September 27, 2018

Ms Anne Ryan, RIP
It was with great sadness that the staff of the Ursuline Secondary School learned of the passing of their former colleague Anne Ryan. For those who knew her, Anne was a stalwart of the school having attended as a pupil and returning to teach once she had finished university in Cork. She was a kind, caring member of staff who took great pride in her teaching, her pupils and their achievements and the school in general. She was a committed educationalist who brought out the very best in her students and instilled in them a love of learning.
She was particularly passionate about History and her wealth of historical knowledge was astonishing. Anne could hold sway on practically any subject, such was her great mind and her enthusiasm for learning. As well as her dedication to the job she was immense fun but at the same time always kept an eye out for those who may have been a little lost, whether that was younger colleagues or students who were struggling in any way. She was a lady, a scholar and an Ursuline through and through. The staff would like to take this opportunity to extend their condolences to Anne’s family, Mattie & Maureen (Drom), John & Jeanette (Ballinasloe) & Fr Richie (California)and her beloved nieces & nephews on this terrible loss.
Anne’s Requiem mass took place in her home place, Drom, on Thursday last and the Ursuline Chamber Choir paid a fitting tribute to Anne in Music, conducted and accomapnied by Ms J Butler & Mr Farrell. May she rest in peace. Ar dheis De go raibh a h-anam.

Opening Mass
The school gathered together on Monday, September 24, in the Cathedral of the Assumption to celebrate and ask God’s blessing on the new academic year. A quote from Pope Francis was chosen by the Religious Education Department as the theme for the year, ‘Joy springs from a grateful heart’. School Chaplain, Fr. Jim Purcell, said Mass and in his homily he touched on the ideas of gratitude and gentleness. He encouraged the students to be gentle in the ways they support one another. He spoke about prayer as a positive way of showing gratitude. He said that in the world of today it is often said people think too much, do too much, want too much, have too much and that they forget about the value of just being.

The Chairperson of the School Council, Erica Carroll, welcomed everyone to the Opening Mass. Ms Anne Ryan was remembered in the opening address and in the prayers of the faithful. There was a procession of symbols brought to the altar to represent the many things that add immense joy and colour to life. These offerings were laid in front of a magnolia tree which itself is symbolic of joy and divine beauty. At the Our Father the First Year students gathered around the altar to sing the Lord’s Prayer using actions led by Fr. Purcell. It was a lovely way to involve the newest members of the Ursuline in this, their very first Secondary School mass. The final hymn ‘Oh Happy Day’ sent everyone away smiling with an upbeat heart. Thanks as always to the Religion, Art and Music Departments for their contribution to the Mass and to Fr Purcell who always makes the occasion so meaningful.

Fifth Year Retreat
The Mustard Seed was back last week to facilitate a retreat with the Fifth Year group. The day began with interactive, fun games to get everyone in a relaxed comfortable mood. A time of reflection followed this initial exuberance. The retreat team got the students to focus on the people in their lives and during this part of the day they also discussed the effects of judgemental behaviour and attitudes. They probed where such judgements come from and the fairness of preconceived views. The day finished with a meditation and a chance for the students to collect and be with their own thoughts. The retreat was well received by the students.

Science/Maths Olympiad
Congratulations to three 2018 Junior Cert students who, as a result of their high achievements in Maths & Science, have been invited to attend the National Olympiad in DCU. The students are Sarah C Fitzgerald, Caoimhe McCarthy & Cora Norton.

Written By Nora Tuohy