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Catholic schools key to mission of the Church: Bishop Nulty

By Sarah Mac Donald - 21 January, 2014

NWS_20131001_NEW_008_29085741_I1Catholic schools are key to the mission of the Church Bishop Denis Nulty said on Monday morning as he formally launched this year’s Catholic Schools Week.

Echoing the words of Pope Francis to a gathering of Religious, Bishop Nulty recalled that the Pontiff said, “Education is a key, key, key mission.”

Schools are called to be places where we witness to the world by doing and acting differently, the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin said in his address at St Dominic’s College in Cabra, one of the oldest secondary schools in the Archdiocese of Dublin.

He said Catholic schools are key to a life lived with Christ at its centre and key to a future built on a firm foundation of faith and hope. They are “key to a culture and society shaped with justice and integrity.”

As 200 students and staff of St Dominic’s College and representatives of thirteen schools from the local area listened on, the Bishop said Catholic schools provide a service to society and to the common good and “are the bedrock of our culture.”

“In school you learn how to live with others. You learn to care for others when they are in need. You learn how to rejoice with others when they are happy and comfort them when sad. You learn to pray with others and to celebrate your faith,” Bishop Nulty commented.

He continued, “Your knowledge of yourself and the world around you grows while you are in school. You learn new facts and data and you gain new expertise. You develop talents and abilities. You take part in sport and music and team activities.”

He said all this is undertaken by the light of Gospel values. “These values illuminate and guide all that we do in our Catholic schools and help to form you as people of the light who bring that light with you wherever you go.”

Speaking about the role of teachers, Dr Nulty said they can inspire love of a subject or confidence in one’s own abilities to achieve.  

After Bishop Nulty’s address, Dublin footballer Ger Brennan spoke to Maura Garrihy about his experience of his Catholic School.

Bishop Brendan Kelly of Achonry, Bishop Francis Duffy of Ardagh and Clonmacnois; and, Bishop Raymond Field, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Dublin also attended the launch.

Catholic Schools Week is being celebrated by the Catholic community in Ireland between Sunday 26 January and Saturday 1 February.  

This year’s theme is ‘Catholic Schools: Places of Faith and Learning’.  

Catholic Schools Week is an occasion to celebrate the work and achievement of Catholic Schools in Ireland, north and south.  

Resources have been provided to all primary and post-primary schools to assist with the celebration of CSW 2014. This year’s theme was chosen to highlight that all learning takes place in a values context.

A number of events are taking place to highlight the week including the hosting a live stream to all Catholic primary schools in the country on Tuesday 28 January at 11:50 am by iCatholic.

This will provide an opportunity for teachers and pupils to engage with the activities and theme of Catholic Schools Week. The live stream can be accessed through www.icatholic.ie/live.

Archbishop Eamon Martin, Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh, will celebrate Mass in St Peter’s Church, Drogheda on Sunday 26 January to mark the start of Catholic Schools Week. Local schools will contribute to the liturgy which will be broadcast at 11.00am by RTÉ radio and television.

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 broadcast of iWitness on RTÉ One television during CSW 2014 will reflect the theme of Catholic education.

For CSW 2014 the following resources – listed below – have been made available to schools and are available to download from a special web feature which includes a video interview with Bishop Brendan Kelly, Bishop of Achonry. The resources can be downloaded 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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