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Catholic Schools week launched

by Hannah Tooley

It will run from Sunday 31st January to Saturday 6th February 2016 and invites Catholic schools to discuss the ethos and principles of Catholic education.

The 2016 theme is 'Catholic Schools: Challenged to Proclaim God's Mercy' to complement the Year of Mercy which was launched by Pope Francis in December.

Msgr Jim Casson, Executive Secretary on the Council of Education for the Irish Bishops Conference, he told Premier that: "Caring for one another is about caring for one another is a very important part for what it is that gives us our identity as Catholic schools."

He said it will discuss: "How we deal with one another in schools and how we celebrate our faith."

Msgr Jim Casson continued: "It's very much about what is it that makes our a Catholic school?

"What is that means we can call ourselves Catholic?"

Discussions will include what it means to be a school of faith and how teachers and pupils can engaged in the Year of Mercy all across Ireland.

Prayers will be held as well as Mass to mark the beginning of Catholic Schools Week.

Representatives from 25 primary and secondary schools are attending.

Principal Padraigín Ui Riordáin, said: "We are delighted to be chosen to launch this national celebration of Catholic education.

"We look forward to welcoming the wider Catholic community to our school in Cork for this special event.

"The words of Pope Francis 'Mercy is the spirit that awakens us' will inspire the community of Mount Mercy College to participate wholeheartedly in, and celebrate, this spiritually enriching occasion at a milestone in our school tradition, having just celebrated our Golden Jubilee."

Ui Riordáin continued, "This official launch of Catholic Schools Week, coupled with 2016 being an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy for the Universal Church, offers us an opportunity to focus on our traditions and at the same time to look forward with anticipation to our future, to the challenge of proclaiming God's mercy as we promote tolerance, respect and inclusiveness, whilst we explore the possibilities for all in our daily work and the many charities and causes which we support."

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speak to Msgnr Jim Casson here:

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