Jesuit week has gotten off to a flying start in Clongowes with visits to the school from Raymond O’Connor (Pioneer Association), Debbie Moore (Magis Ireland), Fr. Conall Ó Cuinn S. J. (Director of Vocations) and Ms. Pat Coyle (Jesuit Communications Office. All these people spoke to select classes on the work that they do, inspired by the life of St. Ignatius and his mission.
Raymond O’Connor spoke about excessive drinking that leads to the impairment of personal freedom and also the impairment of our ability to choose things that are right and good for us. He linked all this into the biblical notion of human beings created in the image and likeness of God.
Debbie Moore spoke about her work in Magis Ireland with young people between the ages of 18 and 25. Magis works mainly with third level students, providing them with opportunities to express their faith with people of a similar age. This is very important for graduates of Jesuit schools as it provides some continuity and familiarity for the students when they enter third level education.
Fr. Conall Ó Cuinn S.J. got Elements to think about their heroes. This evoked some amazing stories from the classes about their parents and other people that they know who demonstrated great courage for the sake of other people. Fr. Conall’s point is that sometimes we have to stand up to say or do the right thing when we are afraid of the backlash or consequences. It was amazing to see that everyone still wanted to become a hero at the end of his talk. Fr. Conall is a regular visitor to Clongowes during Jesuit week and always provides rich food for thought for the students here.
Ms. Pat Coyle spoke to some classes about the work that she does with the Jesuit Communications office. She gave them the tasks of devising headlines that could be printed around Evie Hone who was an Irish stained glass artist. She died in 1955 but painted stained glass windows for the Jesuit Church in Rahan, Co. Offaly. This church has since been closed but the windows were relocated to Manresa, the Jesuit Centre of Spirituality. We also have some Evie Hone stained glass windows here in Clongowes in the Igantian Chapel, at the back of the Boys’ Chapel.
It was fantastic to see the Jesuit Provincial, Fr. Tom Layden S. J. this morning at coffee. It is really nice to have his presence around the school as a reminder of what we are all about. Fr. Layden will be celebrating mass with us tomorrow which is another great event for Jesuit week here in Clongowes.
Standby for more updates on Jesuit Week during the week and if you can, please do say a prayer for all Jesuits, especially our community here in Clongowes!