Principal’s Blog

This week we have been called to a new place, a new way of being, to meet a challenge never before presented in our lifetime. At Clonard we are moving forward together – ‘porro una’.

Jo Ryan, Assistant Principal for Learning & Teaching, penned this prayer for us.

Mother is calling
What began as a sound drifting on a breeze has become a
Deafening cacophony
Of shopping trolleys
Rushing feet
Cash registers
Mother is calling.
What began as a whisper carried by a zephyr has become a confusing babble
Of stern briefings
Ongoing directives
Questions, questions
Mother is calling
What began as a dire warning thrown by a blast has become a
microscopic reminder
Of what she means to us
Our home. Our life.
Mother is calling us to
Our clever mother…
On the winds she blows around the world
Is the call to enact the greatest plan – ever
Porro Una

Croagh Patrick

This week I have lost count of communications, plans, preparation, questions, concerns. All based on our desire, our priority to look after our community. This is not the space for me to communicate those again. These have been shared regularly with our families, staff and students.

In this space, I wanted to share more deeply how this feels, how this is calling us to a new way of being together.

Croagh Patrick is a holy mountain in Ireland that I climbed last year on pilgrimage.

I was struck by the metaphor of this time ahead of us being my new Croagh Patrick. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. We approach it with a mix of uncertainty, anticipation and perhaps a little fear. The climb presented rough patches, slip-ups, slight reprieves and really, really tough parts. I only kept going because I couldn’t see the top. Just one step. And another. And another. And it really hurt. I only kept going because I had three companions who walked with me all the way to the end. I only kept going because I knew deeply that the journey was bringing me something I would never experience again. I knew God was with us in the zephyr, in the stones, in the clouds, in the rain and in the mountain itself. And when, exhausted we conquered the summit, there was singing in the tiny chapel. And there was pain. And there was joy.

Today I spent time with our staff. We talked about uncertainty and certainty, we talked about our call to honour the profession we have been called to in new and uncharted ways. And we spoke about now being a community of ‘Learning Hope Purpose…and the ‘Common Good’. This is a call deeply embedding in who we are as a Kildare Ministries school.

And so ‘porro una’ – forward together in strength and kindliness.

Peace and blessings at the challenging time.