By Claire Corrigan
Three young US students have come to Mullingar to act as lay ministers, helping out in Mullingar parish for a two year period, and hoping to make contact with many young local people, schoolgoing and otherwise, during their time in the town.
The trio are in Ireland until May 2022, but will take classes at Notre Dame next Summer, before returning to Ireland and Mullingar again.
Grace Gibbons from Iowa, Tim Ruflin from Texas and Michael Kelley from California are here as part of the Echo Graduate Service Program in the McGrath Institute at the University of Notre Dame. They hadn’t known each other beforehand, meeting as a result their decisions to join.
The programme is a two-year post-graduate experience that combines a fully-funded Master of Arts in Theology degree through Notre Dame, while placing students as staff members in Catholic parishes or dioceses and as theology teachers in Catholic schools in dioceses across the United States and Ireland.