- School Development
The Spiritan Story of Education
The roots of the Spiritan tree go back to the early 18th century when a young French law student decided to gather a few companions to open a seminary for poor students. His dream was to form priests who would be close to the people they worked with, especially the poor, and who could respond with generosity and creativity to the emerging needs of the Church. This young man's name is Claude Poullart des Place and he is considered the founder of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit which took on the mission of the Seminary of the Holy Spirit and much more besides. The early years of the Congregation are marked by the development of its work in the education of clergy, especially in France, but also an opening up of its mission to the emerging colonies of North America, Asia and Africa. From the very beginning of the Spiritan Story this global vision has been at the heart of its mission.
In 1848 Francis Libermann brought his newly founded missionary congregation into the Spiritan family to form the Congregation that we know today. Liebermann is considered as the second founder of the Spiritans because of the new energy and dynamism that he brought with him.
The educational work of Spiritans continued in Ireland when the first Spiritans came to seek English speaking personnel for Mission work. The Ireland of the mid 18th century was still reeling from the catastrophe of the famine. Fr. Jules Leman immediately saw education as a priority for Catholics who had hardly any access to schools or universities. In the founding of Blackrock College he brought the French tradition of liberal education to Ireland. Soon other schools followed: Rockwell (1864), St. Mary's (1890), St. Michael's (1944) and Templeogue (1966).
As the many Irish Spiritan missionaries fanned out through the world (many of whom were past students of Spiritan schools) they also developed and engaged in educational works - both formal and non-formal. The work of Spiritans today is to foster partnerships with educators, parents and students so that education might be a response to Jesus' invitation to read the signs of the times and so contribute to building up God's Reign of Justice and Peace. In the years gone by, the Spiritan schools in Ireland have given many missionary priests and brothers who have worked in developing nations. This tradition of mission and service continues in other way today through outreach programmes and developing awareness of development issues and justice. Spiritan schools in Ireland are places of privilege. Our educational tradition respects the faith of all but encourages those who participate in its mission to be people who respect the dignity of the Human person and to be advocates for a more just and equitable world.
Des Places Educational Association Ltd (DEA)
The DEA is Patron of the 8 schools and colleges of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit in Ireland, as well as being a joint Patron of Holy Family Community School, Rathcoole, Co. Dublin.
Schools under the sole patronage of the DEA provide Catholic education in the Spiritan (Holy Ghost) tradition for over 5,000 pupils.The Des Places Educational Association (DEA) is a limited Company set up in 1999 by the Congregation of the Holy Spirit designated to act as Patron of the nine Holy Ghost schools and colleges in Ireland. Up to that time the official Patron was the Provincial Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit in Ireland, assisted by the Provincial Council.
The DEA takes its name from the co-founder of the Congregation, Claude Poullart des Places. The Company consists of two bodies, the Members of the Company and a Board of Directors. The Members of the Company are the Provincial Council of the Congregation together with other co-opted Spiritans. The affairs and business of the Company are managed by the Board of Directors, who are members of the Congregation and lay persons.
An Education Officer and Faith Development Officer are employed by the Board, subject to approval by the Members. The Chairman and all other Directors of the Board give of their time and expertise voluntarily.
The Spiritan Education Ethos is guided by and grounded in seven core values:
Openness to the Spirit:
We are guided by the Holy Spirit in our relationships, choices, behaviours and decisions.
A Sense of Community
Working together as a community of schools, we value diversity as a gift from God and the foundation for building communities each and every day.
Concern for the Poor
We live in an unequal world where resources are unevenly distributed. From our privileged position we are called to recognise our role in working together to create a just world.
Commitment to Service
Following the examples of Jesus, the gifts and talents that we are blessed with are freely offered in the service of each other and in all the communities.
Reflecting the missionary outlook of the Congregation, Spiritan education works for the empowerment of peoples and their liberation from injustice and poverty.
High Educational Standards
The realisation of each person's human and spiritual potential to strive for excellence in all areas of life.
The moral, spiritual, intellectual, physical, social and cultural aspects of each student's development is at the heart of the Spiritan vision of Education.
Pupils in Second Form are prepared for the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion. The school involves parents in the preparation for the Sacraments. Likewise parents of pupils in Sixth Form attend a number of meetings and Ceremonies as they join with the school in preparing their sons for the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation. As part of the Confirmation programme, boys in Sixth Form join with boys in Transition Year to participate in the Faith Friends Programme. The rainbows programme is offered to boys who have been bereaved as a result of separation or death.
At the heart of a Spiritan education is a Commitment to the Poor. All boys from Junior Infants are involved in charity events through the course of the year. Guests to the Christmas and Easter concerts are invited to make contributions towards the Pontifical Mission Society â€œChildren helping Childrenâ€. The carol singing each year in the Merrion Shopping Centre is done in aid of St. Vincent de Paul. Before Christmas the teachers co-ordinate prayer services at the crib whereby boys present gifts of food which are sent to a hostel in the city. Following Confirmation boys in Sixth form select a number of charities and send donations to the charities from their Confirmation Gifts. Each autumn boys in the school fill shoeboxes with toys and other treats to support the Operation Hope appeal. In the past proceeds of the Cake Sale have been sent to the Spiritan Fathers working in Haiti following the destruction of the country by the earthquake and also to St. Vincent de Paul
Each Lent, families support the Trocaire appeal. Each year one Jersey Day is held, charities which have benefited include Goal, Focus Ireland and the A-Z Children's Charity.
The Spiritan Provincial Leadership Team (PLT) in Ireland is exploring new ways of engaging with people who have been abused by members of the Spiritan Congregation. To this end they have opened a page on their website (Spiritian.ie) designed specifically to provide the following information to members of the public.
The pdf below is St. Michael's Junior School Child Protection Policy 2016.
|Child_Protection Policy 2016.pdf||445.37 KB|