Press Release April 1st 2014
Archbishop celebrates Mass in new amalgamated Catholic School
The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Diarmuid Martin celebrated Mass today in one of the first Catholic schools to amalgamate, to allow for more plurality in education in the local area. At Mass in St. James’ Primary school, Basin Lane, the Archbishop said it was “an important landmark in the history of Catholic Education in the area.”
Two local Catholic boys and girls schools came together to form a co-educational primary school, St. James’, at the start of this academic year. As a result, a new Educate Together School has been established in the locality.
In his homily the Archbishop said what was happening in Basin Lane was not a retreat from the tradition of Catholic education, but the beginnings of a new presence. “We come to bless the fruit of this amalgamation which witness both the rich heritage of the past, but also recognition of a changed Ireland. Catholic education still has its vital place in our educational system, as something which brings its unique value system, a value system which is recognised by families of a variety of religious traditions in this community who opt to send their children to a Catholic school.”
The Archbishop said having other schools in the area which will embrace a different ethos, was to be welcomed. This he said, would contribute to the rightful pluralism of educational provision in today’s Dublin. “In that spirit we wish success to the Educate Together School which has been established in this wider area.” he said.
Archbishop Martin described the area around Basin Lane as “the heartland of Catholic education in Dublin.” The Irish Christian Brothers founded their first school there in 1820 – one of their earliest foundations in Dublin – and after a short interlude definitively established their James’ Street schools in 1868. The Religious Sisters of Charity have been active in Basin Lane School since 1874. The former convent is today the Haven Adult Education Centre.
“These have been great schools which have offered educational opportunity to young people in this area of Dublin in difficult times and provided schools which have produced generations of young men and women who have availed of and benefitted from an educational opportunity which they might never have otherwise have encountered.” said Archbishop Martin, “Our ceremony embraces change and also expresses our gratitude for the work and the commitment which goes back for well over a century.”
The Archbishop said pluralism is something welcome but said pluralism should not produce negative rivalry or antagonism or give rise to elitism or social division. ENDS
· A full copy of the Homily is attached and available on www.dublindiocese.ie
· Photographs of today’s events in James’ St. School are available from John Mc Elroy Photos 087 2416985