28 January 2010
Cardinal Brady launches Catholic Schools Week 2010 and inaugurates the new Catholic Schools Partnership
Cardinal Seán Brady has today launched Catholic Schools Week 2010 and inaugurated the new Catholic Schools Partnership at a seminar in the Emmaus Centre in Swords, Co Dublin.
Catholic Schools Week is a celebration of Catholic schools throughout Ireland, North and South. It acknowledges the tremendous contribution that our Catholic primary and post-primary schools make not just to Irish society, but to the mission of the Church. The theme for Catholic Schools Week 2010 is Catholic Schools – a light for every generation. It runs from Sunday 31 January to Saturday 6 February 2010.
Catholic Schools Partnership (CSP) is an association established by the Bishops of Ireland with the cooperation of the Conference of Religious of Ireland and is intended to support all partners in Catholic education at first and second level within the education system in the Republic of Ireland. Its equivalent in Northern Ireland is the Trustee Support Service. The Catholic Schools Partnership includes patrons/trustees, management bodies including boards of management and teachers in Catholic schools. While the CSP was officially launched today, its office was established in September 2009 and is based in St Patrick’s College Maynooth, Co Kildare.
Speaking at the seminar Bishop Leo O’Reilly, Bishop of Kilmore and Co-chair of the Strategic Task Group on Education said: “Today is an historic day in the life of the Irish Church. The official inauguration of the Catholic Schools Partnership marks the completion of a cherished goal of both the Irish Bishops’ Conference and the Conference of Religious of Ireland which was the establishment of an association which will act as advocate for Catholic education into the future.
“Today we are also launching Catholic Schools Week 2010. This year’s theme recalls the words spoken by Pope John Paul II in Knock during his 1979 pilgrimage:
“Every generation, with its own mentality and characteristics, is like a new continent to be won for Christ. The Church must constantly look for new ways that will enable her to understand more profoundly and to carry out with renewed vigor the mission received from her Founder .”
“Catholic schools bring light to each generation of pupils and to society. May today’s celebration encourage us as we embark on a week-long celebration of Catholic schools.”
Sr Elizabeth Maxwell, Co-chair of the Strategic Task Group on Education said: “Today is a special day for Catholic education. I wish to thank all who contributed to the establishment of the Catholic Schools Partnership. The members of the council of the Catholic Schools Partnership plough a new furrow as they scope the way forward for the new association.”
Fr Michael Drumm is Executive Chairperson of the Catholic Schools Partnership (CSP). Commenting on the inauguration of the CSP he said: “Catholic schools in Ireland make an enormous contribution to our society and are models of inclusivity and care for all the students who attend them. This dynamic role will continue into the future and will be enhanced by the structure we are launching today which will provide a new level of partnership between all those involved in Catholic schools.”
Speakers and participants at the seminar included: Cardinal Seán Brady, Bishop Leo O’Reilly, Sr Elizabeth Maxwell, Sr Eithne Woulfe, Ms Maeve Mahon, Ms Cora O’Farrell, Mc Catherine Wiley, Ms Rosemary Lavelle, Mgr James Cassin, Fr Michael Drumm and Mr David Quinn.
A special feature is available on www.catholicbishops.ie to mark Catholic Schools Week 2010. The feature includes resources for Catholic Schools Week which are intended for all those working in partnership in the school community i.e. the school, the parish and the home. The resources, which have been produced for primary and post-primary schools in English, Irish and Polish language versions, are designed to be used with:
- Students in the classroom
- Staff members
- Members of Boards of Management/Governors
- The wider parish community
A special video interview with Fr Michael Drumm introducing the new Catholic School Partnership is also available on www.catholicbishops.ie. Fr Drumm addresses: the purpose of Catholic education and its contribution to the common good; the key roles of parents and teachers; the voluntary nature and involvement of priests and laity in the Catholic education system; the changing landscape of the Irish education scene; and, challenges facing Catholic education provision in Ireland.
Notes to Editors:
Cardinal Brady’s text will be issued separately and is available on the Catholic Bishops’ website: www.catholicbishops.ie
Martin Long, Director of Communications 086 172 7678
Brenda Drumm, Communications Officer 087 310 4444