The Holy Family Mission has a program that gives opportunities to young people to experience different religious activities such as faith formation, daily Mass, and Eucharistic adoration. It allows people aged 18 to 30 to live in an Intentional Catholic Community in Ireland for around nine months. This program is called the 'Catholic Gap Year Program.'

Catholic Gap Year Program

The program of the Holy Family Mission, located in the green hills of County Waterford, is regarded as a glimmer of hope for the Catholic Church in Ireland by several local Catholics.  The Catholic News Agency reported that Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan of Waterford said that having a place where people may learn to know themselves is a tremendous gift. The participant could know the Lord better and then confront life with more self-assurance, maturity, and trust in the Holy Family Mission. "I wonder how many young people wander into college without knowing what they want, and then get distracted with all kinds of things," he added.

Moreover, those between the ages of 18 and 30 seeking more formation in their Catholic faith are qualified to participate in the "gap year" program, which lasts for nine months. Over thirty young adults make their home on the grounds of the Glencomeragh estate, which dates back two centuries, where these young adults also assist in the planning and execution of spiritual getaways for other people.

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Participant's Experiences in the Program of Holy Family Mission

Some of the program's participants shared the impact of the program of Holy Family Mission in their lives. According to the National Catholic Register, Teresa Jansen needed additional instruction in her religion and desired to "dig deeper" into her relationship with God. Thus she moved immediately from Chicago to Holy Family Mission after graduating high school. She said there are many occasions when one can pray and directly meet with the Lord. 

Eucharistic adoration and daily Mass have been reportedly essential and the high point of her life in the program. Meaningful and genuine friendships have also developed throughout this year. "God is forming me for a mission just because he's doing a lot in my heart that I wasn't expecting," Jansen added.

On the other hand, Holy Family Mission has been described as "a gap year for God" by Michael Tierney, an Irish Ph.D. student who is 27 years old and hails from County Offaly. As mentioned, some individuals will go on vacations or getaways for the weekend, while they may experience something spiritual or a "Jesus high" for a few days. However, they revert to their previous behavior once they return to their regular life.

Holy Family Mission is an organization that is urgently required at this time because it will be necessary to develop a new generation of young people who will be in charge of the renewal of the Church and who are genuinely rooted in the doctrines that the Church upholds.

An article from the Classic Masses stated that the formation at Holy Family Mission is prioritized in the following five domains: spirituality, personal development, academics, community engagement, and mission. In the words of Father Cahill, who serves as the full-time priest in residence for the program, "knowing the Lord" is the ultimate purpose of the gap year program for young people. Furthermore, Tierney characterized the spirituality that might be found in the Holy Family as "very Marian and eucharistic."

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