September - Back to School Prayer
New Grow in Love Religious Programme starting in Junior Infants
Grow in Love is the new Religious Education series for primary schools in Ireland. Introducing a new approved curriculum from the Irish Episcopal Conference, over the next four years Grow in Love will replace the Alive-O series, which was first introduced to primary schools in 1996.
Each Grow in Love programme is divided into a number of themes, which will allow teachers to take a thematic, cross-curricular approach to the teaching of Religious Education. Each theme is designed to last between two and four weeks. As well as the Teacher’s Notes and photocopiable worksheets featured in the Teacher’s Manual, a comprehensive set of free online resources will also be available, including illustrations to accompany every story, video clips and weblinks for further study.
Month of May - Pupils are encouraged to pray to Our Lady in the month of May and can visit our May Altar in the school hall.
Prayer for the End of the School Year
A simple and compelling prayer to end the school year and start summer focused on the ongoing discovery and delight in God's love.
Christ, Teacher and Lord,
Bless all in this school
As we seek to end our year
With the grace you so generously provide.
We give thanks for the students
And the Board, the parents,
And all who have contributed
To this year of nurturing and growth.
We affi rm all the positive moments,
Of insight, of the excitement of learning,
Of accomplishment, of creativity,
Of laughter, of a sense of community.
We recognize the times of struggle,
Of diffi cult work, of misunderstanding,
Even of failure--we give these
To you for transformation,
So they can become seeds
That will fi nd fertile soil.
As we leave for the summer,
May we take with us
The knowledge that
You will keep us all
In your embrace so
We may rest and be restored
And so we can continue in
The ongoing discovery
of your Love.
Information below as advised from Archbishops's House
As parents, you are the primary educators of your children. In the sacrament of Baptism, you promised to be your child’s “first teachers in the ways of the faith” and to be “the best of teachers”. The Catholic school and parish are there to help and support you in this important task.
As parents it is important to reflect seriously about the celebration of the sacraments with your child. It can often be difficult not to get carried away with the trappings of the celebration itself, and to keep a focus on the sacramental journey on which your child has embarked. It can also be a challenge to respond to the call to be vibrant and full members of the Church after the reception of the sacraments, and not just in the period of preparation. Your school and parish community are here to help you in this task.
Below you will find some ways to help, support and encourage your child as they prepare for the sacraments of First Eucharist, First Reconciliation and/or Confirmation.
Parish-based sacramental preparation programmes
Many parishes are now using programmes which involve parents/guardians and the parish community in the sacramental preparation process. Parents/guardians who have taken part in these programmes often speak about how they have given their family the opportunity to prepare for and discuss the sacraments in ways that were not previously possible.
It is important for parents/guardians to attend the initial meeting for these programmes, which are usually held at the beginning of the school year, long before the celebration of the sacrament. This will give you an overview of the programme, and ideas about how you, your school and your parish can work together in the sacramental preparation process.
Two of these programmes are outlined below.
Do this in Memory
Fr Martin Delaney and Maeve Mahon
Do This in Memory offers parents/guardians, children and the parish community the opportunity to prepare together for First Penance and First Communion. The programme is designed to take place within the context of the Sunday Parish celebration of the Eucharist. It is then continued in the home through the use of activities and resources for both parents/guardians and children. This highlights the importance of the Sunday Eucharist as a place where we gather, are nourished by the Word and the Bread of Life, and are sent forth to live the Gospel. It also acknowledges the home as the most important and significant place, where the faith of our children is nurtured, nourished and sustained.
The programme begins with an Enrolment Sunday in late September or early October and then continues on one Sunday a month, concluding on the feast of Corpus Christi in June. The Sundays on which the programme takes place have been specially chosen because of the Gospel’s accessibility to the children. They are taken from the Children’s Lectionary.
Confirming our Children
Alive-O Writing Team
This programme is a series of five rituals which take place over the year in which your child is preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation. The aim of these rituals is to give the local faith community an opportunity to support the children preparing for Confirmation in a very real, public way. Where possible, it is intended that the rituals take place during the Saturday evening Vigil Mass.Other Ways to link in with the Parish
Join in the weekly celebration of the Eucharist
Your parish community is the Eucharistic family into which your child is being further initiated in the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation. Help your child to come to know his/her parish family by attending weekly Mass celebrations. Don’t forget to continue this practice after the reception of the sacraments!
Visits to Parish Church
Consider taking your child to visit the Church outside of Mass times. It is often a much quieter and more personal experience. Perhaps light a candle and say a prayer for someone who is unwell or who has died, or maybe say a prayer of thanksgiving for the gifts that God has given to your family.
Make use of your child’s Alive-O Book
This provides an invaluable link with home, as you will be informed about what your child is doing, and you can talk to them about it.
In older classes, you and your children can read the stories together. In younger classes, the full-colour, full-page illustrations can be a great source of conversation for you and your children. Notes for parents are often contained in the margins of the books, along with a scriptural link.
At the back of the pupils’ book there is a list of all the formal prayers to be learned at each class level. Use these during your prayertime at home.