By Sarah Mac Donald - 29 January, 2015
In his homily in the Cathedral of Saints Patrick & Colman in Newry, Co Down, the Bishop of Dromore addressed the core values of Catholic education.
He also looked at how Catholic teachers respond to their sense of sacred calling and their generosity in the way they contribute to the holistic development of their pupils and students.
Pupils from 50 primary schools and from 14 post-primary schools attended the Mass.
Speaking about the spiritual mission of Catholic schools, Dr McAreavey told the assembled parents, teachers, boards of governors, and priests: ‘Be proud of our schools’.
“Let us work together to make them the best they can be. A Catholic education is our way of loving our children, preparing them for life and handing on to them all that we cherish and believe.”
He said that when schools do this they open up for young people the opportunity of a life lived to the full – now – and in the world to come.
Elsewhere, the Bishop of Dromore said he valued immensely the fact that children and young people, with the support of their parents at home and teachers at school – under God’s grace – grow into young men and women who make the words like love, kindness, joy, truth, justice, and serving, come alive.
“When these words come to life in our young people, they will leave school and will bring God’s love, forgiveness and peace into the wider world.”
He added, “With the experience of a good Catholic education they will reach out and serve others, especially the sick and the needy.”
The Mass in Newry was celebrated on the feast of St Thomas Aquinas, the patron saint of schools, universities and students.
Catholic Schools Week is a celebration of Catholic schools throughout Ireland, North and South.
It acknowledges the contribution that Catholic primary and post primary schools make to Irish society and the mission of the Church.
This year the theme for the week, which runs from 25th January- 31st January 2015, is ‘Called to Serve.’