Catholic Schools Week begins today with conferences in Dublin and Belfast
All Ireland celebration of Catholic schools to focus on theme: ‘A Vision for Life’
According to Bishop Leo O’Reilly, Chair of the Bishops’ Commission for Education, “Catholic schools provide young people with the moral, intellectual, and spiritual foundation to contribute to the common good. This special week is also a celebration of the indispensable role of teachers in the life of the school and parish through their committed service to the education of the young. Vatican II’s declaration on Christian education says of teachers ‘…. that the Catholic school depends upon them almost entirely for the accomplishment of its goals and programs.’
“Parishes are asked to pray for the future of Catholic schools in a changing context which challenges the mission of the school while it provides exciting new challenges.
“The main events of Catholic Schools week will take place in parishes and schools. Resources prepared for the week, available on www.catholicbishops.ie, encourage all members of the school community to reflect on two key questions: ‘What makes a school Catholic?’ and ‘What does it mean to be a Catholic school?’ Some of the resources are intended for use also by Boards of Management/Governors and in the home. Thus, all the partners in Catholic schools are invited to reflect on these questions and find the response that gives meaning to their various roles.
Bishop O’Reilly concluded, “This week long celebration culminates with RTÉ 1 television broadcasting a Mass from St Mary’s Parish, Lucan, Dublin at 11.00 am on Sunday 1 February. A special liturgy has been prepared reflecting the week’s theme and primary and secondary students from the parish will also attend. All are welcome.”
Notes for Editors
In previous years Catholic schools across Northern Ireland celebrated the distinctive richness and diversity of Catholic Education by taking part in a series of suggested events and activities over a period of a week.
Resources have been circulated to schools and dioceses to help implement the key themes of this important document in the everyday life of our Catholic schools and are available on www.catholicbishops.ie.
The objectives of Catholic Schools Week are:
- To encourage all associated with Catholic schools to reflect on what it means to be a Catholic school.
- To mark the important contribution that Catholic education offers to our nation.
- To highlight the Catholic school’s mission of combining faith and reason in its pedagogical project and its constant pursuit of the truth.
- To reiterate that Catholic education will continue to play a vital role in preparing students for lives of compassionate leadership and service
- To affirm the commitment of Catholic schools to continue to provide young people with the moral, intellectual, and spiritual foundation that propels them to seek the truth and bring hope to those who suffer.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin
Sr Mary Reynolds, Co-Director of the CORI education desk
Sr Elizabeth Maxwell, Strategic Task Group on Education
Martin Long, Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Brenda Drumm, Communications Officer (087 233 7797)