Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare & Leighlin spoke to leaving cert students during a ceremony for the class of 2020 after the announcement that the leaving cert examinations for this year have been cancelled.
Speaking directly to students during his homily he said, “Let no one ever say ‘sure you’re the class of 2020, you’ve had it easy’ because you haven’t. So much, too much has been asked of you in recent weeks as you were summersaulted from one possible scenario to another.”
Taking into account the broader picture of what the leaving cert means to students, and the closure it brings to their formative school years, Bishop Nulty said, “The Leaving Cert is a Rite of Passage. It’s more than a school, it’s the spirit. It’s more than a class, it’s the memories. It’s more than a team, it’s the bonding.”
Bishop Nulty has a special relationship with the class of 2020, as this was the first group of students he confirmed as a Bishop in 2014. He said, “You were the very first classes I confirmed back in the Spring of 2014, my first ceremony in Carbury parish. And I remember looking everywhere for the Church in Carbury and it all the time in Derrinturn! I invited you then to write me a letter and perhaps I read yours on Confirmation Day.
“Like yourselves I’m conscious of the many boys and girls, perhaps your younger siblings, who also have missed celebrating their Confirmation and First Holy Communion days. They too will have their day in time.”
In conclusion, Bishop Nulty said “As you step out on your journey beyond the Leaving Cert of 2020 may you bring others with you; there is no need to worry or to be stressed. As in the current pandemic the Lord is always present with us. Sometimes like in Luke’s gospel we don’t always recognise Him, but He is always there.”