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Elphin offers time for teachers before school year starts

By Cian Molloy - 17 August, 2019

“That put us to thinking what we might do for those who draw upon their own spirituality in the course of their teaching.”

Before the new school year starts, teachers and school leaders are invited to join in an afternoon of reflection at Donomon Castle, Roscommon.

The event is being organised by the Elphin Diocese in response to requests from some of those who attend the annual in-service days organised by the diocese for school principals and teachers, said Justin Harkin of Elphin’s Education Secretariat.

“One person who approached us said ‘Can you provide something that would nourish us as people of faith in a secular setting?’” he said. “That put us to thinking what we might do for those who draw upon their own spiritualities in the course of their teaching and in their understanding of a personal vocation to teach.

“While the event is being organised by the Elphin Diocese, it is open to teachers from any part of the country.”

The facilitators for the day are Fr Michael Drumm and Sr Moya Hegarty OSU, both of whom are former secondary school teachers. Fr Drumm is director of the Mater Dei Institute. Sr Moya is also a scripture scholar, and is noted for her interactive style while facilitating spiritual retreats.

The event starts at 11am on 22nd August and includes prayer, quiet reflection and a celebration of the Eucharist, as well as shared meditations on the contributions made by Fr Drumm and Sr Moya. There will also be a tour of Donomon Castle, headquarters of the Divine Word Missionaries, and a chance to explore the beautiful grounds of the castle. The fee for the day is €20, which includes a three-course lunch. Numbers are limited to 30 participants.

“This is a pilot scheme that we are organising in tandem with the Catholic Schools Partnership,” said Mr Harkin. “If it is successful, it will be replicated at other locations next year.

“We are holding the event in the holidays, because once the school year starts things become very busy for teachers. In fact, we might have been better holding this event earlier in the month: three secondary schools in the Elphin diocese told us their teachers won’t be able to attend because they are back to work on the 22nd with staff meetings.

“But then again, this is a pilot scheme, so it is a learning exercise for us as well.”

For more information visit the Diocese of Elphin website.

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