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CSW celebrates “unique” Catholic vision of the child

By Sarah Mac Donald - 20 January, 2014

Catholic Schools Week 2014Catholic Schools Week is about celebrating the unique vision Catholic Schools have for the child, Bishop Brendan Kelly has said.

The Bishop, who is a member of the Episcopal Commission for Catholic Education and Formation, as well as Chairman of the Council for Education, was speaking ahead of the launch on Monday of this year’s celebration.

In an interview with the Catholic Communications Office, the Bishop of Achonry said the week is about celebrating schools which are “happy places for our children, safe places for our children, places where our children are cherished.”

Catholic Schools Week 2014 will begin on Sunday 26 January and will conclude on 1 February.

Speaking about this year’s theme – Catholic Schools: Places of Faith and Learning – Bishop Kelly said, “We believe in our pupils and we believe in God and we bring those two factors together in our schools.”

He explained that the Church celebrates Catholic Schools Week every year because it has something “very worthwhile” to celebrate in our Catholic schools. “We are celebrating the work that is going on there and the achievement of our pupils.”

He said Catholic schools have “faith in the child” and that a child needs nothing more than adults and a community around him or her “who actually believe in them as a person with all the various gifts and abilities which he or she has.”

“Every school is a place of learning but the Catholic tradition in valuing learning and in valuing knowledge goes very deep. From the very earliest times Christians have set up schools for their children,” the Bishop said.

The Bishops’ representative on Catholic education said the Church has “particularly good news for the child” and wanted them to learn who they are.

“What is unique in what we do in our Catholic schools is the vision we have for the child. We see every child that comes to our school as made in the image of God and as somebody who is a child of God.”

He said Catholic schools want their students to discover who they are themselves and to grow in confidence in the process of learning all the different subjects.

This morning, Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin will launch Catholic Schools Week in St Dominic’s College, Cabra, Dublin.

The launch will comprise a liturgy and discussion involving over 200 students and staff from 14 local schools as well as representation from across the country.

It will be facilitated by Maura Garrihy, Youth Officer for the Diocese of Galway and will include input from special guest Ger Brennan, teacher and Dublin GAA senior football player.

Meanwhile, Archbishop Eamon Martin, Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh, will celebrate Mass in St Peter’s Church, Drogheda, on Sunday 26 January to mark the beginning of Catholic Schools Week.

Local schools will contribute to the liturgy which will be broadcast at 11am by RTÉ radio and television. During this week RTÉ broadcasts A Living Word and iWitness will reflect CSW.

From Monday 27 January to Friday 31 January on RTÉ Radio 1, the daily A Living Word broadcast will reflect Catholic Schools Week. In addition the RTÉ broadcast iWitness on RTÉ1 Television will also reflect CSW2014.

For CSW 2014, a number of resources have been made available to schools and are available to download from www.catholicbishops.ie/catholicschoolsweek

–          CSW2014 Resources for Primary Schools in English and Irish
–          CSW2014 Resources for Post-Primary Schools in English and Irish
–          CSW poster
–          Celebrating CSW in Parish 2014  
–          Reflection for Members of Staff and Board of Management or Governors
–          Opening Prayer Service
–          Prayer Service to celebrate the Ministry of Teachers
–          Grandparents Day
–          Closing Celebration

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