When you think of Slí Eile, the Jesuit Centre for Young Adults, you’d be inclined to think that it’s as Irish as it gets. However, even if you can’t really tell from the photo, there is a splash of colour added by the presence of volunteers on the team. They come from places as far away and diverse as El Salvador, Russia, Hungary and South Korea. The teamwork is enriched not only by the collaboration between lay people and Jesuits but also by the team’s international character.
Ms Yanira Romero comes from San Salvador and works as a volunteer mostly in the area of promotion, using her vast Marketing experience. The new Slí Eile brochure that is now widely distributed is just one of her contributions. Gellért Merza, Hungarian Jesuit, also helps with promotion by creating “posters” for the different events on offer. He is also involved in Discover (small prayer and formation group) and other spirituality programmes. Sister Sabina Choi SSC comes from South Korea and studies Theology and Psychology in All Hallows College. She gives some of her time to help in Slí Eile and is member of a Discover group.
Slí Eile as an organization next to its international character has a little ecumenical overture too. Not only in its programmes like the Ecumenical Retreat in Kerry in April but also on its volunteering horizon. Vadim Raduev is Russian and Orthodox. He studies business in Greenhills College and is also interested in the world of faith and poetry. When we asked him about his two-week experience in our Gardiner Street Centre, this is what he said: “… A great atmosphere of care and support … By working with Slí Eile I gained more confidence and strength and the world doesn’t seem so bad anymore”.
Vadim’s “confession” is not far from other people’s experience of Slí Eile, which, thanks to its programmes, becomes an “oasis” in a world that tends to overemphasise the importance of material things without understanding that “the essential is invisible to the eyes”. However, as we know, an oasis is only a place for resourcing, refuelling for the journey, the pilgrim’s journey who set out to “find God in all things”.