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Laurel Hill, Limerick - Croagh Patrick Pilgrimage

On the 5th of May 2017, sixty Laurel Hill fourth years ventured up to Mayo to undertake one of Ireland’s highest mountain, Croagh Patrick. Tensions were high when we first spotted our first initial glimpse of our hike to come, especially when the peak of the mountain was out of view. I had no clue what to expect as I, nor any of the other girls, had any previous experience of walking uphill on a steep slope. Croagh PAtrick is said to be one of the most inspiring places of prayer in Ireland, and we had the chance to experience this for ourselves.

Every year up to twenty two thousand pilgrims climb Croagh Patrick. It is a tradition that goes back as far as almost fifteen hundred years ago. It is a place in rural Ireland that gives you the opportunity to meet other people, from both near and far, along the way.Before beginning our climb we were informed that an archaeologist discovered evidence of Christian activity,in nineteen ninety four, but also showed that Croagh Patrick was a place of tremendous importance in the pre-Christian era, as indicated by the discovery of a Celtic hill fort encircling the summit of the mountain. I made sure that I had bought a stick for support before I began the forbidding trek. Although I had never done Croagh Patrick before, from what I had heard it was pretty rocky towards the top.

Although the walk may look long and sinister from the bottom, I can assure you that it is not any of the sort. It was a great bonding experience that required each girl in my year to encourage one another to continue , and to never give up. It was a great way to help one realise that if you are in the correct mindset anything is possible. A lot of support from friends is needed as you venture off towards the latter part of the mountain. All that saying however it is very possible to accomplish the climb on your own too. It really depends on whatever you’re more comfortable doing yourself.

I thoroughly enjoyed every second of the hike because to me it felt very personal. At the end of the day it was a big achievement for all of the girls who reached the top. I was in absolute awe of the three hundred and sixty views of scenery that surrounded us on the peak.Magnificent views of Clew Bay and the surrounding south Mayo countryside are spectacular from all stages of the ascent of the mountain. It was breathtaking, something that no words can describe. You really have to see the views for yourself in person to be able to comprehend the spectacular landscape. Pictures really do not do it justice. We all were encouraged to make it to the top, no matter how much time we needed to do so. We walked at a pace that was comfortable for us, which resulted in many groups being formed along the way. After about an hour and twenty minutes the first group finally reached the summit.

Located on the peak of the mountain is a petite, white chapel that opens on special occasions throughout the Catholic calendar. It was gorgeous, and apparently there’s amazing stories of people getting married in it in the past. We were grateful for our quick pitstop on the summit. We embraced the Irish heritage that surrounded us. Everything we had in view at that moment reminded us of what a phenomenal world God has created. We all sang together, prayed together and laughed together. It was very memorable.

The journey back down was long, but really worthwhile because of the beautiful views. The walk back down had me, and many other, thinking about how we have many distractions  in our lives, but this gave us peace and quiet to step back from our hectic lives, and gain an insight into what really matters. It was such a scenic route and it made for perfect picturesque photos, and some very good memories too.

I’m so glad I chose to do Croagh Patrick as it was realistically something that I, and many other girls, may not get the chance to do again in the future. It is definitely something that I can now check off my bucket list. It was a fantastic achievement for all the girls who got involved, and it was so much fun too. For me it will be forever an incredible experience that I will not forget.

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Ard Scoil Raheny on TV

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Ard Scoil Raheny were recently featured on RTE’S News2day. Local Primary school students were invited to visit the school to experience a day in Secondary School and teachers and students were interviewed. Click on the link and see the lovely story.

http://www.rte.ie/player/hu/show/news2day-30001385/10732662/#pos=18 

Image Source: See the link above

 
St. John's College Ballyfermot Presidential Visit

To commemorate the 60th anniversary of St. John's College, President Michael D. Higgins was invited to visit St. John’s College Ballyfermot on 4th May, 2017.
A great gathering of the College community: pupils and teachers from both the Primary and Secondary Schools assembled in the Hall, together with representatives of the Le Cheile Trust, the members of the Board of Management , Parents, past pupils, retired teachers of the College and a number of special guests, including members of the De La Salle Brothers.
In preparation for his visit, the students worked incredibly hard on display projects with the theme ' St. John's College through the decades'. Tutor classes were each assigned a decade and students created work to showcase their decades. During his visit, President Higgins visited the exhibitions and spoke to student representatives. He also met our Gaelbhratch Coiste Gaelige, our student council and our Under 16 and Under 18 G.A.A teams.
President Higgins was introduced by Ferdia O' Kelly, Chairperson of the Board of Management. Music was provided by the wonderful choir from De La Salle National school. President Higgins was presented with a mosaic picture frame, made by our J.C.S.P students in their Art class to commemorate his time at St. John's College. It was a wonderful occasion for the school community, and enjoyed by all who attended. President Higgins spoke about his concern about bullying and a link to his very passionate speech is provided here.

Click here for speech at St. John’s College 60th Anniversary celebrations by Áras an Uachtaráin

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The celebrations took the form of a great gathering of the College community: all pupils and teachers from both the Primary and Secondary Schools assembled in the Hall, together with representatives of the Le Cheile Trust, the members of the Board of Management , Parents, past pupils, retired  teachers of the College and a number of special guests, including members of the De La Salle Brothers.

 In preparation for his visit, the students worked incredibly hard on projects to be displayed. The overarching  theme chosen for these projects was ' St. John's College through the decades'. Tutor classes were each assigned a decade and students created work to showcase their decades. During his visit, President Higgins visited the exhibitions and spoke to student representatives. He also met our Gaelbhratch Coiste Gaelige, our student council and our Under 16 and Under 18 G.A.A teams.

 President Higgins was introduced by Ferdia O' Kelly, Chairperson of the Board of Management. Music was provided by the wonderful choir from De La  Salle National school. President Higgins was presented with a mosaic picture frame, made by our J.C.S.P students in their Art class  to commemorate his time at St. John's College. It was a wonderful occasion for the school community, and enjoyed by all who attended. 

 
Patrician Newbridge chosen to host Cycle Against Suicide

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2FM DJ Colm Hayes and former Kildare footballer, Johnny Doyle, were on hand recently to launch the Patrician Secondary School as a host school for the Cycle Against Suicide.

Click here to read Newbridge school chosen to host Cycle Against SuicideNewbridge school chosen to host Cycle Against Suicide on www.leinsterleader.ie

Image Source: http://www.leinsterleader.ie/news/local-news/244166/newbridge-school-chosen-to-host-cycle-against-suicide.html 

 
F.C.J. Bunclody Students win prize in Know Mercy Competition

The Ferns Diocesan Pastoral Council recently ran a competition - Project Mercy - for post primary schools in the diocese.   We're delighted to say that two T.Y. students from F.C.J. Secondary School, Bunclody, Co. Wexford, came third in the Senior Group Section  with their project on "Mercy:  Frederic Ozanam's Vision in Action".   Congratulations to Maeve Dillane Ladine Fisher on doing so well and winning a prize of €100 each.    The students showcased the school to the people of the Diocese while at the same time highlighting the importance of mercy and compassion in human life and Christian living.

F.C.J. Bunclody Students

Maeve & Ladine are photographed with Bishop Denis Brennan of the Diocese of Ferns when he presented them with their awards on Thursday 2nd March. It was a wonderful night where schools from across the Diocese were present. The competition was based on the Jubilee year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis. Bishop Denis told the FCJ students he had met Pope Francis recently and that the Pope would be pleased to learn how they reflected on Mercy in their community. 

Clich here to read Know Mercy Competition - FCJ Bunclody March 2017.pdf 

 
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