A hallmark of Benedictine life is the strong sense of community which binds the monks together on their search for God in the monastery. Glenstal Abbey School also places a high value on this practice of community life, considering the students and their families, the monks and their school colleagues all constituting one community in a ‘School of the Lord’s Service’ (RB Prologue).
Indeed, the sports department’s motto – ‘Ravens Fly Together’ – reminds us that not only do Glenstal students stick together in their various pursuits whilst in the school, but they also maintain strong connections to one another and to the Abbey and School long after they have finished studying at Glenstal.
One such example of this sticking together were two gatherings which took place in Dublin for students who have left the School in recent years. These gatherings are a way to get to know one another better, to build a network of support with each other and to maintain a connection to Glenstal.
Fr Luke Macnamara OSB and Mr Kieran Sparling organised two gatherings for the 50-something Old Boys who are studying in the Dublin area.
The first gathering took place on 10th October at Trinity College for students of Glenstal Abbey School between 2018-23. After a brief prayer service led by Fr Luke, the group enjoyed a fraternal meal and catch-up in a nearby restaurant.
Later, on 17th October, students at University College Dublin met with Edward Burke (Old Boy class of 2000) who is now serving there as Assistant Professor in the History of Warfare since 1945. The group gathered in St Stephen’s Oratory for a word of welcome by Fr Brendan Ludlow, a chaplain at UCD and a regular visitor to Glenstal. After a period of prayer with Fr Luke, Edward introduced himself and welcomed the recently-arrived students to UCD. The group then enjoyed an evening of pizza in the Blasta food hall of the university.
It is hoped that such gatherings will continue to be organised in the coming months so that networks of support and connection can be maintained and strengthened, and so that Old Boys of the School remember their connections to one another and to Glenstal. “Ravens Fly Together!”