Child of Mary Mass
The Sixth Year class of 2016 had their graduation mass on Friday, May 20, in the Cathedral of the Assumption. The Mass was said by the school chaplain Fr. Hayes and concelebrated by Fr. Tierney, uncle of Leaving Cert student Kate Tierney.
In the opening procession the Leaving Certs processed in with lighted candles to a duet ‘May It Be’ from Lord of the Rings by Megan Ryan and Lucy Arkwright. Leading the opening procession was Kirsty Witherow carrying the processional cross and Melanie Ryan and Dawn Sheedy carried a gorgeous banner outlining the theme which was painted by Ms. Lawlor. Then the Sixth Years and their parents and families were welcomed by Chairperson of the School Council Louise Cadell.
The theme for the Child of Mary Mass, chosen by the Leaving Certs themselves, was ‘How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard’. Students Hazel Houben, Ciara Quinlan and Anna Slattery Fitzgerald spoke about the meaning of this theme and why it was chosen by them. Even though the theme might be interpreted in a negative way as it mentions the sadness associated with goodbye the students themselves saw this phrase in a very positive light. They understood it as meaning they were extremely lucky to have made lasting friendships and had a caring and nourishing school environment for the last five or six years. They also mentioned that the students had decided to use the symbol of a bird to interpret the theme of the mass and also the idea that leaving school is like leaving the nest. They are about to set forth into the world, a prospect that is both frightening and exciting.
In preparation for the mass the students, with a lot of help from Ms. Spillane, 5th Year Art student Niamh Browne and Pat created a beautiful bird, in flight, from wood and coloured paper. On the paper the Leaving Certs had written things they feel blessed to have experienced in school and also the things that they will miss the most now they are leaving. The students also included a liturgical dance as part of their service. This was set to the music of “Adiemus” by Karl Jenkins. Some of the students, who came down the centre aisle wore colourful fabric pieces which floated while they danced to give the impression of wings. Each of these was individually hand painted by Ms. Spillane in beautiful vibrant pinks, green, blues, orange and yellows and created a spectacle of colour for the finale of the dance which took place on the altar.
The Psalm and Alleluia were sung by Kaitlyn Maher and Aoife O’Sullivan respectively. Fr. Hayes in his homily spoke of how the sadness of departing was a sign of love and like the sixth years this should be seen as a positive rather than a negative thing. The Offertory Hymn was sung by Galina Kennedy who did a spine tingling version of Schubert’s “Ave Maria” while Chelsea O’Driscoll and Gillian Fogarty brought the gifts of bread and wine to the altar.
At the sign of peace Ròisín O’Sullivan sang the very appropriate ‘Bridge Over Troubled Waters’. Communion hymns were sung by Aoife Fogarty, Erin Ryan, Maeve Carew and Kate Tierney. The Communion Reflection was said by Dervla Lynch who encouraged her peers to dream big, persist, trust and remember that they will only pass this way once so to do it right. The closing of the Mass included a traditional Irish song sung by quartet Claire Dunphy, Megan Lahart, Naomi Ryan and Ciara Tillyer. The Leaving Certs then made their way onto the altar for the blessing of their miraculous medals given to them by the principal Ms. Butler before the start of the Mass. Once the medals were blessed by Fr. Hayes, the students said a dedication to Our Lady. They then formed a procession from the altar and left down the centre aisle while Norita Bourke and Laura Ryan sang the final song and the final hymn to St. Angela was sung by the sixth year choir. It was over to the Sr. Ursula Hall then for refreshments provided by Ms. Gaynor and Ms. Coffey and Ms. Moloney had organised Fifth Year volunteers to serve. Thanks to very much to all the staff without whom the Mass could not be done. A special word of thanks to Ms. McNally, Ms. Joan Butler and members of senior orchestra who provided the fabulous music for the Mass.
The senior Camogie team played St Mary’s Nenagh in the Tipperary schools Final on Wednesday last in the Ragg in what turned out to be a very good game of Camogie Nenagh won 2-20 to 2-11.
Congratulations to Eimear Hefferenan, First Year who won the Tipperary Feile Skills Camogie competition and who will represent Tipperary now in the National Final in Abbotstown on June 11. Well done Eimear and good luck in the final.
On May 17 last, the Ursuline and Presentation hosted a First and Second Year Tipperary Basketball blitz. There was a great response to the blitz with a total of 23 teams coming to take part. It was a hugely successful day. From the Ursuline there was great enthusiasm with fifty students participating and all teams had a fantastic day with one team winning all of their matches. This event was sponsored by the Sports Partnership Hoops for Girls programme. It would be hoped to run the event annually as it was most successful. Well done to Basketball coaches Ms. O’ Friel and Ms. Casey.
CSPE Trip to Midlands Prison
On Friday, May 13, two Second Year groups took a trip to the Midlands Prison for their CSPE Action Project. The tour guide, P.J. Delaney, a prison guard, was most informative. He spoke openly about drug problems and how drug dependency invariably leads to incarceration. He also mentioned that as well as convictions for drugs the prison also has sex offenders. He spoke on the hierarchy of prison life and how difficult it is for prisoners to be away from family. The students felt it was a worthwhile tour and a real eye opener into a very different type of life but would think twice about entering a prison under different circumstances.
The Ursuline had three teams entered into the Under 14 Tipperary Football blitz, such is the popularity of the sport.
The A Team defeated Cahir, drew with Cashel and was beaten by Loreto in league rounds. This saw them play in a semi final and came through this game beating Cahir. However they met a very strong Loreto, Clonmel team in the final who proved to be too good on the day. So the Ursuline A team had to be content with the runner up spot.
The B Team – defeated T’more and St. Anne’s, and lost to Fethard in group rounds. They reached a semi final only to be pipped by Templemore.
The C Team – beat Cashel’s B team, the Loreto B team and Rockwell, and lost to St. Anne’s B. After a draw in normal time in the final against Rockwell, it was heart breaking for them to be defeated on penalty free kicks.
A great day was had by all players and well done to coaches Ms. Callanan, Mr. McLoughlin and Mr. Kirby.
Saturday May 21 at the Sports Ground in Waterford saw the Munster Schools Athletics Championships take place. A team of 8 athletes took part in the finals. The team was lead by Captain, Aoife Delargy who ran one of the finest races of her life. She had a very convincing win in the 800m in a time of 2.16. She also took bronze in the 400 metres. This is Aoife’s last race at Muster schools level and her time of 2.16 makes her one to watch in the All Irleands in Tullamore in early June.
Claire Rafter followed Aoifes’ performance with gold in the 1500 Intermediate race and silver in the 800m. Her fine season shows no sign of stopping at the moment having already finished third in the All Irleand Cross Country and being chosen to represent Ireland in the recent Quadrangular International competition. Anna Ryan, in her first year representing the Ursulines, had a personal best to win gold in the pole vault competition (a jump of 2m40) and capped it off half an hour later with silver in the Long Jump (5m02). Anna has a long career in front of her and it is one that will be watched with great interest. Niamh Rafter finished well in the U.16 mile in fifth place. Breana O’Gorman also finished in fifth place in the Senior 1500m with Eimear Loughman taking sixth place in the same race. Eimear Delargy ran well to finish in fourth place in the 400m intermediate final.