Clongowes Bicentenary year wound to a close on Union Day after twelve action-packed months of celebration and commemoration as well as much pause for thought. The Bicentenary was celebrated out of a spirit of gratitude to Fr. Peter Kenney and his companions for their vision back in 1814 when they purchased Castle Browne and the surrounding land. Their hope was to provide a rounded Catholic education for young Irish men who were then enduring much discrimination, political and otherwise and in that they were extremely successful.
While this was a special year in the history of the school it was also an ordinary academic year in the lives of the staff and students. Many of the latter finished up last Saturday with the conclusion of the House Examinations before departing for a well-earned summer vacation. We wish them well over the coming months and look forward to when they return with renewed vigour in the autumn. Grammar and Rhetoric face bigger challenges in the next few weeks when they undertake the Junior and Leaving Certificate Examinations. We pray that they may be guided by the Holy Spirit and that they will receive their reward for all their hard work to date. We also wish the Rhetoric boys well in their future paths in life.
A new hand on the tiller
This year also saw the appointment of our first lay Headmaster, Mr. Chris Lumb, who will join the College in mid-August accompanied by his wife Eileen and their two sons, Daniel and Samuel who will board in the College. Chris has previously been Assistant Headmaster at our sister boarding school in Sheffield, Mount St. Mary’s, so he comes to us with rich experience of Jesuit education and spirituality, being very familiar with The Characteristics of Jesuit Education. I welcome him most warmly.
2015 also saw the appointment of Mr. Peter Gray as Chair of the Board of Management. Peter, like his predecessor David Dilger, belongs to the Class of 1973. While their styles differ, both are fantastic men: it has been a privilege to work with them. David brought great energy and excitement to the role. Peter evidences similar qualities and energy. The school has been very blessed in securing the services of these two men as successive leaders of the Board.
I thank the parents, students past and present, and the marvelous staff for their support over my eleven years here: it has been a great privilege. I think it is appropriate that I single out for mention the ‘three wise men’, Martin Wallace, Frank Kelly and Ray Kenny, who play such an important role in making Clongowes the school that it is. I shall be keeping the intentions of all in my prayers.
Leonard Moloney SJ, Headmaster