On Friday 31st January St. Joseph’s secondary School, Stanhope Street, celebrated Catholic Schools’ Week 2015 with a Prayer Service in the P.E. Hall for the whole school. The theme for CSW this year was “A Call to Serve”. Since we are also celebrating the 200 years of Service as Religious Sisters of Charity, it was decided to plan the Prayer Service around Mary Aikenhead’s great legacy and the Catholic School’s call to serve others in today’s society.
Students made a solemn entrance to the Hall bearing the name of our school, Mary Aikenhead’s icon, our Crest, our Mission Statement and the globe symbolising both the many parts of the world from which our students come and Mary Aikenhead’s charism operating in the different continents.
An extract from the Gospel from St. John, where Jesus washed his disciples feet, was read by Ms. Judy O’Connor from the religion department, and this was followed by the hymn, “Jesus, be my Centre” sung by a third year student.
Using the word SERVE as an acronym, teachers and students carried to the altar the posters and candles to highlight the five areas represented in the word: Self; Eucharist; Reign of God; Vocation and Evangelisation. An explanation around each area was offered to the assembly.
Several students from different age groups came forward and shared ways in which they have been involved in different forms of service to the needy. For example, a group of sixth years who are involved in an organisation “Future Voice of Ireland” told of how they went out to the streets in the city one week before Christmas and handed out food, clothing and other items to the homeless on the street. Other examples included the Shoe Box Appeal for needy children abroad, Carol Singing and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
Reflecting on Mary Aikenhead’s contribution to service of the poor and how one person could make such a difference, the Pledge Team, who promote responsible attitudes to alcohol and drugs through their abstention, sang the song “Go Make a Difference” to encourage each one present to get out there in society and make a difference through choices and example.