Tuesday 23 January 2024

Faith is not ‘just for church on Sunday morning’

A Response To Christians Who Are Done With Church - CareyNieuwhof.com

Faith cannot be compartmentalised to a church on Sunday morning but “must have an influence on how we act and on what we say”, Bishop of Meath Tom Deenihan has said.

In his homily for Mass to open this year’s Catholic Schools Week, Bishop Deenihan said the issue of respect for others is “a key one for our time” and had come to the fore in Irish society in recent weeks, particularly in relation to “those from other countries and those from our own country seeking accommodation”.

The theme of this year’s Catholic Schools Week 2024 is “Catholic schools as communities of service” highlighting the idea of the Catholic school as a place where love is practised and learned. It runs from 21 to 27 January.

The bishop, who is chair of the Catholic Education Service (CES) as well as chair of the Council for Education of the Irish Bishops' Conference, said true plurality, in society or in education, will always support and encourage faith as it will those who do not profess faith.

He also paid tribute to the role of religious congregations and orders in education in Ireland as a fulfilment of the corporal works of mercy “to instruct and, in so doing, to feed, to cloth, to open doors and to train and enable a new generation for a new world and provide new opportunity”.

“It is easy to forget that Catholic schools predate free education in Ireland and provided opportunity and education to many,” Bishop Deenihan said.

Separately, in his message for Catholic Schools Week, Bishop Michael Duignan of Clonfert and Galway said Catholic schools should be places where relationships are modelled on the selfless love of Jesus where “students and staff care for and look out for each other, where students respect and value each other, where parents, school management and the wider community give of themselves for the good of each member of the school community”.