My name is Sr. Rosaleen and I have been Chaplain to St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Stanhope Street, Dublin 7, since September 2007. The role of the chaplain is to support and encourage the development of faith, community worship and the school ethos in the school community. Generally this means working with the religion teachers, students and other staff members to prepare and organise the special religious events during the school year, some of which are the Opening of the School Year Mass; Retreats; Christmas Carol Service; Catholic Schools’ Week Celebration; Sacrament of Reconciliation; and Graduation Mass for Sixth Years.
A typical day for the chaplain includes meeting students in the Chaplain’s office for a chat or prayer, offering meditation sessions to small groups, a prayer reflection over the Intercom, and generally connecting with students on the corridor or in the canteen.
An initiative close to my heart is promoting positive attitudes among students to opt for alcohol-free choices until they are eighteen years old. An impressive number of students take up this challenge and a committee representing each class meets occasionally to plan and promote fidelity to the pledge. Other initiatives with students include Religious Dance and some students perform Prayer Dance during liturgical celebrations which help to enhance the celebrations.