A great day for all associated with St Catherine's
The opening of a new school is an occasion rife with possibility. And this is what we celebrate today. The opening of a new school helps us to look with wonder upon the world again, to re-imagine and to see afresh and, perhaps, to extend our horizons a little further.
It enables us to enjoy the fresh, the clean and the new. It allows us to dream and in dreaming begin to create a world that we may never have thought of in an environment that we had become too familiar with.
In this new school we see ourselves and others from a different perspective and begin to expect more of ourselves. We stand a little taller, notice that bit more, push a little further, try a little harder.
As our journey begins in this latest incarnation of St Catherine’s school we are conscious that a school is not the walls and rooms, resources and surroundings. Rather it is the relationships forged within those walls, it is the acts of kindness done, the friendly words we hear, the encouraging voices that surround us. It is the desire in all who call St Catherine’s their school to be better today than we were yesterday, to genuinely believe in the support of one another and to recognise that what we are today is built on the spirit of all those who were here before us. And again, what we are today will help shape those who come after.
The new wall, rooms and resources do, though, as mentioned help us appreciate again and to be thankful for this gift and the awareness of all that is possible. It does, of course, also cause us to reflect on the responsibilities that go along with these new possibilities and our prayer today is that our wonderful new school will be infused with the spirit of the Lord in all that we do and say within these walls. That the possibilities we sense now will be realised, that the potentialities will be achieved and that new horizons will always be sought after.
I will finish with a quote from Helen Keller that I think is appropriate
Have you ever been at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut you in and the great ship, tense and anxious, groped her way toward the shore with plummet and sounding-line, and you waited with beating heart for something to happen? I was like that ship before my education began, only I was without compass or sounding line, and no way of knowing how near the arbour was. “Light! Give me light!” was the wordless cry of my soul, and the light of love shone on me in that very hour.
We hope that St Catherine’s may be that light for all who share this space with us from this day on.
The staff and Board of Management would like to thank all who helped to make this new school a reality.
The process has been such a long one that to name each individual would more than fill this sheet. Special thanks however must go to former principal Dottie Wynne and chairperson Paul McCarthy. Special thanks too to current chairperson Paul O’ Hare and Mark Cunningham from the Department of Education.
Thanks also to all members of the Boards of Management over the past eleven or twelve years, to the Parents Association who work so hard on the schools behalf and to all who helped make our new school a possibility.
A special word of thanks to the teachers and staff of St Catherine’s NS who worked so hard in preparing for this event. You are what makes St Catherine’s the great school it is.
Finally particular thanks are due to the children who worked so hard to prepare for this day.
Thanks too to Alan Leech, our musician in residence, who prepared the choir along with Mr Hegarty and Mr Dunne. We extend our thanks to Fingal County Council whose generous support allows Alan to work with us.
Thank you to the Parents Association for helping with todays event and to Michael Brady and Kevin Butterly and Mary Ryan who helped so much with the organisation of the event.
Thanks to the organising committee, Mr McGrath, Mr Dunne and Mr Hegarty for all their hard work also Anne Doolan and our wonderful SNA’s.
Special thanks to Archbishop Martin for leading the prayer and blessing our new school.
Ger Ó Sé principal