We need young people with strong ideals to help fix broken world – Bishop Leahy

07 Jun 2017

Bishop Leahy’s hope for students to get more from studies than just exam points

Bishop Brendan Leahy, Bishop of Limerick, has today extended his best wishes and prayers to the Leaving and Junior Certificate students who commence their exams today, commenting that the need for young people with strong ideals to help fix this broken world has never been greater.

Calling for prayers to be said across the entire diocese for students sitting their exams, Bishop Leahy said: “My immediate thought and hope is that those sitting Leaving and Junior Cert examinations would approach tomorrow relaxed and focussed, aware that there’s no point in overdoing things at this stage, and that it is now better to focus on expressing themselves and their knowledge across their respective subjects.

“Another thought is that they would put these exams into perspective.  Yes, they are important but some of the most successful people in the world went on to achieve what they did without having excelled in exams.  I would hope that they would look at the bigger picture and not get overly focussed on successes or failures.

“But today, given the horror of what was visited on innocent people in London at the weekend, so soon also after the Manchester tragedy, and the daily loss of precious life in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and many other locations across the world, there is a need for students to get much more from their studies than just points.

“The world, as Pope Francis has said, is broken and violence is not the way to fix it.  We need people with good, strong ideals who can fix it.  We need young people emerging with ideals of peace, justice, fraternity, truth, respect.  We need enlightened young people who will make a contribution to society.

“We are in dark times.  We saw it at the weekend on an international scale and we see it at a local level also, with young people affected too by new societal pressures where, regrettably for many, what happens online seems to matter more than offline reality.  And what happens online can be crushing and indiscriminate.  Added to that the whole phenomenon of ever new types of drugs.

“We need to recalibrate in many respects and I hope and pray that our young people sitting exams will emerge with the all those characteristics that Pope Francis speaks of that will collectively change the broken world.”


  • Bishop Brendan Leahy is Bishop of Limerick and chair of the Bishops’ Commission for Catholic Education and Formation.

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