CBS Golden Jubilee Celebrations in Nenagh

50 anniversary Celebrations for Nenagh CBS, Friday, May 17th, 2019, St. Mary’s Church


A warm word of welcome to you all as we gather to celebrate the golden jubilee of the transfer of the CBS schools, Nenagh from John’s Lane to Summerhill.


Commemorating an historical March

Processions, parades, marchesoften demonstrate in a serious and stated way, in ritual terms the reverence, esteem and regard we have for something.  The parade of the Artane Boys Band before the all-Ireland final.  St. Patrick’s day parades in every town and village around the country.  Corpus Christi processions with young children that have just received their first Holy Communion. These rituals can demonstrate the passion and depth of feeling we have for something,


In the less religious sphere gestures in this way make a profound statement also, be it protest marches like the rally of Water Charges Protestors, Pro life rallies, the recent demonstrations of young people against climate change and the protection of Earth and ecology.


Nenagh has a tradition of long marches, with the famous march all the way from Nenagh to the Phoenix Park last year for WMOF2018. Another mighty one is planned this year in the opposite direction to Knock for the 140th anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady there.


Re-enactment 50 Years on!

This evening we had the ritual reenactment of the march of the staff and students of the CBS school exactly 50 years ago from John’s lane to the site of their new school premises at Summerhill.


Rolheiser – Recognition of Contributions

Ronald Rolheiser who has a weekly column in the Irish Catholic Newspaper had a very wise comment lately:  If we fail to celebrate what is worthwhile we will fail to cherish what is good and worth doing.  Tonight, we do exactly that.  We cherish, celebrate and thank God for the reality and memories that have been created by a lifetime of over 50 years of giving of so many to make the CBS schools and tradition so special and unique.  We remember the many brothers during that time, the lay staff, the students and all the school communities!


Memory Lane!

This is a night on this Golden Jubilee celebration for sharing memories, stories, anecdotes.  It’s a night in which old friends, staff and pupils reunite and reminisce on so much whether that be from the pool of learning, sport, drama, entertainment, friendship, the stuff that creates what is at the heart of memory when school reunions happen.



As you know well and to remind you the motto of the Christian brothers in the dynamic and active phrase – Facere et docere; (to do and to teach)!



Edmund Rice Charter

The schools as you know are now part of the Edmund Rice Schools network and they subscribe to the Charter of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust.  Such schools try to remain faithful to the founder Edmund Ignatius Rice who created a remarkable ethos of life long learning and education, care for all, the development of the Catholic faith, transformational leadership and a genuine sense of community and partnership.


The Ethos!

Christian Brother schools directs all its efforts towards establishing an environment which enables personal fulfilment through positive responses to the challenges of living in accordance with Catholic principles. Such an ethos place the student at the centre of concern, and aim to provide for the student a well balanced programme of activities which promotes the full development of their spiritual, intellectual, social and physical powers. Students are encouraged to become involved in charitable work and community activities.

Celebration and thanksgiving

We celebrate so much good of what has been achieved in trying to put flesh on this vision for the past 50 years and longer.  We thank and celebrate many who were part of that, so many of whom are present today.


The dark side of the legacy

The history and story of the Christian Brothers is like the history of much of our Church and Society.  In that there is a lot to be proud of, along with some aspects that were regretable.    However real this and so important that it is acknowledged and addressed – it doesn’t detract from the enormous good that was done and achieved by the Christian Brothers in Nenagh and further afield.


The Positive legacy of the Christian Brothers

History will look favourably, I am convinced, taking a balanced view on the great work of the Christian Brothers and their legacy in terms of their work for Education, for the faith, the Irish Language and their huge contribution to the development of Gaelic Games in Ireland.


Thanks and Congratulations

On this Golden jubilee occasion we give thanks to God for all that has been so good over the past 50 years.  Well done to all who organised this special event, the re-enactment of the historical march, this commemorative liturgy and the social gathering with refreshments aftwards.  I hope you have a most enjoyable evening and truly savour and treasure the precious memories of your part of the journey of the past 50 years.


Congratulations to all involved in the CBS schools and may God reward you all in spades for the fruit of your labours over the past half century.