Launch of Catholic Schools Week in St. Mary’s College, Dundalk.
The National launch of Catholic Schools Week took place in St Mary’s College, Dundalk, on Thursday, January 26th. Principal, Mr Con McGinley welcomed Cardinal Sean Brady, Fr. Ron Nuzzi the guest speaker, national representatives of Catholic education, public representatives, primary and secondary school principals and teachers as well as parish groups from all parts of Ireland, to the opening liturgy in the Marist church. Organised by the College’s religion team, the liturgy reflected the theme of Catholic Schools Week this year: ‘Christ’s Living Body Active in Our World’. The opening procession saw students bring symbols of our faith to the altar, then some students past and present shared their faith journey, a DVD showed students at prayer, working in the Marist mission in Ranong, fundraising for charity and helping others in the school community. The beautiful music was provided by the Marist choir with a wonderful individual contribution from Miss Briege Kelly, one of our teachers. The whole ceremony was a very moving experience.
After refreshments in the College Hall the official launch of Catholic Schools Week began with the opening speech given by Cardinal Brady. He recalled that he had been at the 150th anniversary celebrations of St. Mary’s College and was delighted to be back again. He said that Christ was active and alive especially in the world of schools. He said that Jesus is the ideal model for all and that every element of the school community - parents, teachers, and students - must play their part. The aim of the Catholic school is to form strong, responsible individuals as witnessed in the liturgy, capable of making free and correct choices with a clear idea of the meaning of life. Guest speaker, Fr. Ron Nuzzi from Notre Dame University, Indiana spoke of the school as the most effective instrument of evangelisation, the pulse at the heart of the Catholic Church and encouraged people to open the doors to Christ.
After the open forum chaired by Sister Marianne O’Connor, the Director General of the Conference of Religious of Ireland, we had a well-deserved lunch.
Students of the school welcomed the many guests, acting as guides, parking attendants and waiting staff as well as participating memorably in the liturgy.
St Mary’s College held a number of activities for Catholic Schools Week including mass on February 1st, the feast day of Muire na nGael, St Brigid, and blessing of the throats on the feast of St Blaise, February 3rd. Many classes held special prayer services during the week. The Marist Choir was one of 18 choirs from all the schools in Dundalk, Primary and Post-primary which participated in ‘Seinn’, a great musical celebration which took place in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dundalk on Tuesday 31st January.