Celebrating faith in our parish schools
Catholic Schools Week (29 January - 5 February) was celebrated in parish primary and secondary schools in Mullingar. The focus of Catholic Schools Week is to recognise the place of the parish schools in the wider community. It also hopes to cast light on how parish life can better interact with the schools.
Among the events taking place in Mullingar, the junior and senior infants at St Kenny's NS invited their grandparents to visit the school on Wednesday morning. The children and grandparents took part in a prayer service, during which the following reflection was read:
"Today is a very special day. It is Grandparents' Day and we are blessed that so many grandparents could be with us for this celebration. We want to honour and celebrate you all for the important part that you play in the life of the community, but most significantly in the lives of the children who are sitting here beside you. You are very important to them, as we know they are to you. Let us listen for a moment to the names of those grandparents who are able to be with us today."
As part of the prayer service, a grandparent lit a candle with one of the pupils. This candle was given to St Kenny NS some time ago from Uganda. It highlights the important role grandparents play in the lives of children in that country who are orphaned because of AIDS. School principal, Arthur Fallon, invited the grandparents to refreshments in the staff room after the celebration.
St Colmcille's NS welcomed special guests on Wednesday when Meryl and Mark Looktong from Trinidad visited their grandson Eoin and his fellow first class pupils. The Looktongs talked to the class about Trinidad and what it is like to be a Catholic in that country. Mrs Looktong brought some Caribbean goodies which the children and their teacher Helen Kiernan enjoyed.
Later that day, Leaving Certs from the secondary schools took part in a Memorial Service at the Cathedral for the late Andrew Dolan, a 20 year old who died tragically during the Christmas holidays. The students led the readings, intercessions and hymns. The service focussed on a message of hope for young people, that our trust in God's presence and the support of the community helps us even in the darkest moments.
On Friday morning, Fr Padraig welcomed pupils from Scoil Mhuire and the Presentation Schools to the 10am Mass. The occasion coincides with the Feast of Saint Blaise. The pupils were told that St Blaise wanted to make the world a better place. To do so, he became a priest and a doctor - he wanted to bring healing to people's souls and bodies. We can do the same when we pray to the Lord for healing and give care to those who are sick.
The photo above was kindly sent to us by John McAuley with the permission of the school and in accordance with the school's safeguarding policy.