Tuesday, January 28, 2014

‘Little appetite’ for changing Catholic schools’ patronage – Bishop

Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare & Leighlin has said there is still a “tremendous hunger” for Catholic education in Ireland, despite the Government’s programme of divesting some schools of their Catholic patronage.

Speaking to The Irish Catholic at the launch of Catholic Schools Week, Bishop Nulty said that is it clear from the consultation process with parents that there is not a widespread demand for schools to change patronage.

“The one thing that we have found in consultation with parents is that the vast majority of parents have still a tremendous hunger for Catholic education and for Catholic schools.

Appetite

“There isn’t a powerful appetite for schools changing patronage but obviously where there is an appetite that has to be addressed,” he said.

The bishop noted in his own diocese, Kildare & Leighlin, “in the one area where there was a survey, it went totally the opposite way. The people wanted to hold their own Catholic school and that is what we are celebrating today. Catholic schools; powerful places of faith and places of learning,” he said.

Addressing delegates and student representatives of 14 local schools who came together at Saint Dominic’s College, Cabra for the launch, Bishop Nulty said Catholic schools are “key to the mission of the Church”.

“Schools are the key to a life lived with Christ at its centre.  The key to a future built on a firm foundation of faith and hope.  The key to a culture and society shaped with justice and integrity.

Service

“Our schools provide a service to society and to the common good and are the bedrock of our culture.  Accordingly it is appropriate that we celebrate their achievements and particularly so during Catholic Schools Week.

“Catholic Schools Week gives us a much needed space to acknowledge and celebrate the work of our Catholic schools. It also gives us the opportunity for reflection and discussion about Catholic education,” he said.

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