This year Catholic Schools Week runs from 23rd to 30th January. This week is an opportunity each year to thank God for the amazing gift of our schools and for the outstanding contribution they make every day to the spiritual, academic, emotional, social and vocational development of children from all denominations, cultures, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds  throughout this country and indeed throughout the world.

The theme of this year’s Catholic Schools Week is:

“Catholic Schools: Living life to the full”.

Last year our focus was on resilience, on reconnecting and re-engaging students. This year it is on living our lives with the hope of a brighter tomorrow and on reconnecting and re-engaging with the wider community as the  country opens up and restrictions are reduced.

The past year has been a very challenging one for students and indeed for the whole school community. However, with the roll-out of the vaccination programme, there is light at the end of the tunnel and we have a new sense of hope.

One of our chosen pieces of music for the November Moment this year is ‘God will wipe away all tears’ by Irish composer Bernard Sexton. Bernard wrote this piece for the victims of COVID-19 and for their families and friends. The chorus offers us reassurance that, even in these dark times, God is with us:

God will wipe away all tears,

God will bring you home,

To the place he has prepared for you,

You shall never be alone.

Storms may gather, evening falls,

Daylight turns to shade,

And when your earthly work is done,

Do not fear, be not afraid.

“A Vision of Catholic Education in Ireland” is a pastoral letter from the Irish Catholic Bishops. This letter outlines what the Irish Catholic Bishops believe Catholic education to be. We hear echoes of this letter throughout Catholic Schools Week every year, but it underpins this year’s events in particular. This document shows how connected our bishops are to each and every Catholic school in Ireland.