Even though they say interest in Christianity has nosedived in Ireland, over 260 people between 20 and 80 received diplomas or certificate in religious studies at St Patricks University, Maynooth, last Saturday.
I attended because one of our house community was getting her Higher Diploma in Theology, she is going on to do an MA in Pastoral Theology. She is Chinese and perhaps 20% of the graduates were from outside Ireland. About 10% of those graduating were clerical students or Sisters, the rest were lay people.
As the MC remarked, the chapel in St Patricks is probably the most spectacular graduation location in Ireland. It also struck me that our Chinese graduate got her award is the very chapel where the first Columbans were ordained and from which they set out as missionaries to China a hundred years ago, in 1920!