The National Launch of Catholic Schools Week took place in St. Flannan’s College in Ennis, Co. Clare.
The event was hosted by Fr. Ignatius McCormack (Principal of St. Flannan’s College) and attended by Bishop Fintan Monahan, Bishop of Killaloe and Canon Tom Deenihan, Executive Secretary of the Irish Episcopal Conference’s Education Secretariat. Principals and pupils from Catholic Primary and Secondary Schools across the Diocese of Killaloe were also present for the launch. Fr. McCormack and Bishop Fintan welcomed all those who attended.
Pádraig Casey, a St. Flannan’s student from Ruan in County Clare, spoke about the ways in which the Catholic School provides so many opportunities for young people to grow in faith and life. He highlighted in a special way the tremendous charitable outreach in which the students of CatholicCatholic_Schools_Week-20180124-087 Schools engage throughout the year. Support for St Vincent de Paul, Project of Hope in Kolkata, India, Clare Crusaders and many other charities gave Pádraig and his fellow pupils a profound sense of their place in the world and their obligations to service and compassion that lie at the heart of the ideals of Catholic Schools. Participation in other events such a pilgrimages, retreats, prayer experiences and local youth councils provide a wonderful opportunity for personal growth and development for the young people who are part of our Catholic Schools service.
Canon Tom Deenihan from the Irish Episcopal Conference praised the positive influence that our Catholic Schools have on the quality of life in the local community. He spoke on the theme of this year’s Catholic Schools week which is “Catholic Schools: A Family of Families”, which links our schools with the upcoming World Meeting of Families due to take place in Dublin in August this year. Canon Deenihan focused on the practical implications of faith that must animate our Catholic Schools. He suggested that the challenges presented to our pupils and teachers by social media calls for a fresh response on the part of our Catholic Schools. Canon Deenihan pointed out that our faith influences how we interact with each other even on social media and that compassion needs to be at the heart of all our communication.
The launch concluded with the celebration of the Eucharist in St. Flannan’s College Chapel at which Bishop Fintan Monahan presided. Staff and pupils from Coláiste Muire and St. Flannan’s College enhanced the liturgy with music and song. In his homily Bishop Fintan underlined the links between Catholic Schools, the home, the parish and the world. He spoke of that extra substance called ethos that appeals to the whole person – mind, body and spirit – that is an integral part of our Catholic Schools. Catholic Schools have that selfless motivation and drive to go the extra mile. Catholic Education is inclusive, open to all and promotes the common good. He encouraged our schools to be families of faith, hope, love and joy.
On Sunday 4 February Bishop Fintan Monahan, Bishop of Killaloe, will be the chief celebrant at Mass for the conclusion of Catholic Schools Week 2018. This Mass will be broadcast by RTÉ on radio from the Cathedral of Saints Peter & Paul, Ennis. As well as the local parish community of Ennis, the liturgy for this year’s Mass for Catholic Schools Week will be enhanced by the participation of students, staff and parents from local schools.