inspiring charity that helps children in poverty to have a meal a day and access to education.

My highlight of the trip was walking up the large hill and going through the Stations of the Cross.  The reason why I loved it so much was because it was re-enacting Jesus’ journey before he was crucified.

Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, the founder of Mary’s Meals, spoke to all of us.  His talk was very inspiring and helped me to understand more about how Mary’s Meals came about.

Overall the experience at Dalmally was great.  I loved Paul’s songs, all the games we played and the group discussions.  The staff were really nice and the staff and Monsignor Monaghan and Father Stephen were amazing as well.

Daniel Whyte (2a4)

Recently, a group of S2-S6 pupils had the profound privilege of spending time together on a retreat at Craig Lodge in Dalmally. We were fortunate enough to be offered this opportunity and we all agreed that it was one of the best experiences we have ever had.

One of the best aspects of the retreat was the setting in the beautiful Argyle countryside. As soon as we arrived, we all felt a long way from all the stresses and strains and business of our everyday lives. We were given a wonderful welcome by the volunteers at Craig Lodge and we were even lucky enough to meet Magnus McFarlane Barrow and his family.

Another pleasant discovery was how well pupils from S2 –S6 mixed and got on with each other. We all had a lot of fun and made great memories – none of us will ever pass each other in a corridor at school! In fact we all got on so well that we were probably still awake and talking long after Mr Bradshaw would have liked!

We were so blessed to be accompanied by Monsignor Monaghan, and Fr Stephen who led us in prayer and celebrated Mass. We had Eucharistic Adoration and were joined by Bishop McGhee for The Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Bishop was very friendly and welcoming and he told me that his family come from the same place in Donegal as mine!

We are all very grateful to Mr Bradshaw for arranging this opportunity for us – it was a really great experience and we were all very sad when it was time to go home.

Floreat Iuventus

Bried McBride (2a1)

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