Catholic Schools Week 2017 was marked in Naas Parish in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin with a special liturgy which Bishop Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin presided over.
The ceremony was attended by staff and pupils from all nine Primary Schools in Naas – six of them under the Bishop’s patronage: Mercy Convent, Primary; Scoil an Linbh Íosa; Scoil Bhríde; St. Corban’s Boys N.S.; Two Mile House & Sallins N.S. and three under a different patronage: Gaelscoil Nás na Ríogh; Killashee Multi-Denominational N.S. and Naas Community N.S. Currently there are 4,065 pupils attending primary education in Naas.
During the ceremony, each of the schools were presented with a copy of the Children’s Catholic Bible for every classroom by Father Liam Morgan PP Naas and the parish team there. The bible is the one recommended by the Kildare and Leighlin Diocesan Religious Advisor, Maeve Mahon who was also present at the ceremony.
The Catholic Schools Week celebration included hymns, readings and prayers of the faithful recited by different pupils. In his homily for the liturgy, Bishop Nulty encouraged the young students to be people who used their heads, their hands and their hearts. He reminded them of his recent Ad Limina visit to Rome with all the other bishops, where education was a very frequent topic for discussion. He thanked the school principals and staff for their great commitment to education, and recalled his own school days where every pupil knew the teacher and the priest very well, such was the concept of school and parish and how closely they were embedded.
The theme for Catholic Schools Week 2017 was inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, on care for our common home. Bishop Nulty said that the best educators are the younger children who take great pride in serving on the Green Schools Committee, who understand recycling and have grown up in an era of understanding better the environment around them. Bishop Denis particularly thanked the children present for the example they continue to give in caring more deeply and appreciating more keenly the planet around us.
The celebration in Naas took place on the particular day of Catholic Schools Week dedicated to Grandparents and Bishop Nulty reminded all present that often it is the grandparent who take on the role of childminder, who supply the evening meal, who do the school run and he said that they should never be taken for granted.
Bishop Nulty concluded the liturgy by thanking the schools and the local parish team. He then shared a prayer to Saint Brigid.
“You were a woman of peace.
You brought harmony where there was conflict
You brought light to the darkness.
You brought hope to the downcast.
May the mantle of your peace cover those who are troubled and anxious,
And may peace be firmly rooted in our hearts and in our world.
Inspire us to act justly and to reverence all God has made.
Brigid you were a voice for the wounded and the weary.
Strengthen what is weak within us.
Calm us into a quietness that heals and listens
May we grow each day into greater wholeness in mind, body and spirit. Amen.”
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