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Spiritan Prayers

To download the prayers below please click to download or right click on each image and select "Save target as" or "Save link as" to save the prayer slides to your computer.

Please note: these prayer slides are in PowerPoint or PDF format. Microsoft PowerPoint or the free Microsoft Office PowerPoint Viewer are required to view PowerPoint files. Adobe Reader, also free, is required to view PDF files.

September Morning Prayer

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May \ Graduation Reflection

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Lenten Prayer

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You are either Bread or Stone

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Lenten Prayers for Hungry People

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Lenten Prayers

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Primrose

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Leadership Prayer

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Advent Prayer

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Saints of the Season

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A Service of Remembrance

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Our Candle Prayer

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Fully Alive in God's Love

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A Prayer for November

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It was with great pleasure that we welcomed this year’s Spiritan Faith Friends to Kimmage Manor last Tuesday May 13, 2014.

The lads arrived bright eyed and ready to have fun! They were the invited to join the others from each College: St Mary’s, St Michael’s and Blackrock College.

We took part in teamwork activities and had great fun coming up with team titles, ‘Whist’ and ‘Flake Friends’ being among them. Each team took part in the tasks and used very competitive strategies to win chocolates!

After a fun game of rugby we re-grouped and took part in out Spiritan Faith Friends liturgy. The boys read Scripture and prayers together and then very graciously accepted their certificates. Our CEO Caroline Clarke, presented the boys with their certificates and spoke of the commitment to faith and leadership that had been evident in their work. The gold medals (of which there were three), were awarded to Patrick Kavanagh, Steven Kilgallen, Ben Layden (Blackrock), Aedan Hogan, Nick Henihan, Conor Wilde ( St Mary’s ) and Liam Shaw, Ben Connell and John Lee, (St Michael’s).

Finally we celebrated with some favourite food and drinks together with huge chocolate magnums to boot!

The SFF team were a pleasure to deal with, a wonderful addition to the programme and showed fine leadership skills for the future. They worked to share faith in an authentic and mature way as well as embrace the energy and enthusiasm of the 6th formers from each campus. As this was our fifth year with the programme, this group were extremely interesting as many of them were ‘faith friended’ themselves in 6th form. This made for a quiet confidence that ensured the present 6th formers were supported and encouraged on their formative journey towards adult faith.

As I have said many times before, I am so proud of you boys, you were and are amazing leaders in all of our eyes. Well Done!

To all of the Senior Management teams, Deans, TY Coordinators, Chaplains and RE Teachers, I am indebted to you for the blessed experience, the challenge and the opportunity to share faith in its truest sense. In Evangelelii Gaudium, Pope Francis states that: ‘…the rise and growth of associations and movements mostly made up of young people can be seen as the work of the Holy Spirit, who blazes new trails to meet their expectations and their search for a deep spirituality and a more deep sense of belonging…..’ 105.

‘…the entire community is called to evangelise the young and educate the young, and the urgent need for the young to exercise greater leadership...’ 106

Míle Buíochas, Orla Walsh.

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  The Pope John Paul II Award  
 

The Pope John Paul II Award offers young people the chance to learn the way of service and to develop the skills of Christian leadership.

John Paul II Award

Christian service gives them the opportunity to think beyond themselves and their own needs and to reach out to others. The way of leadership based on knowing the person and the teachings of Jesus gives them the skills to use their talents with enthusiasm and energy for the benefit of all.

pope John Paul II Award

Pope John Paul II Award

This award is dedicated to the memory of Pope John Paul II. He showed a great love of and confidence in young people. Even as he grew older, he reached out to them and presented to them the challenging message of Jesus Christ.

Pope John Paul II Award

At the many World Youth Days at which he presided, he constantly showed his belief in, and enthusiasm for young people. At the World Youth Day in Rome in the year 2000, he told over a million young people "If you are what you should be, you can set the world on fire". Congratulations to all who took part and were awarded with their Gold Medals on November 27th last.

Pope John Paul II Award

All Pictures courtesy of Oliver Doolan, St Michael’s College.

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  Spiritan Faith Friends  
 

On May 16th the students from St Mary’s and Blackrock College who took part in the Spiritan Faith Friends programme came together to get involved in teambuilding games, play Tip Rugby , Soccer, pray and eat! Unfortunately the St. Michael’s lads were busy with the school musical but they were with us in spirit.

Faith Friends

The teamwork games gave us a glimpse at future leaders and innovative team players while the rugby and football brought out the competitive spirit in all. Mr O’ Reilly acted as referee to some very animated playing.

Faith Friends

We had a great day together and our student representatives shared their thoughts on the Faith Friends programme during the liturgy. Many offered prayers and Fr Billy remembered our St Michael’s peers in a special way.

Faith Friends

Having presented each participant with a certificate Fr Marc spoke to the boys about sowing the seeds of faith and how their faith friends experience could be a stepping stone for a growing faith. Caroline thanked the lads for their commitment and their courage to get involved; she also spoke of the DEA’s gratitude to the students for their work with the junior schools. Orla expressed how the boys were a pleasure to work with and encouraged them to continue their searching in faith. The gold medal winners were delighted but everyone was a winner on the day.

Faith Friends

At the end of the Liturgy the lads sang ‘Wonderwall’ which had become somewhat of an anthem this year and after a respectfully received blessing from Fr Marc the formalities concluded.

Faith Friends

Barbara and Maria served up a magnificent feast including full size Magnums! We said our goodbyes and so came the end to a fourth year of Spiritan faith friends.

Faith Friends

A sincere thanks and congratulations to each College: Blackrock College and Willow Park School, St Mary’s Junior and Senior schools, St Michael’s Junior and senior school for facilitating the programme and for the level of commitment shown.

Thanks to Terry O’ Reilly and Fr Francis for being with the group today and helping out.

To all the principals, teachers and chaplains who worked on this programme we are eternally grateful and to all the magnificent Spiritan faith friends we applaud you.

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  Ceist - Joining the Dots  
 

Joining the Dots is a school based programme in spiritual reflection and renewal for staff in faith based schools.

The programme involves approx. 90 minutes one evening a week for five weeks. There are no fees, no travel and no exams!

Such is the uptake of the programme nationally, that CEIST is offering a day for facilitators of Joining the Dots in the Sheraton Hotel on May 8th 2013, free of charge!

If you are interested in training as a facilitator or if you simply wish to familiarise yourself further with the programme then May 8th is the ideal opportunity.

Please contact Siobhan at the CEIST office to book your place at 01-6510350 or sstopes@ceist.ie.

Given the emphasis on the distinctiveness of the various education sectors there is an increasing need to provide for and enrich Christian Leadership in our schools.

Agenda
Day for Facilitators May 8th 2013
10.00 - 11.15 The spirituality of Joining the Dots
11.30 - 1.00 Joining the Dots: An experience
1.00 - 2.00 Lunch
2.00 - 3.30 How to facilitate

Joining the Dots Flyer
Please visit the Ceist web site to download the flyer, at www.ceist.ie

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  Spiritan Faith Friends  
 

Spiritan Faith Friends is a peer ministry programme that runs in two parts. It involves a group of Transition Year students who opt- in to the programme and all of the boys in sixth form who are preparing to celebrate their Confirmation. 
It is in operation for the past four years in the three Junior Spiritan schools and their senior Colleges.

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The Faith Development Officer from our Spiritan Trust body (DEA) Orla Walsh works with the TY students on their own for six sessions. The focus of these sessions is leadership within a Faith context. 

The boys define and refine their leadership skills, develop the confidence to role model, are introduced to the concept of emotional intelligence, explore the leadership of Jesus and look at the Spiritan core values. They themselves choose six key values to develop, own and thus be empowered by. They allow their chosen six pack of values to illuminate their vision of who they will be as a Spiritan Faith Friend.

After each session the students are reminded to engage in written reflective practice and have been provided with journals in which to do so.

When the Leadership training has concluded the Transition Years prepare to meet their sixth form boys. Each TY works with  approximately five sixth class boys. However, no TY works alone as they sit two to a table with between eight and ten Confirmation candidates. The Faith Development Officer and the sixth form teachers and chaplains stay will students during all SFF sessions.

Before each SFF session commences the two groups meet and are led in a prayer space by Chaplains and teachers.

They begin by lighting their own SFF candle with their own crest elegantly displayed on it and both the TY boys and the sixth form boys play an active role in the liturgy. 

During the final session of which there are four, the TY's award each candidate with a signed DEA Spiritan Faith Friends Programme certificate, they sixth form are always very proud to receive their Certs and indeed the TY students are delighted to award them.

The programme will conclude with a wonderful celebration of Confirmation (this year on 23rd February for Willow Park School, 1st March for St Mary’s Junior School and the 19th April for St Michael’s College), and all boys will attend. This is a wonderful occasion and is very much appreciated  by all especially the sixth form boys and their family members. (Due to Confirmation being on a Saturday and space being an  issue only a certain number of boys from TY in Blackrock College can attend).

The TY students are enjoying their participation in the programme and are very valued as faith friends for the sixth form boys.

This year some of the TY’s brought their own spontaneity to the sessions, from singing hymns and songs to clapping the sixth form pupils out of the school in a guard of honour as they made their way to the Church to celebrate their Confirmation! These are wonderful experiences to witness and the sixth formers truly take on a pride in their preparation for their big day and also have immense respect and affection for their senior school faith friend.

It is important to note that this programme does not happen each year without the dedication and coordination of:

BLACKROCK COLLEGE AND WILLOW PARK SCHOOL

Mr Terry O’ Reilly RE Coordinator , Mr Myles Ryan Pastoral team coordinator, Chaplains Fr Hyacinth and Fr Denis Gavin, sixth form teachers, Mr Carl Mageean, Mr Rory Crinion, Mr Ivan Dunne and Mr James Docherty. Also the support and commitment from TY coordinator Ms Christina Nulty and  Transition Year head Mr Owen Brennen and of course school management from the junior school Mr Jim Casey and Mr James Docherty and senior school management Mr Alan McGinty and Mr Brian Herlihy.

Transition Year Participants:

Brian King  William Trueick Craig Duffy Carse Caelum Bourke Gerard Dillon Niall Wilson Michael Reidy Jack Kiernan Daniel Doyle Lars Jager Maurice Buckley Andrew Killian Hanrahan Colin Smyth Greg Hughes Andrew R. Ryan Joshua Gorman Climax Michael O' Leary Kevin Redahan Tom Duke Joshua Kieran-Glennon Andrew Madigan Edward Kennedy Aaron Cassidy Peter Hernan Jay Dolan Brian Poland Austin Dodd Kealan O'Sullivan Paddy Geoghegan

ST MARY’S SENIOR COLLEGE AND ST MARY’S JUNIOR SCHOOL

Mr Frank Foley RE Coordinator, Mr Anthony Leahy and Mr Declan Lacey, Mr John Nesbit Transition Year coordinator, Mr Gordon Smith Transition Year head, Chaplain Fr Francis, Fr Flavin Jr school sacramental Chaplain, sixth form teachers Mr Colm Sweeney and Mr Greg Owen, Jr school Chaplain Mr Ronan Barry and of course school management from the junior school Ms Mary O’ Donnell and Mr Brian Barron and senior school management Mr Denis Murphy and Mr Brian Moore.

Transition Year Participants:

Shane Dempsey Mikey Hoey Oisin Walsh Fionntan Larney Harry Higgins Sam Carse Gareth Delany John Kennedy Killian Hanrahan Jack MacGabhann Daire CassidyDavid Flood Killian O'Mahoney James Nolan James Carey Sean Mc Cahill Dan Hogan

ST MICHAEL’S COLLEGE AND ST MICHAEL’S JUNIOR SCHOOL

Ms Mary Jo Delaney RE coordinator, the Chaplains Fr Tony Little and Mr Oliver Doolan, sixth form teachers Ms Aine Leahy and Ms Dee Crowe. Also the support and commitment from TY coordinator Mr David Wilson, Transition Year head Mr Ben Healy and of course school management from the junior school Ms Lorna Heslin and Ms Dee Hogan and senior school management Mr Tim Kelleher and Mr Aidan O' Donnell.

Transition Year Participants:
Brian McGettigan Nathan McCarthy Ben Maxwell Jack Kennedy Conor Parsons Ronan McCague John Kennedy Harry Stapleton David McCarthy Gavin Homan Sam Harrison Paddy Allen Oisin O'Meara Peter Cuddy Odhran Kerr Gavin Croke

Thank so much to all those who worked so hard to make this happen! You can see from the photographs and the journal feedback that the students greatly benefit from their shared time together.

Sincere gratitude to the wonderful TY’s who worked (and are working) on this year’s programme. We wish all the sixth form groups God’s blessings for their Confirmation year.

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  Spiritan Faith Friends Programme 2  
  Questionnaire  
 

The Spiritan Faith Friends Programme 2 Questionnaire is now available online via a secure Google Docs questionnaire. The questions are required as part of your Spiritan Faith Friends programme and will also be used as part of a doctorate research project only if you and a parent/guardian have signed the informed consent letter. All answers will be anonymous and therefore your information will be held in the strictest confidence. Your name is required for coding purposes only. If this questionnaire is used as part of the research, it will be anonymous.

The questionnaire can be accessed via the following link:

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  YEAR OF FAITH  
 

Last year Pope Benedict announced a special ‘Year of Faith’ would start in October 2012. As a Spiritan educational community we opened the Year of Faith on October 11th with our Spiritan Youth Day.

Year of Faith Logo

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  DECEMBER Prayer Resources  
 

Prayer resources for December are now available for download below to read or use in class. All linked documents are in PDF format and can be viewed with Adobe Reader. Please have a look and see what interests you.

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  ADVENT Prayer Resources  
 

Prayer resources for Advent are now available for download below to read or use in class. All linked documents are in PDF format and can be viewed with Adobe Reader. Please have a look and see what interests you.

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  NOVEMBER Prayer Resources  
 

Prayer resources for November are now available for download below to read or use in class. All linked documents are in PDF format and can be viewed with Adobe Reader. Please have a look and see what interests you.

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  September Prayer Resources  
 

Prayer resources for the new school year are now available for download below to read or use in class. All linked documents are in PDF format and can be viewed with Adobe Reader. Please have a look and see what interests you.

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  Faith Development for Post Primary
Students
 
 


Share the Good News

National catechetical Directory

The General Directory for Catechesis observes that adolescent catechesis often demands a pre-catechetical missionary dimension, bringing the young people alive to the importance of faith before engaging them in a more formally catechetical deepening of faith......Research published in 2000 helps us to focus on what might be useful for young people in Ireland today,... The authors listed four issues as crucial:

1.   Language: developing appropriate symbols that speak to the culture and concerns of young people, inspiring as well as explaining.

2.   Participation: strategies that promote participation, acceptance and a deep experience of community.

3.   Space: providing opportunities for reflection rather than focusing entirely at the level of activity.

4.   Process: awareness of and support for young people in the transitions they make, into secondary education, through puberty, choosing a career, leaving home, etc.

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  Year Of Faith  
 

In 2011, Pope Benedict XVI declared a Year of Faith that will begin on 11 October 2012, on the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Ecumenical Vatican Council, and will conclude on 24 November 2013, the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King.

The beginning of the Year of Faith coincides with the anniversaries of two great events which have marked the life of the Church in our days: the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, called by Blessed Pope John XXIII (11 October 1962), and the twentieth of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, given to the Church by Blessed Pope John Paul II (11 October 1992).

In the Acts of the Apostles, we learn that God has opened the door of faith for the early Church. But God has opened the door of faith for each one us and he invites us to step through the threshold into a deeper relationship with him. The upcoming Year of Faith is an opportunity for every Catholic to turn towards Jesus Christ, encounter him in the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist and rediscover the Faith and Church.

Apostolic Letter – Porta Fidei (Oct 2011)
The “door of faith” (Acts 14:27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church. It is possible to cross that threshold when the word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace. To enter through that door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime.
Pope Benedict XVI


Year of Faith website
For more information – http://www.annusfidei.va/content/novaevangelizatio/en.html

And the Irish Bishops Website:
http://www.catholicbishops.ie/2012/07/09/year-faith-2/

Click on following link to download sheet music for the official hymn of the Year of Faith – Credo Domine :
http://www.kandle.ie/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Credo_Domine.pdf/

Official Year of Faith Logo

Year of Faith Logo
The logo is composed of a square, bordered field on which a boat, symbolizing the Church, is represented as sailing on a graphically minimal representation of waves. The main mast of the boat is a cross from which sails are displayed in the form of dynamic signs which compose the trigram of Christ (IHS). The background to the sails is a sun which, associated with the trigram, refers also to the Eucharist.

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  New Easter Resources  
 

New Easter resources have been added here to read or use in class. Please have a look and see what interests you. The links include downloadable PDF content and links to online resources.

Please note: the Palm Sunday from a child’s point of view file contains text in collapsible word balloons. Click on the small word balloon icon in the top left corner of each page to view or hide the text.

The following are links to online resources:

Resources by Gary Abrahamian, Orla Walsh and gathered from the following websites;

Many thanks to Gary and grateful appreciation for the use of all other sites.

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  National RE Congress 2011  
 

At this time in the life of our country, and our Church, this Congress offers a space for you to come and be nourished.

National R E Congress

This year’s congress will be held in Tralee and will offer the nourishment of the rich heritage of music, poetry and literature which is so integral to Kerry and to the people of Kerry. 

It will offer nourishment from the beautiful landscape of Kerry. It will offer the nourishment of the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed through the liturgies.

At a professional level, through the Keynote addresses and the Workshops, the Congress will offer insights and strategies whereby the participants will be refreshed to engage, as adult Christians are called to do, in passing on that Good News to the next generation.

It will offer the nourishment of engaging with others who share the concerns of disciples of Jesus Christ at this time. The hope is that people will go forth enriched by the different kinds of engagement offered during the Congress and energised to continue to Share the Good News.

For more information please visit: www.recongress.ie.

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  International Eucharistic Congress  
 

Theme: The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with one another.

International Eucharist Congress 2012

Logo:  The Logo, entitled People in Communion, was designed on behalf of the Congress Committee by Martin Barlow of Portadown, Co. Armagh

Site:  The Congress website can be accessed at http://www.iec2012.ie/

Dates:  June 10th – 17th, 2012
Pope Benedict XVI has given his formal approval to the theme proposed by Archbishop Martin for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress: The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with one another.

The Congress theme has its roots in The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, (Lumen Gentium) of the Second Vatican Council, where we read:
Really partaking of the body of the Lord in the breaking of the Eucharistic bread, we are taken up into communion with Him and with one another. "Because the bread is one, we though many, are one body, all of us who partake of the one bread". In this way all of us are made members of His Body, "but severally members one of another" (Lumen Gentium, 7).

The Congress Hymn and the Congress Prayer can be accessed by clicking on the following link:  http://www.iec2012.ie/index.jsp?p=100&n=109

If any sixth years who are 18 in January 2012 would like to be a volunteer for the Congress they can apply online by clicking on the following link: http://www.iec2012.ie/index.jsp?p=100&n=110

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  Spiritan Faith Friends Celebration Day  
 

The Spiritan faith friends programme will come to a close on Monday May 9th when the Transition Year faith friends from St Michael’s, St Mary’s and Blackrock College get together to celebrate their joint efforts and to receive their certificates of achievement. There will be team building activities, tag rugby, a liturgy and a festive lunch together.

Faith Friends 2011

All our students were excellent and are a credit to their families and their schools. They took part wholeheartedly in the programme and really made an effort to share faith. The 6th form boys were delighted in the interest the TY’s took in them and the respect they showed for the sacrament of Confirmation. The TY students were really impressed with the 6th form boys’ energy and ability to engage with them.

We began each session with a prayer service led by Chaplains and teachers where boys from both from Transition Year and 6th form played active roles. We spent time together working through the programme ‘You Shall be my Witness’ and exchanged experiences and stories. The 6th form boys received their certificates from the TY students and now the TY students will bring the programme to a close by coming together and sharing their experience as members of Spiritan schools involved in the same programme and receiving their certificates from the DEA. There will also be a gold medal awarded for the Transition year student who really pushed out the boat and took an active ‘leadership in faith’ role. The recipients of the gold medals will be supplied at a later date.

Sincere thanks to all the Principals, Deputy Principals, Deans, Teachers and Chaplains who enabled this programme to be so successful and worthwhile in each school. To all of those who sourced rooms, organised music, coordinated and supervised groups and so on, we are so grateful. To all the TY’s who stepped up to the mark and did such an excellent job we applaud you! WELL DONE!

Patrick Lavelle, Hugh LeGear, Simon Leonard, Andrew Loughnane, Mark McCarthy, Adam McCloskey, Conor McGovern,Jack McQuade, Ciaran McSweeney, Eduardo Moffatt, Michael Moriarty,Daniel Nolan,Dylan O'Reilly, Eoin Regan, Garry Ringrose, Charlie Rock, Jack Rush, Patrick Keegan, Shane Kelly, Ian Kennedy, Oliver Jaeger, Aaron Hartnett, Ross Ryan, Gareth Henry, Cillian Ryan John Basquel, Geoffrey McKibben, Leo Phelan, Matthew Larney, Matthew Ambrose, Jack Connery, Conor Rock, Ciaran Dunne, Stephen Maguire, Bernard Holmes, Colm Dunne, Jeffrey Donnelly, Joe Ronaldson, Steven O’Brien, Ross Holohan, Frank Devlin, Cormac Byrne, Conor O’ Leary, Mark McCarthy, Gavin Fitzgerald, Carl Healion, Conor, Garvey, Michael Purcell, Tom Cleary, Richard Crowe, James Eggers, Jacob Farrell, Jordan Hannon, Richard Killeen, Kelvin Leahy, Peter Molloy, Josh Murphy, Shane O' Brien and Nicholas Quane.

This Faith Friends Liturgy can be viewed by clicking on the following link:

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  Spiritan Youth Day 2011  
 

A warm welcome to all attending our first ever Spiritan Youth Day on the 7th of April at the D4 Hotel, Ballsbridge. Our chosen theme echoes the Spiritan core values and invites us to believe, belong and become.

What we believe centers around our core values of Openness to the Spirit and our Sense of Community. A sense of belonging is developed from our Concern for the Poor, our Commitment to Service and our Global Vision. Our ability to become all that we have been called to be is nurtured by our High Educational Standards together with our Personal and Faith Development.

This is a day for all Transition Year students encouraging them to believe in themselves and each other as well as entering into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We believe in the precious Spiritan legacy that has been nurtured and handed on for the past 150 years in Ireland and wish to illuminate for students that belonging to this community and playing an active role in the handing on of its legacy is a very honourable position to be in.

The Spiritan Youth Day is about cherishing our belief, celebrating our belonging and inspiring each other to realise our full human potential, to become all that we are called to be. We invite everyone to participate and engage wholeheartedly with the programme of the day.

For further information please click on the brochure link below:

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  Catholic Schools Week 2011 Mass  
 

Mass for Catholic Schools Week celebrated by Bishop Brendan Kelly with the Children's Choir from St. Clare's N.S., Harold’s Cross, Dublin was broadcast by RTÉ on Sunday 30th January 2011.

Catholic Schools Week Mass

This mass can be viewed via the following links:

Please note the Catholic Schools Week mass can be viewed on the RTÉ Player until Sunday 20th of February.

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  Catholic Schools Week 2011  
 

The resources for Catholic Schools Week 2011 (30th January – 5th February) are now ready to download.

Catholic Schools Week 2011

Resource material includes suggestions for prayer, reflection on the Catholic traditions of the school, liturgical ideas for prayer and Eucharist, crosswords and quizzes. A special feature of this year’s resources will be a guided reflection on the Pastoral Letter of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI to the Catholics of Ireland.

Resources:

Click on links to download

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  November A Time To Remember  
 

November is a time when we remember the souls of our loved ones who have gone before us.   As we remember those who have died and pray for them, we do so with great hope in our hearts. 

Fr Paddy Byrne has a weekly column in the Carlow Nationalist.
This column appeared on 29th October 2008


The Celtic festival of Samhain marked a significant moment in the year. Samhain was the beginning of winter. Herders led the cattle and sheep down from their summer hillside pastures to the shelter of stable and byre.
The harvest of Lunasa, now gathered would nourish and sustain its people, providing sustenance and energy for this more difficult and vulnerable time of the year. As the darkness of winter began to cover the land, the Celtic people believed that the Gods of the next world were now close at hand. So too were the souls of all their loved ones who had gone before them. Folklore and customs such as fires, costume wearing etc… All come from this very rich tradition that we have inherited and adapted very much in our own Christian story.

Celtic Crosses

Similarly as Christians, November is the time of the year when we too remember the souls of all our loved ones who have gone before us. The leaves have fallen and trees stand bare. The land now harvested rests and lies fallow, winter points us to mortality and death, one day with great certainty we too all of us will die.

Death is difficult and indeed painful. Death strips us of the familiar and leaves us often both naked and vulnerable, with our bereavement and painful losses, we all have experienced when a loved one dies. The Death of a loved one often leaves us asking many questions struggling in finding answers as we wrestle in the coping and continuing of our day to day without a husband or wife, Sibling or friend. The great Christian writer C.S. Lewis describing his experience of loss simply said, “The tears and loss that I now feel is the love we once shared,”

Perhaps the two most powerful lines in the entire Gospel describe the human emotion felt by Jesus when his friend Lazarus died, “Jesus wept”. Jesus knew the pain and hurt that comes to visit when someone we love dies. In fact in order for God to fully embrace the human condition, he also through his Son had to embrace death itself. The humiliating and brutal manner of Christ’s death united God with all experiences of suffering and persecution. The final words that came from our dying God was a prayer of welcome and wonderful invitation:“Today you will be with me in paradise”.

We know from our experience of the seasons that the leaves will blossom again, that spring will come. Christ’s death was an ultimate demonstration of love by his father. As he was awoken to new life and resurrection, so too are all of us, who believe in him. As we remember our loved ones who have died and pray for them, we do so with great hope in our hearts. St. Paul tells us that:
“Our true home is in heaven,”

May all our loved ones enjoy the eternal promise of life and peace in the happiness and joy of God’s presence. Jesus tells us:
“I am going ahead of you to prepare a place for you. So that where I am, you too shall be.”

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  First Year Induction Retreats  
 

The energy was palpable and the enthusiasm abundant in all our first year retreats. The boys mixed very well with their classes and enjoyed learning about the Spiritan community as much as learning about each other.

Our Induction retreat took the themes of opportunity, values, hope, potential and centered them in a faith context. We explored the concept of living as a community with and for each other. The boys diligently wrote up their worksheets, shared their opinions and showed a great sense of companionship with us and each other. Many were learning about the DEA and the Spiritan community for the first time and the boys from the Junior schools supported and enabled this learning. 

At the end of each retreat we celebrated the sacrament of the Eucharist with our group. The boys took an active role in their liturgy by reading their prayers of the faithful and describing their offertory gifts. In some cases the first years sang and acted out the Liturgy of the Word which was wonderful to observe.

We are delighted to have met most of the Spiritan first years and hope the-y all enjoyed their time here. We extend a huge thank you to the wonderful teachers who worked with us on our retreat team and the school management who facilitated this effective teamwork.

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  Spiritan Retreats - the story so far  
 

Towards the end of last tern we invited schools to book their 1st, 5th & 6th years to come and avail of a half-day retreat at Kimmage Manor. There was a wonderful response to our invitation and below are the dates booked. The retreats will be facilitated by Caroline, Fr Marc and myself. Some of our teachers and chaplains have kindly offered to help out and so we hope to have a teacher from one Spiritan school facilitate a retreat group from a different Spiritan school. We aim to begin this sharing of resources on a small scale this year and are truly grateful for the offer of support. The themes for the retreats are as follows:

1st years: Induction Retreat; Beginning Again.
6th years: Push out into the deep; ‘duc in altum’
5th years: Global solidarity

As this is a new initiative we welcome any suggestions or ideas that you may wish to share. Please feel free to get in touch.

Many thanks
Orla

Each Retreat is from 9.1Sam - 1.30pm, please bring a packed lunch.

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  November Dates  
 

1. FIFTH YEAR RETREATS THEME: GLOBAL SOLIDARITY
    Tuesday, 16 November
    Wednesday, 17 November
    Tuesday, 23 November
    Wednesday, 24 November
    Venue: Contact for further information

2. EARTH PRAYER
    FDO working with individual classes in Willow Senior supporting the
    Green School initiative.
    Date: Sunday, 7 November
    Venue: Contact for further information

3. SCHOOLS CHAPLAINCY ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE
    Date: Wednesday, 24 November - Friday, 26 November
    Venue: See website below for details:
    http://www.schoolchaplains.ie/schoolchaplains/Main/Home.htm

4. MISSION ALIVE NATIONAL POST –PRIMARY STUDENTS’ COMPETITION
    Closing date for competition entries.
    Date: Tuesday, 30 November

5. RAINBOWS TRAINING
    Date: Friday 26 & Saturday 27 November
    Venue: St Michael’s Junior School
    Teachers and Chaplains enrolled for Course: Approx 26

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