Under the direction of Sister Bosco Costigan and Mother Eucharia Keane, 60 years ago this week, a small group of children stated their Catholic education at Haverfordwest. On January 15th 1957, the first ever lesson of the newly established school of Mary Immaculate took place. Deo Gratias!
That event was to change the direction of Catholic Schooling in Pembrokeshire because the County Town now had is own Catholic School perched on the edge of Merlin’s Hill. Originally housed in the Convent of the Sisters of Mercy, the newly established school started to grow and additional buildings were built. The number of students on the roll increased and not before too long, a thriving community was established.
As time has passed there have been many successes recorded for the school, but also some setbacks too. Nevertheless, in all things God’s providence has given time for growth and development. Who can forget the tears when the sisters left and returned to Ireland, the joy and pride of the school band when they played for the Pope in Rome and the stunned despair when buildings were burnt down and work went up in smoke.
And yet today, pupils, parents and staff, both past and present, came together to celebrate our common heritage of all that has been and to usher in, with God’s blessing, all that will be.
As we look to the past history of Mary Immaculate School, may we be inspired with confidence to continue our mission together of “living and learning in the light of Christ.”
The Catholic Church’s response in England and Wales to meeting the needs of refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria will be coordinated locally through the dioceses. Each diocese is in the process of appointing a local contact person. So far about half the dioceses of England and Wales have found a person for this rôle, which still has to be fulfilled in Menevia. As such Bishop Tom writes:
“As a matter of urgency, the Bishops’ Conference is asking each Diocese to nominate a LOCAL CONTACT PERSON to coordinate the Catholic Church’s local response for supporting Middle East refugees. If anyone among the laity in the Diocese feels able to take on this role of COORDINATOR / LOCAL CONTACT PERSON, please contact the Bishop’s office as soon as possible on 01792 644017. Thank you. – Bishop Tom“
Congratulations to Rose and Pat Murphy as Pat receives the Benemerenti medal from Pope Francis!
During his recent pastoral visit, Bishop Tom presented the award on behalf of Pope Francis for Pat’s contribution to Catholic Education and Catechesis.
Both Pat and Rose have spent many years and much effort in actively promoting the vision of the Church which the Bishops of the World put forward at the Second Ecumenical Vatican Council – a vision which saw a notably increased role of the laity through their active participation in the life of the Church.
In his homily, bishop Tom made reference to the Church being more than just a stone building which can be burnt down, but that it is the living body of the people of Christ – the laity and the clergy – who bring their God-given gifts together for the good of all. In his acceptance speech Pat made reference to all the good that had been done in this area, but noted that there is still some way to go. Here in Haverfordwest he invited everyone to be more active in shaping the Local Church and indicated one way to do that would be to get involved in the up-comming discussions concerning the Synod on Marriage and Family Life.
Pat and Rose, all in the parish wish you well, and we all offer our heartfelt congratuations and blessings. May you continue to work hard for the promotion and deeper understanding of our Catholic Faith.
More pictures may be found here.