Maryfield College took part for the first time in the Dublin Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes.
Lourdes, in France, is a major Catholic Pilgrimage site. Every year millions visit the Grotto of Massabeille where in 1858, the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous.
Every year in September, the Archbishop of Dublin leads over 2,000 pilgrims from the Dublin Diocese. This year 193 sick pilgrims travelled and were staying at the Acceuil, Notre Dame which is a “place of welcome” close to the Grotto providing similar facilities to a modern hospital. The pilgrimage also includes many voluntary helpers, including the youth group – known in Lourdes as the “Blue Shirts”. There were 130 students from 24 schools present this year, who volunteered their services and helped look after the sick and elderly pilgrims.
Many meetings, applications, interviews and lots of fundraising made it possible for four of our students to be a part of this amazing pilgrimage this year. Not only are the students involved in volunteering for the various duties involved in the pilgrimage, but they must participate in all the religious and liturgical aspects of the pilgrimage also, and hopefully grow in, and reflect on their own faith experience. All of this aspect is co-ordinated by Eoin Kilkenny and Michelle Steadman, who look after the schools group, and is led by the Youth Chaplain Fr. Paul Thornton. We are so grateful for all their kindness and organisation etc. One of the most memorable events each evening was when all the school groups and their teachers along with Fr. Paul met at the side of St. Bernadette’s Church for “Prairie” – a time to debrief and reflect on the events of the day and pray together. Different schools prepared a presentation for each prairie gathering, and the experience of this “peer-ministry” is really something special.
Throughout the time spent in Lourdes, everyone has the chance to attend all the ceremonies including the Welcome Mass, the Youth Mass, Procession to the Grotto, the torch-light procession in the evening, a beautiful reconciliation service, a very moving Mass for the anointing of the Sick and a visit to the “baths”.
The sense of care and compassion is in evidence constantly in Lourdes. The gratitude for life and health can also be felt. The beautiful, quiet domain of the Sanctuary with its sacred places for individual and collective prayer and silence, renews our faith and Hope in humanity and God. In Lourdes, we journey with the sick and the healthy, we stand in solidarity with their suffering, and we are reminded of our God who is not absent but very present in His people. Lourdes is indeed a special place.
It was a privilege for our girls to have been given the opportunity to participate in the pilgrimage this year, and they have lovely memorable experiences to keep in their lives forever. It is hoped that this year begins a chapter, that in the future years will be part of the story of Mayfield.
A special thank you to our Principal, our Board of Management, the Parents Association, the staff and students of Maryfield College, for all the support, sponsorship and fundraising that made this project possible for the girls to take part in the pilgrimage.
(The RE Dept., Maryfield College)
On Friday the 24th of March, we held our second “Pay It Forward Day”, here at Maryfield College. We didn’t announce it beforehand as we wanted the element of “surprise”.
When the students entered the school main entrance there was a lovely “sacred Space” created with this year’s theme – “A CUP of KINDNESS”. We hoped that this would encourage the school community to PAUSE, and THINK about kindness.
Throughout the morning we held special assemblies in the hall for each year group, and staff.
(Patricia Seery/Anam Cara – Maryfield College, Drumcondra)
The Emmanuel 2017 concerts took place at the Helix over six days in early March. Maryfield performed on Tuesday 7th. Over two-thousand students from sixty schools around the Archdiocese of Dublin performed the chosen repertoire of liturgical music during these concerts.
Our Transition Year students along with the RE Department took part in this great event. Congratulations to Maggie May Matthews who sang solo Lux Mundi, and Holly Kelly and Dearbhaile Mulrooney who introduced the various pieces on the night.
During the weekend of March 4th – 6th, some senior students along with Ms. Seery took part in an awareness project – UN Gift Box, outside the Central Bank in Dame Street.
The Gift Box is a unique project that was launched by Stop the Traffik and the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN GIFT) at the London 2012 Olympics. Since then, Gift Box has successfully delivered large-scale awareness by introducing people to the issue of human trafficking and inspiring them to take further action.
The Gift Box is a piece of public art, symbolising the way in which traffickers entice their victims with false promises. The outside of the box offers the “gift” of a brighter new future while the inside of the box confronts people with an interactive experience that informs and challenges the visitor.
Maryfield students invited passers-by to visit the Gift Box and raised awareness amongst the public of the grim reality of human trafficking.
A special thank you to the senior students who took part in this event and attended a training workshop in January. Thank you also to Sr. Ann Harnett (C.P.) for inviting Maryfield to be involved in this campaign.
Students who were involved: Allyanna Cruz, Bronwen McDonagh, Evelyn Twomey, Sadhbh Dunne, Emma Brophy, Chloe Roche and Louise O’Reilly
Further information regarding this very serious issue which effects many men, women and children can be found at www.nomoretraffic.com.
Our mass to mark the beginning of the academic year is a very important occasion in our school calendar. The entire school community gathers together in Marino Parish Church where we welcome new students and staff, wish former staff and students well, pray together and share in the Eucharist.
A common theme running through the mass was the inspiration of recently canonised Mother Teresa of Calcutta. This theme was introduced in the opening address with students being prompted to consider the meaning of saintliness and how to make this relevant to their everyday lives. Mother Teresa, like all saints, was an ordinary person who, being touched by God’s grace, devoted her life to service God and others. One commentator at Mother Teresa’s canonization remarked that she was ‘fantastically normal’. This might sow a seed in us as to how we too can be a saint-like. The opening address at the mass gave us signposts as to how we might strive to develop the characteristics which saints personify; love of God, love of people, generosity, humility and prayer.
Maryfield College needs saints, typical students who wear skinny jeans, eat spice bags, use technology and hang out with their friends. All of us are called to be saints so let us use kindness, generosity, compassion and forgiveness to build community in our school and in our world.
Many students throughout the school contributed to the school mass through art, music and reading. Our new First Years were welcomed and our newly appointed Prefects were presented with their badges.