Recently Bishop Fintan Gavin made a Pastoral Visit to Schull Community College in West Cork where he was warmly welcomed on arrival by School Principal Ms. Sarah Buckley, Deputy Principal Mr. Brendan Drinan and members of the Student Council.
Students and staff assembled for a Prayer Service based on Pope Francis’ 2015 Encyclical “Laudato Si’ ” and focused on the theme of “Caring for the Earth our common home”.
Two local priests, Fr. Myles McSweeney Co-PP and Fr. Anthony Buckley CC also participated in the Liturgy which was prepared and presented by School Chaplain Ms. Imelda McCarthy and RE Teacher Ms. Karen Sheehan.
The ceremony was greatly enhanced by the beautiful singing and musical accompaniment provided by the students. A notable feature of the introduction were the messages of welcome communicated in eight different languages representing the diverse population as well as the harmonious relationships that exist locally and among the student population of Schull Community College.
Bishop Fintan’s message to students was based on his experience of World Youth Day in Lisbon last August with 40 young people from the Diocese. Bishop Fintan echoed Pope Francis’ words on that occasion and urged the students in Schull to realise that God loves us and to let our light shine. He also encouraged them to listen to God’s voice in their lives and not be afraid.
A tour of school facilities and various classrooms including the Planetarium and Learning Support services was followed by a tree planting ceremony to mark the occasion of the Bishop’s visit.
It also afforded Bishop Fintan an opportunity to recognise the 40th Anniversary of the foundation of Schull Community College in which he as Bishop shares in the management function under the Model Agreement which established the college in 1983.
A visit to the staffroom before his departure afforded an opportunity for the Bishop to interact with staff as he shared in some light refreshments with them.