Visit by Archbishop Dr. Dermot Clifford
On Tuesday last, the feast of the Epiphany, we were honoured and delighted to have Archbishop Dermot Clifford celebrate mass. It really was a special occasion as the staff and students of both the Ursuline Primary and Secondary Schools and the sisters of the Community gathered together in the Sr. Ursula Memorial Hall. It was also poignant as it was a chance for the entire Ursuline Community to thank Dr. Clifford for his years of service as Archbishop of Cashel and Emly.
The mass began with an opening procession followed by a liturgical dance recalling the gift of the baby Jesus to all peoples of the world. During the homily the Archbishop spoke about the tradition of ‘Women’s Christmas’. He remembered how his mother and her friends would come together on the 6th of January to enjoy each other’s company. It was a chance for the women to unwind after the busyness of Christmas.
He told us that Epiphany means ‘Manifestation’. It is a holy day commemorating the journey of the Magi. Dr. Clifford told us that although it is not known for certain, these wise men may have come from Babylon, which had a strong tradition of astronomy in ancient times. The revealing of the infant Jesus to the three kings from the East was a sign that the Son of God was not just for the Jewish people but for the Gentiles too. Prayers of the faithful were read by students from both Scoil Angela and the Secondary school. Then we had the Offertory Procession. Two of our students who hail from ‘the Kingdom’, Alicoye Daly and Eva Buckley, each brought a jersey to the altar. A jersey from the Archbishop’s own club, Ballymacelligot, whom he played football for in his youth. A Kerry jersey, from his home county to symbolise his patronage of the GAA. A lectionary was laid at the altar to show Dr. Clifford’s commitment to teaching and preaching the Gospel. Three 1st class students from Scoil Angela, Tessa, Harry and Jack, each carried a statue of the Wise men – Gasper, Balthasar and Melchoir – which were placed in front of the baby Jesus on the altar. It was a very touching moment and each of these little ones took great care and pride in this important task entrusted to them.
After the communion reflection the chairperson of the student council, Alexandra White, thanked the Archbishop for his leadership of the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly and especially for his commitment to passing on the gift of faith to young people. She said that the students, staff and sisters always appreciated his bi-annual visits on the feast of St. Ursula to lead the school in prayer and his annual visits to the school shows. He was then presented with a gift from the students in acknowledgement of his dedication and support. He thanked everyone for inviting him to celebrate mass and said that he had some great memories, both spiritual and temporal, of times spent in the Sr. Ursula Memorial hall. All of us present on Tuesday agreed that it was a lovely mass. We had the sense that we were witnessing and participating in a unique event with the coming together of the community along with both schools and all of us having the opportunity to express our gratitude to Dr. Clifford who has served us all so well over the pass twenty six years. However as he said himself he is not going too far just a little bit up the road in Holycross.
Ursuline Junior B 2 played Laurel Hill Colaiste losing by a goal (1-0).
The 2nd Year B 3 team drew in their match against Laurel Hill Colaiste (1-1) .
A Senior A Hockey clinic was organised for Wednesday 7th of January. The team got a chance to be coached by experienced hockey and strength and conditioning coach Stephen Barry from Dublin. He took them for a two hour session which was a great opportunity for the girls to work on their strength and conditioning. He had a wealth of knowledge and experience to pass on to them as he is currently the strength and conditioning coach for the Irish Men’s Hockey team. Well done to our own hockey coaches for organising this fantastic coaching opportunity.
Our Junior team faced some tough Kerry competition this week when they played Kilorglin in the Semi Final of the Munster C Junior Football Competition. The team travelled to the neutral venue of Glanworth, Co. Cork. Unfortunately the Kerry side got off to a cracking start which put our girls on the back foot from the beginning. However they fought back admirably with two goals from Ciara Nyland, two goals from Lauren Murtagh and a goal from Rebecca Collins. In the end the footballers from Kerry were just too strong on the day. The final score was UCT 5-3 – Kilorglin 7-10.
Well done also to those players who put the ball over the bar. Points were scored by Ciara Nyland (1) and Rachel Dowling (2). Well done to the whole team and to their coach Mr. McLaughlin.
Camogie Munster Final
Ms. Hogan and her Senior Camogie team are in action again at the weekend. They travel to Piltown, Co. Kilkenny to take on the girls from Greenhills, Carrick-on-Suir in the Munster ‘B’ Semi Final. They beat Tulla just before Christmas to secure their place in the final. They face some stiff opposition against Carrick but let’s hope that ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ as they have now come to be known around the school can continue with the winning streak they have had this year. We are all routing for them to bring home the silverware as there are many Leaving Certificate students on the team so it would be a nice tribute for them. Good luck to everyone involved and to teachers Ms. Hynes and Ms. O’Friel who along with Ms. Hogan are so dedicated to camogie in the school.
Gael Linn Debaters
The Gael Linn debaters will compete this week in the second round of the competition. The team of
Gillian Bourke and Sarah Kelly led by Captain Dervla Lynch are proposing the motion ‘Tá feirmeoirí na tire Seoul an mhuin na muice’. This motion roughly translates as ‘Farmers in this country are on the pigs back.’ It would certainly seem then that the girls have the more difficult task as the proposition. However they have been busy preparing their arguments ‘ás gaeilge’ with the help of their Irish teachers. In their group they will be debating against teams from the Presentation, Thurles and Laurel Hill Secondary School, Limerick. ‘Go n’eirí an t-ádh leo.’
3rd Year Debating
Ms. Quinn’s 3rd year debating competition starts on Thursday, 15th January at 4 pm in Room 28. The motion up for discussion is ‘Man’s inhumanity to man surpasses all ‘. The first round teams include Katherine O’Dea, Tara Hyland and Ruth Herlihy along with a second team of Anne Spillane, Rose O’Sullivan and Lucy Bell. Both of these teams will be proposing the motion. The teams for the opposition consist of Sarah White, Becky Coonan and Emily O’Dea and another opposing team of Lucy O’Hagan, Megan Hayes and Sarah Murphy. All speeches are to be between three and four minutes duration. It would be great if their peers in Junior Cert and debaters and those interested in debate from other years would come on Thursday to support those involved.
Last Year Ursuline Secondary School introduced the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) to our IT curriculum in TY. The Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) is Microsoft’s only official training and certification programme in Microsoft Office. For each exam students complete they receive a Microsoft Certificate which is a globally recognised qualification validating students skills within the various applications of Microsoft Office. The programme was such a success in the school last year that Ursuline Secondary School was awarded the Centre of Excellence (COE) award by Billy Breen from Prodigy Learning for their hard work in the programme. The COE award is achieved when a school sits over 250 certified exams with students in an academic year and Ursuline Secondary school exceeded this in their first year of the programme!!! This was due to the hard work of all the students in TY and the teachers throughout the year, well done to all involved.