There has been an ongoing discussion in the comments here about Catholic education, and issues arising from faith schools. I thought that it would be useful to write a few thoughts about this myself for two reasons. Firstly I can state my case clearly. Secondly this will provide a forum for readers and commenters on this issue, if of course anyone still has something to add to the debate!
Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Welcome Mass for first year pupils at my children’s High School. The hall was full; the children and the adults sang out, although thankfully more in tune than I was; and Father O’Brien spoke to the children about how wonderful they were and what possibilities awaited them as they moved through the school.
Many teachers turned out, whether to participate in the service, to lead the singing, play piano, or to organise the tea and biscuits afterwards. Many pupils from sixth year in the school came out on a Thursday evening in full uniform to help and to be there as an example for the new pupils. Other pupils came along, where they had siblings amongst the first year pupils. The commitment of teachers and pupils to the spirit of Catholic education is vital. Continue reading