20 June 2024

Catholic Schools Week ++

1 February 2023

Like Seachtain na Gaeilge, our Catholic Schools Week celebrations demanded extra room and time! It all started two weeks ago with our traditional St. Bridget’s Day Assembly, where the inspirational words of the ODulaing/Gallagher duo and musical and prayerful accompaniment from the students. themselves set the right tone.

Then we got to work on the actual themes of the week.

Since ‘Togetherness’ was the over-arching theme, we figured: well, let’s get the kids ‘together’! First up: TY putting the idea of Christian ‘service’ into action and organising a Sports Afternoon for Second Years.

And First Years also got their chance: rounders, Gaelic football, soccer and just some good, old-fahioned messing around! Turns out, TYs and First year have a lot in common… except size!

And two First Years each earned their very own slider: Christopher Comer with his perfect throwing form…

And David Hearns, for his very distinctive style and socialibility…

Even Sixth and Third Years got in on the togetherness. With Mocks looming, we thought a stress-busting, comaraderie-building tea-and-biscuit chat might help… and it did, with pairs of elders serving pairs of youngsters. A taste of what is to come with our House System!

And, well into our second week of festivities, Mr. Lonergan and Mr. O’Neill took Fifth Years on a ‘Whiskey, Preachers, Plots & Stolen Hay: 800 Years of Dominicans in Dublin’ walking tour, courtesy of Fr. Conor Mcdonough. The tour was a whirlwind hands-on (with gloves) experience, including stops at the Four Courts, the original Dublin City walls, remnants of the De Bruce invasion and the history of religious persecution. Some may desire the separation of Church and State, but in Dublin, Faith and History are inextricably linked! The day was also bout more modern vestiges of our faith: a visit to a homeless shelter, The Morning Star Hostel, founded by Frank Duff (a close friend of Bernard Sheppard), opened some eyes to both the poverty of our time and the heartening response. The students got to meet some of these responders, when they visited St. Saviour’s Church and heard the stories of three young men training to become friars with the Irish Dominicans. 800 years +!

Our tour guide, Fr. Conor, also had a message regarding St. Brigid, who is joining St. Patrick in the national holiday rank of Irish saints. He echoed Mr. ODulaing in pointing out that Conlethians have a special connection: St. Brigid is joining St. Patrick in the national holiday rank of Irish saints, but our patron saint is mostly know through her. On the return too school, some Fifth Years decided to honour that connection. Led by Turlough Dineen, an impromptu band of medieval merry-makers distributed home-made Bridget Buns and good cheer, carrying their Bridget’s crosses with them!

by Charles Latvis

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