By Sarah Mac Donald - 13 February, 2015
The ever popular singing trio, The Priests, joined the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, and Bishop Noel Treanor of Down and Connor to celebrate Mass for the students of St Killian’s College Garron Tower in Co Antrim on Thursday.
In his homily, Archbishop Brown referred to the number of former students of Garron Tower who are now ministering in the Church, including The Priests and Bishop Donal McKeown of Derry.
Bishop McKeown attended the gathering later on Thursday.
Speaking of the young age of Our Lady and of St Bernadette in Lourdes when they were both called to God’s ministry, he told the students that they were not much different to them in their ages.
He said Frs David Delargy, Martin and Eugene O’Hagan of The Priests, Bishop McKeown, Fr Paddy Delargy, Fr Dermot McKay, Fr Darren Brennan and others all most likely got their calling to God’s ministry at a young age as well.
Referring to the College motto “Caritas et Veritas” – Love and Truth – the Nuncio urged the students to be mindful of this motto in their lives both now and in the future.
He expressed his happiness that young people were taking ownership of the spiritual direction they were receiving in St Killian’s.
The Nuncio was presented with College cuff links and a specially commissioned wooden ciborium, carved by past pupil Robert O’Connell from a branch that had fallen during a storm from a 160-year-old Eucalyptus tree in the College grounds, the oldest of the species in Europe.
Speaking after the event, Fr Tim Bartlett, Chairman of the Board of Governors, said “The Nuncio was clearly moved by the prayerfulness of the pupils, by the outstanding music of the choir and the beautiful surroundings. It was a truly great day for the whole school and for the Church on the Antrim Coast.”
He added, “To have the representative of Pope Francis visit St Killian’s is a tremendous honour but also a comment on the very high regard in which this outstanding educational community, led by the Principal Mr Brady, is held.”
The Principal of St Killian’s College, Mr Jonny Brady, described it as an “historic day in the life of the young St Killian’s College. We are honoured to have Archbishop Brown among us to officially commission our new school prayer.”
He added that the “this day will live long in the hearts and memories of those who were present.”
The new St Killian’s College prayer:
St Killian, we ask you to bless and protect us all on our journey through life.
Guide us in our studies and inspire us so that we can make the right choices.
Thank you for all those who help us at the college.
Make our college a safe place for us.
Help our teachers to lead the way.
Teach us to be good learners.
Help our parents to be there for us.
We cannot all do great things but we can all do small things with great love.
Help us to live out our motto, Caritas et Veritas, in our everyday life.