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Visits Out

St. Angela’s Prefects – Trip to Thurles 

Thursday the 11th of April, all 12 Prefects went to the Ursuline Secondary School in Thurles to meet with Prefects from other Ursuline schools aroundIreland, to take part in playing games and getting to know one another. There were schools from Sligo, Cork, Cork City, Thurles and Waterford. We played a lot of games and took part in activities to bond with the other Prefects; by doing this we learned new skills. All the activities and games were lead and organised by Father Chris.

The aim of the games was to learn how to be a good leader, to trust each other and become a better listener. We were then put in groups to work on our team work skills. Father Chris gave us activities and as a team we had to complete them. The aim of the team work was to show ourselves that we each have different roles in the group but that everyone’s role is important.

Our final activity in our groups was to draw on a page what we thought was a ‘Perfect Leader’. We all had different ideas of what the qualities and traits of a Perfect Leader was and Father Chris told us that each one had to embrace our own qualities as leaders by leading by example as Prefects.

A good day was had by all, meeting and spending time with the other Prefects was very enjoyable. We came back with new skills, and ready to put them into action!



It all began when the international community of Edmund Rice Brothers at Mount Sion Monastery  Waterford decided  to lay a foundation for a weekend Encounter Retreat programme for fifth year students.

In order to get the programme started, the Brothers sponsored the sending of six students and two teachers from St Angela’s Secondary School in Waterford to the Little Flower Academy in Vancover,  Canada, in November 2005 for training as Encounter retreat leaders.


The girls chosen were: Trisha Delahunty, Stephanie Dollard, Tara Dinan, Louise Dolphin, Emer Heffernan and Ciara Vereker.  Brother Sean Whitty, Finola Moore and Sr Mary Cosgrove accompanied them.

Upon their return to Waterford, the students and teachers, under the guidance of the Brothers, organised and conducted three Encounter Retreats at Grace Dieu Retreat Centre in early 2006.

The Encounter retreat is a well structured weekend programme that encourages students to share their stories in small and large groups, enabling openness and participation. Each group has a peer and adult leader.  In the course of the weekend students explore questions about life in a faith context and are challenged to question their own personal values and priorities in the light of gospel values. The theme of Encounter is “Let Go, Let God”.

The following are reflections from students:

“Encounter was a spiritual journey in which I found myself. Throughout my life I struggled to find my meaning and path in life. Encounter gave me the chance to take time out and reflect on what is important to me”

“Hearing other peoples’ problems in my group, I realised  I  am not alone, that others go through similar struggles. I learned not to judge people”

“I truly learned the value of family- a priceless gift. I never had a strong faith but Encounter opened my eyes to how blessed I am. I truly believe I grasped the concept of Encounter “Let Go ,Let God”

We are very grateful to all the staff members who give up their weekends so generously to support the students on Encounter.

To quote one staff member: “Experiencing a weekend like this with students, I couldn’t help thinking how lucky these girls are to be getting such a valuable insight into their lives at such a young age. It allows them to listen to what is in their own hearts. Encounter offers a window into what is really important and valuable in their lives”

Since the closure of Grace Dieu  Retreat  Centre in  2011, Encounter has taken place in Glencomeragh House.  January 2013 was the 20th Encounter experience for St Angela’s.

The programme has gone from strength to strength and hopefully it will continue to nourish and support students in the years to come.

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St Angela's School, Ursuline Convent, Waterford

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