To mark the opening of the Academic Year 2022/23, Archbishop Dermot Farrell of Dublin, celebrated Mass at Saint Patrick’s Campus DCU, on 22 September.

At the outset of his homily, Archbishop Farrell drew attention to the many challenges facing the world today. He said “It is in this difficult context that the young people in our schools, colleges, and universities live their lives, and undertake their studies. To see them in classrooms, lecture halls, or corridors, to glimpse them in the street or when they are out and about, one might think the global situation does not impinge on them, but what happens in the world at large is like the air we breathe: its presence may be almost imperceptible, but its effects, both long-term and short-term, can be very real.”

Emphasising the vocational nature of teaching, the Archbishop of Dublin said, “When we pray for vocations, does it not also make sense to include the vocation of teaching?” He continued, “Must we not continue to foster networks of community involvement, and develop ways that encourage those called to be teachers to enter deeply into the life and mystery of this vital service of all God’s people? Is this not what Pope Francis means by Synodality?”

In conclusion. the Primate of Ireland said, “I put before you the closing lines of a reflection from the late Bishop Ken Untener (d. March 27, 2004), of Saginaw, Michigan in the USA. Reflecting on all that can be expected of any who undertake a life of service, and that’s what a life in education truly is, he remarked,

We cannot do everything and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something and to do it well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest. We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.

We are prophets of a future not our own.

“May Christ the Teacher shape our hearts, and bless the work of our hands (see Psalm 89).”

To read the full homily, click here.