The annual pilgrimage to celebrate the life and story of St. Conaire took place for 5th class in St. Conaire’s school on Monday 29th January. January 28th is the Feast of St Conaire and this year the school will begin their 50th celebrations. The day began with a liturgy and time of prayer in St. Conaire’s Church in Carrigerry. This was followed by a visit to the ruins of Cill Chonaire in Rinneanna. Here the children explored the old Church, ancient graves and got a sense of history and tradition. St Tola’s pupils in 1st, 4th and 6th classes joined the congregation for the weekly Novena to St. Anthony. After Mass Fr Arnold gave a talk on the World Meeting of Families. 4th and 6th classes celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In Senan’s and St Patrick’s Comprehensive schools preparations were continuing with the making of St Bridget’s Crosses and the sharing of stories associated with the Saint.

Children preparing for First Holy Communion from St Conaire’s school took part in a guided time of Eucharistic adoration in the Adoration Chapel led by Fr Tom & Fr Francis Xavier. Children from the Gael Scoil celebrated First Confession in the afternoon as did the children from St Tola’s school in the evening. Wednesday, the Feast of St John Bosco, began with St Senan’s school participating in the morning Mass in Mary Immaculate Church. The school shared St Bridget’s Crosses with the congregation at the end of Mass as a token of appreciation for the close bonds that exist between the school and the community. After Mass St Senan’s welcomed grandparents to the school where they spent time with their grandchildren in their classroom and shared memories. The morning concluded with tea and coffee in the school. St Tola’s St Conaires and St Aidan’s schools also celebrated Grandparents Day by welcoming grandparents to their schools and to SS John & Paul Church. Lá Feile Bríde began with a visit to St. Senan’s school by Fr francis Xavier. He took time for the children to share with him the story of St. Bridget which he was learning for the first time. Children from St. Tola’s school took part in the morning Mass in Mary Immaculate Church and in a talk on the WMOF.

They also celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Junior Conference of St. Vincent de Paul from St. Caimin’s school accompanied by their Chaplain Ms. McDonald, visited 6th class in St Conaire’s school and shared with them the work they do in St. Vincent de Paul. Students from St Patrick’s Comprehensive School, and their Chaplain Ms. Murray, visited Carrigoran Nursing Home for the celebration of St. Bridget’s Day. They joined the residents in the 10.30am morning Mass and took part in the Blessing of the Crosses. After Mass they visited residents with a gift of a St. Bridget Cross. The students also provided musical entertainment for the residents. St Conaire’s school held a St Bridget Day Cross making session and shared the story and the tradition. Gaelscoil Donncha Rua held Grandparents Day in the Adoration Chapel and St Aidan’s school celebrated First Confession. The Family resource Centre had their annual St Bridget’s Day Festival with the making of the Crosses which Fr Tom blessed before a celebratory lunch was held. It is now part of Shannon parish tradition that Mass in the Convent Oratory on the First Friday of February is offered for all deceased teachers and school staff of all schools in Shannon.

The list of those who have died for each school is called out at the beginning of Mass. Many current and retired teachers attend this Mass and it is well established as part of Catholic schools week. At the 9.30am Morning Mass, the students from St Caimin’s Community school, who are members of the Junior Conference of St Vincent de Paul in the school, hosted a coffee morning after Mass for parishioners. The students also took part in the liturgy of the Mass by reading and the Prayers of the Faithful. First class students from St Conaire’s took part in a Creation Pilgrimage Walk around Shannon. Pope Francis’s encyclical Letter, Laudato Si on the care of our common home, the earth, encourages us all to view and respect creation and the environment. This annual walk gives the children an opportunity to see and appreciate the importance for caring for creation as well as some healthy exercise. Our thanks to Fr Arnold and the schools for the photos.