Head of Branches, BRIAN MCGEOUGH is encouraged by the positive feedback as he checks in on our branches around the country

The vision for the branches throughout Ireland remains the same: To establish a strong, sustainable school and to ensure all students wishing to progress from our Introductory Course can avail of the full offering of our School and its teaching.

VOLUNTEER

The work of transitioning from the existing branch network to a smaller number of regional centres fed by satellite locations is proceeding well. For example, in Townley Hall, students who have attended the Introductory Course in one of the ‘pop-up’ locations are travelling to Townley Hall for Part 2. Each Tuesday evening, five groups meet in Townley Hall and there is a total of 60 students enrolled.

Each week, a number of students from Part 2 upwards volunteer for service for the evening. This is working quite well. Similar activities are happening in Limerick, Derry, Galway and Cork, in so far as ‘pop-up’ Introductory Courses are being offered in new locations.

POP-UP

In addition to offering the Introductory Course in well-established centres, i.e. Derry, Galway, Dublin etc we have offered ‘pop-up’ Introductory Courses in many new locations including Moville, Strabane, Newry, Carrickmacross, Balbriggan, Skibbereen, Tuam, Ennis, Nenagh, Newcastle West, Greystones, Arklow and Tallaght — 15 in total.

In the Spring of 2020, we will be adding Ashbourne, Claremorris and Athenry to the schedule. Some of the pop-up locations are also offering Part 2 and Part 3 with a view to students travelling to the respective centres later than originally envisaged. It is an evolving situation which is being monitored on a term-by-term basis.

RESIDENTIALS

In the coming term, two residentials are taking place at locations other than Townley Hall. On the 31st of January, a weekend residential for the North Western Region will take place at Ards Friary in Creeslough Co Donegal — www.ardsfriary.ie — and on the 13th March, a weekend residential for the Southern region will be held at Glenstal Abbey, Murroe, Co Limerick —www.glenstal.com.

Interest in both residentials has been most encouraging. The aim is to expose students to the enriching benefits of Satsanga (spiritual retreat) without the burden of travel, thus strengthening the students themselves and their centre.

GENEROUS

As reported in the last update, we are endeavoring to buy the School in Waterford, which we have rented for many years; negotiations are proceeding, albeit a little slowly, due to some planning details that need to be finalised.

Brian McGeough, Head of Branches, welcomes any comments and/or suggestions directly by email: brianpmcgeough@gmail.com