A group of 13 Irish seminarian recently visited the Irish College, Paris for Mass and for a tour of the Chapelle Saint Patrick and the Old Library. One of those students, Barry White from the Diocese of Meath, describes his experience.
On March 20, 2014 thirteen seminarians from the Irish National Seminary, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, arrived in Paris on a four day trip. The seminarians stayed at the Séminaire Saint-Sulpice where they enjoyed fraternity and played soccer with the local seminarians. It was a week in which Irish teams were victorious over the French opposition as firstly there was the Six Nations win at Stade de France and then the Irish seminarians were successful after a hard-fought encounter with the Parisians.
This trip incorporated not just sporting interest but provided the seminarians with the opportunity to experience the cultural, historical and ecclesiastical ambience of Paris and view the many breath-taking treasures of the French capital.
One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to the Centre Culturel Irlandais where the seminarians were able to appreciate the strong connection between the Church in Ireland and the long-established Irish community in Paris. The seminarians viewed the library and the chapel of the Irish College and were able to acknowledge the rich academic and ecclesiastical setting in which for several centuries Irish students, seminarians and priests came to study and explore the Church on the continent.
The Irish seminarians appreciated the hospitality and kindness they received from the staff of the Centre Culturel Irlandais and indeed from the Chaplain to the Irish Community, Fr Dwayne Gavin.