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Chaplaincy News

Student's Examtime Prayer

C MacCuibh

The prayers of the School Chaplains'Association and it's members are with all students who are undertaking State Examinations this week. A candle remains lit for you as a mark of our solidarity and support.

Dear Lord,
Give me the spirit of calm to prepare well.
Give me the spirit of wisdom to choose the right questions.
Give me the spirit of reason to answer to the best of my ability.
Allow me do myself justice.
Help me be a source of encouragement for my classmates and friends.
Guide me through the days ahead and keep me always in your care.


The Chaplain - Reflections of a Parent

C MacCuibh

Enter the Chaplain! Who is this person? What role is played by the chaplain in the school community? Is there a necessity for this person? Is a chaplain, lay or religious? Likely to force 'religion' down the throats of our young people? What will the chaplain do for my child? Perhaps the chaplain has nothing to do with us anyway? 

Your life as parents begins with a little bundle of joy. As the first few years progress from babyhood to early childhood, this tiny infant depends on you totally. The process is one of learning, growing, and developing in an interactive way which affects both the child and parent. In the blink of an eye the first five years fly by and primary school beckons. Even if your child has attended nursery school, there is a tangible change between that and the child's formal education. 

The school years

At primary level the change in your child becomes keenly apparent. All you seem to hear from your 'baby' is 'teacher says this' and 'teacher says that'. Suddenly you realise that you are sharing your child with someone else, someone who is also special to the child. Nonetheless, you have to let go and that can be hard. You must remember that this is a time of adventure and development for the child which demands adjustment on your part. 

After the quickest eight years of parent/teacher meetings, sales of work, school trips, plays, sports days, first communion and, finally the 'big one', confirmation, you feel prepared for the next step - second level education, another chapter in all your lives. Yet, maybe you are not as ready as you thought. Instead of having just one teacher your child now has seven or eight excluding the guidance counsellor, remedial teacher and, if fortunate enough, the chaplain. Here you have people who are specialists in an array of subjects all mapping out your child's future. However, while all of these people claim a significant role in the life of your child, the chaplain is the one who might well have the most crucial part to play. 

The Chaplain

For example, the chaplain would have a greater awareness that some teenagers question the need for God in their lives. Many would seriously question institutionalised religion, finding it irrelevant and the liturgical practice of it boring. Religious parents often find their offspring rebelling against church teaching and authority, even to the point of finding attendance at Mass embarrassing because it is something that 'oldies' do. In this context, how many parents can indentify with the favourite modern teenage dictum, 'it's a waste of space'? Where the good chaplain comes in is to meet the young people on their terms. From a position of greater independence and objectivity, the chaplain is sometimes better able to provide the religious guidelines required for a life of faith. This can be very enlightening for a teenager. Yet, while pupils may get used to seeing the chaplain around on a regular basis, the parents, living and working in a different environment, are less likely to be aware of the everyday role of the chaplain. 

So what part might the chaplain play at this significant stage of life for both parents and students? Perhaps the most important things is for the chaplain to encourage parents to take a further look at their own development. It might be possible for the chaplain to assist the parents in the discovery of their own hidden, inner abilities. In certain cases, sometimes at an early age, the talents of many parents were set aside or suppressed owing to the demands of parenthood. As a result many parents suffered from a lack of self-esteem. Where this has been neglected, they might now have the time and inclination to pay greater attention to their personal, social and educational needs. It may even be possible that the chaplain might be the one to harness the energy of these considerations to the good of the parents and the wider school community. 

Accordingly, the chaplain might set up a Parents Resource Group. In time it would be possible for this group to run courses and programmes to suit the needs of other parents. For example, work done in areas such as drugs, peer pressure, bullying, personal awareness, assistance to teachers, bereavement, separation and home study timetabling, might accomplish great results. If parents were to be recruited annually to the resource group it would give the necessary injection of new ideas and energy. The success of the group would depend on the enthusiasm and interest of the chaplain, with the added advantage of leaving the chaplain free to explore fresh avenues of development for the future.  

What is most encouraging for parents is that, in a society which places a great deal pressure on young people, the chaplain is a sensitive, caring, reliable and available resource for all connected with second level schooling. Where the chaplain works together the parents, it is possible that our teenagers will emerge well adjusted after five or six years of the school cycle. This working together will contribute to the self-esteem and confidence of the young people. In turn they will become persons who will be capable of giving to, rather than taking from society. I read once of the parent-child relationship that, 'our children are like arrows and we are the bows'. It is up to the parents to send the 'arrows' out into the world in good condition. Undoubtedly, it is up to the chaplain to remember that the 'bows' also need tending.  

Pauline King (parent)

'Reflection of a parent - Pauline King' used with permission.

'The Chaplain: a faith presence in the school community', by Luke Monahan SM and Caroline Renehan. 

Darkness Into Light, Saturday May 6th, 2017

C MacCuibh

Darkness Into Light (DIL) is Pieta House’s annual fundraising and awareness event. It started with approximately 400 people in the yellow DIL T-shirts walking the 5km course in Dublin’s Phoenix Park in 2009. This year, they will have roughly 150 DIL venues across Ireland and worldwide. Last year they had 130,000 people sharing the light and helping to promote suicide prevention and to tackle the stigma that leads people to the doors of Pieta House centres. Join in this Saturday 6th May!

Teen Mental Health in Ireland today...(Day 3)

C MacCuibh

Happy Mothers Day to all Mums this Sunday!

C MacCuibh

 1 Corinthians 13:4-7  – Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous; is not proud; is not conceited; does not act foolishly; is not selfish; is not easily provoked to anger; keeps no record of wrongs; takes no pleasure in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

When it comes to the Bible’s most well-known passage on love, mothers are beautiful examples of the high calling of love that is described. 

Lúireach Phádraig Saint Patrick's Breastplate

C MacCuibh

Lúireach Phádraig Saint Patrick's Breastplate

Críost liom,
Críost romham,
Críost i mo dhiaidh,
Críost istigh ionam,

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ within me,

Críost fúm,
Críost os mo chionn,
Críost ar mo lámh dheas,
Críost ar mo lámh chlé,

Christ below me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right hand,
Christ on my left hand,

Críost i mo lúi dom,
Críost i mo sheasamh dom,

Christ in my sleeping,
Christ in my waking,

Críost i gcrói gach duine atá ag cuimhneamh orm,
Críost i mbéal gach duine a labhráionn lom,
Críost i ngach súil a fhéachann orm,
Críost i ngach cluas a éisteann liom.

Christ in the heart of all who think of me,
Christ in the mouth of all who speak of me,
Christ in every eye that looks at me,
Christ in Every ear that listens to me.

Springtime 🌼❤️

C MacCuibh

Your message of hope
to a world tiring of winter’s starkness,
longing for that first crocus
to push through snow’s icy blanket
and spread its leaves, 
like arms outstretched, 
to its creator.
Our yearly reminder, if we needed one,
that to a world that was dark and cold,
a world devoid of love’s sweet warmth,
you sent your Son
to break through sin’s icy blanket,
and, arms outstretched
on a cross,
he brought us
Thank you

A sleeping world emerges to new possibilities,
weakening winter's icy grip, 
and birdsong and bleating lamb
announce to all the promise
that in due season
creation bursts into life.
And whilst leaves that fell in winter
lie upon the ground,
soon to feed the earth,
in nature's wondrous cycle
of death and rebirth,
within the tree is a stirring of new growth.

There is real wisdom, Lord, in the adage
'It is always Springtime in the heart that loves God.' 
Springtime is a season of optimism and hope,
and the Christian lives a faith centred on hope. 
Winter, with its cold and dark days has gone, 
just as Good Friday has passed to Easter and beyond. 
We live a resurrection life
reflected in the new life springing up around us. 
Thank you, Lord, for the hope that you bring, 
the renewal that you bring, 
both to this world and to our hearts and lives.


For the cycle of life
which brings death and rebirth
A. We rejoice in the promise of Spring

For lengthening days
and sunlight's warmth upon the soil
A. We rejoice in the promise of Spring

For a snowdrop's beauty
reflecting its Creator's artistry
A. We rejoice in the promise of Spring

For new born lambs
their joy and exuberance
A. We rejoice in the promise of Spring

for all of creation
and the majesty of its Creator
A. We rejoice in the promise of Spring

Read more at:

Lenten Prayers, Blessing and Prayer Service

C MacCuibh

A Blessing for Lent

Go forth into the world in peace,

be of good courage. 

hold fast what is good, 

render no one evil for evil, 

strengthen the faint-hearted, 

support the weak.

help the afflicted,

honour all people, 

love and serve the Lord, 

rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit,

and the Blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be upon you and remain with you forever. 


The Fast Life

Fast from judging others;
      Feast on Christ dwelling in them.
Fast from fear of illness;
      Feast on the healing power of God.
Fast from words that pollute;
      Feast on speech that purifies.
Fast from discontent;
      Feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger;
      Feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism;
      Feast on hope.
Fast from negatives;
      Feast on encouragement.
Fast from bitterness;
      Feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern;
      Feast on compassion.
Fast from suspicion;
      Feast on truth.
Fast from gossip;
      Feast on purposeful silence.
Fast from problems that overwhelm;
      Feast on prayer that sustains.
Fast from anxiety;
      Feast on faith.

(Author Unknown)

Conference 2017

C MacCuibh

Save the date and enjoy a fantastic weekend in Limerick!

Our annual conference offers a space to catch up, share and update resources, as an association we feel it is essential that we continue to organise it. Your feedback is very important and we have taken on board concerns about the location and venue. Therefore we have booked the Radisson Blu Hotel in Limerick for October 20th and 21st. We would appreciate your help in promoting it amongst your colleagues and friends involved in chaplaincy. The theme this year is 'Hope Anchors the Soul' (Heb 6:19). In a world of change and uncertainty, we hope to focus on that which keeps us and those with whom we work grounded, hopeful and safe. Please mark that date in your diary and keep an eye here for further details.