Diocesan Mass to celebrate Catholic Schools Week 2011
On Thursday 3rd February the annual Derry Diocesan Mass for Catholic Schools Week was celebrated in St Eugene's Cathedral by Most Rev Seamus Hegarty, Bishop of Derry. He was joined by retired Bishop Francis Lagan, priests and representatives from schools throughout the diocese. This was a joyous occasion where schools gathered to give thanks for their Catholic Identity in education.
The music was provided by the choir from Steelstown Primary School. The girls and boys sang beautifully whilst the readers and gift-bearers included pupils, teachers, parents and member of the Board of Governors representing the wide spectrum of people who make up our school communities.
With the help of a local Derry based sewing group a diocesan schools' quilt was created. The quilt is made up of the crests provided by schools from all over the diocese. During the Mass the quilt was carried forwarded, laid on the steps of the Cathedral and blessed by Bishop Hegarty.
The quilt reflects the words of St Paul, "As the body is one, having many members, and all the members, while being many, form one body, so it in Christ." (1Corinthians 12:12, 13) There are many schools in the diocese of Derry, each with their own individual identity, but they form one community deeply rooted in the person of Jesus Christ.
Before the end of Mass both bishops presented schools with a prayer for Catholic schools in the diocese. Schools will now be invited to host the quilt and to pray for the diocesan school community. The first school to do this will be Nazareth House PS, Derry.
Oisin Mc Glinchey, Senior Infants Class from Sessiaghoneill National School, Ballybofey receives his gift of a framed Prayer for his School.
Loving God we thank you for the gift of faith that we have received through the witness of our families, our school and our parish.
Bless our school community, unite us and help us always to be the love and compassion of your Son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus tells us to ask and we will receive, to seek and we will find, to knock and the door will be opened.
Help us always to know our need for you. Open our hearts in prayer so that we can become closer and closer to you.
We make this prayer through your Son, our Saviour and brother, Jesus Christ our Lord.