Ursuline Secondary School

Liturgical Celebrations

Liturgical Celebrations

St John, the author of the Gospel and three letters in the New Testament never uses the nouns ‘faith' or 'belief’ but always the verbs ‘to believe' or 'to trust’. He does this in order to illustrate or show that Christian living is a life of action. A life of doing. A life of participating in something. It is within this context that Liturgical celebrations are carried out in the Ursuline Secondary School. The very act of engaging in or participating in both Liturgies is to take St John’s use of the verb ‘to believe’ to heart. Liturgy, then in the Ursuline is a way of living and expressing our Catholic Faith and heritage, which goes back to the time of St John. These celebrations, which follow the liturgical calendar of the universal Church are celebrated in order to enable our community to know, and engage with our living faith.

The Opening of the Year mass, offers our new students, as well as the not so new, staff, academic work and indeed the joys, hopes and aspirations of the new year to Our loving Father through Jesus His Son. It is a way to embrace each other and pray for each other and celebrate each other as a collective and an individual.

While Autumn and Wintertime bring with them elements of beauty and togetherness it also is a time when the Church remembers those, we have loved and lost. We are invited through the November liturgy of the Church to reflect upon what C.S Lewis calls, the ‘Shadowlandsa place in the shadow – the sun shone somewhere else, but not here. Students and staff, through our celebration of the November Prayer Service, remember and celebrate the lives of those we loved. While it appears as if ‘God was silent’ on that day we join together in faith, knowing that He was in fact shinning upon them.

Christmastime, is a time of both giving and receiving. A time when we as Christians embark upon an attempt to make a gift of ourselves to others. In the Ursuline, at Christmas we remember those less well off than ourselves. Those sometimes forgotten in society. Each student and teacher is encouraged to purchase various gifts for the young and not so young, the mommy and the daddy, the child and teenager and these gifts are presented at the altar of our Christmas mass of the gifts and are then distributed to those who need them most. This is done in conjunction with the society of St Vincent de Paul in Thurles town.

The beginning of the Lenten Season commences on Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is a solemn reminder of human mortality and the need for reconciliation with God and those with whom we are not at peace. It is commonly observed with ashes and fasting. Students and staff are encouraged to come forth during a para-liturgy to receive the ashes and hear the words ‘repent and believe in the Gospel’. Then journey towards Easter Sunday making amends and trying to make peace between ourselves and Jesus and others we may have hurt.

The culmination of the school year is our celebration of the ‘Child of Mary’ mass or the sixth-year graduation mass. It is called the Child of Mary because during the ceremony, that is organisedby the sixth - years the students are consecrated to the heart of Mary. The celebration is led by our school chaplain and celebrated in the Cathedral of the Assumption in Thurles town, which is adjacent to the school. The students choose a theme which in turn is revealed throughliturgical dance, readings, reflections, and music. The graduating class is accompanied by their parents and family members.

Throughout the academic year the school community also celebrates the various feast days of the Ursuline Order and the Universal Church. These days include, St Blaise, St Angela Merici and St Ursula. Students and staff are reminded of the courage and heroic work of these men and women and treats are enjoyed by all.

Aug 21
School Opens - Staff Meetings
Aug 22
Sixth Year Students Return
Aug 26
Third Year Students Return
Aug 28
First Year Students Return
Templemore Road,
Eircode: E41ET35.
0504 22147
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