In his homily at Mass to mark the beginning of Catholic Schools Week 2021, Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin, has thanked local school communities for their resilience during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year’s Catholic Schools Week will be celebrated in lockdown. Primary and Post-Primary school communities are unable to be physically together this year to celebrate. The focus of this year’s celebration is resilience. 

Addressing this theme, Bishop Doran said, “The theme of Catholic Schools Week this year is: “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith and Resilience”. The word resilience seems particularly important. It is about that inner strength that allows us to keep going; to get up again when we are knock down; to be doers of the word and not just hearers; to stand up and be counted. In a Catholic School, our faith is as much about how we are with one another as about what we say. Our rituals, if they are to have any meaning or value, must influence the way we live.

“I think all of you who are involved in school communities in the Diocese have learnt the meaning of resilience this past year. It has been a very challenging year. I want to thank you all, students and teachers, ancillary staff, parents and board members, for your example of resilience and generous service. I’m sure many of you never thought you would hear yourselves saying: “I wish I could get back to school”. I hope you have managed to keep up with your learning and your search for truth. I’m sure this year has raised questions for all of us about the deeper meaning of things. It would be easy at a time like this to put faith and religious education on the back burner. I think, however, that real searchers after truth will know that “the Lord guides the humble in the right path (Psalm). Jesus Christ is a light for our footsteps and a well-nourished faith leads to resilience for the road ahead.”

Bishop Doran went on to say, “Our modern day schools are very different places, but Catholic Schools are still called to be communities of faith and learning. Subjects like Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics seek the truth about the physical world. Languages and Music are about understanding people and their culture. Faith pushes out beyond the material world to seek the Truth that gives meaning to the universe and to our human existence. That Truth is God himself. The faith should not take the place of learning. Neither should the learning push faith into the background. Faith and learning are natural partners.”
You can read his homily in full on www.elphindiocese.ie and download the Catholic Schools Week Resources on www.catholicschools.ie.
ENDS