Catholic Schools’ Week was celebrated from 26th January till 2nd February. During this week Catholic Schools in Ireland were invited to celebrate their Catholic identity and to reach out to their parishes in a spirit of faith.
Each year St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Stanhope Street, Dublin 7 celebrates CSW by highlighting the event in a colourful display on the school corridor, by praying each day over the intercom on the theme for the week and by setting aside a full class period to celebrate our identity with a Prayer Service in the gym hall for the whole school. Religious Education teachers are also invited to explore the theme in their R.E. classes.
The theme for CSW this year was:
Catholic Schools in the Faith Community – Sharing the Good News.
Our Prayer Service began with students processing into the Hall carrying religious icons/objects relating to our Catholic identity.
Each item was carried forward by a student in a ritualised way, received by an R.E. teacher and placed on the altar while two students read a commentary relating to the significance of the icon/object. The final object placed on the altar was a globe carried by an African student to symbolise and celebrate the richness of the many different religious traditions in our school.
The Scripture reading from St. Paul’s letter to Timothy which stressed the importance of keeping the flame of faith alive was read by one of the catechists. This was followed by a short reflection on the reading after which “The Song of a Young Prophet” was sung by a fifth year student.
The importance of the three communities of faith: the family, the school and the parish was explained by three students. The first student linked the key role of the family in nurturing the faith with a bowl in which a student set a seed. The second student linked the role of the school community in the development of the faith with a budding plant to highlight the growth in faith which is happening during secondary education. The role of the parish in the life of faith was symbolised by a colourful bowl of growing flowers. This highlighted the blossoming of the faith within a parish when communities gather together for worship and engage in service to the community.
Three students performed a Prayer Dance to “Christ has no Body now but Yours” by John Michael Talbot, to remind all present that Christ depends on us, His Body, to further the work of evangelisation and service.
Prayers of Intercession were read by staff and students after which Ms. Maedhbh Daltun, Principal, concluded the Service with a prayer.
At the end of the service, eight students were awarded the Mother Mary Aikenhead certificates for their outstanding contribution to school life and the Principal commended all involved in the preparation of and participation in the Prayer Service. She likewise praised all the students for their prayerful attendance and their good behaviour during the Prayer Service.