The annual Youth 2000 Summer Festival took place at Cistercian College, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary from August 17th to the 20th. Well over a thousand young people descended on the retreat venue for a weekend of craic, ceoil and conversation.

A record number of young people from the Diocese of Meath came with 8 young people from the parish of Ratoath, where none had previously gone to the summer festival. Dunshaughlin were also represented, highlighting the benefits of their investment in youth  ministry and a NET team. A number of other parishes also had young people attending.

Shauna Kavanagh, of Clonard, said “it was my first ever time on a youth 2000 retreat. I can honestly say I had an amazing and very enlightened time there. I can not wait for the next one.” Between the talks, the music and the atmosphere there was a palpable joy amongst festival goers.

Meanwhile, Mark Caffrey, of Ratoath, said he was “incredibly blessed to see such a dynamic group of people in their late teens and twenties. People who were on the fence about coming and those who said they’d only be here a day or two have ended up staying for the whole thing and have had the time of their lives and really progressed through a number of thresholds of conversion”.

Participants described themselves as “buzzing for what’s next”. The local Youth 2000 prayer group in Ashbourne has moved to Ratoath and young people from that deanery are “pumped” to grow it over the next few weeks. Recent reverts to the faith as well as those who have been living their faith out for some time have all come back renewed and ready to drop their nets and follow Christ.