Desiderata – Final Message to TY 2012

Hello TY’s

Because of the busy schedule of the TY programme, it is possible that we have had our last religion class of the year. Therefore, I want to leave you with a final message – it has been a pleasure to teach each and every single one of you. Your goodness, openness, sincerity and fantastic participation in class have put a song in my heart.

Remember the sentiments of Morrie: Accept who you are and revel in that; Jack (CS Lewis): Why love if losing hurts so much? (I hope you know the answer!) Stuart: Determination, courage, acceptance, hope for the future.

These inspirational men did not become bitter, they became better; they did not choose the shadows, they chose to live in the sunshine.

I want to leave you, TY’s with a song/reflection that we looked at during the year to remind you that it is a beautiful world we live in and that you have a very special place in the universive. Some words of wisdom from the piece – do not compare yourself to others… be gentle with yourself… strive to be happy…




Confirmation in Gormanston

A rare occasion in Gormanston but one of great joy and pride is the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation. Under the guidance of our rector Fr Ulic Troy, eight senior students were confirmed on Thursday last by Bishop Fiachra O’Ceallaigh, the only Franciscan Bishop in Ireland. The ceremony took place in the private oratory of the Franciscan Community in the castle connected to the College. The students have been preparing by attending confirmation lessons with Fr Ulic since before Christmas. The group being confirmed composed of 5th and 6th year students from Spain, Germany and Austria. It is traditional in these countries for young people to be confirmed at 16 plus. Gormanston College was honoured to provide the facilities and opportunity for such a service.

It was particularly fitting that Bishop Fiachra (Emeritus) was available to perform the ceremony. The Bishop was ordained a priest of 2 July 1961. He was appointed as an Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin and at the same time by Pope John Paul II on 7 June 1994 at the age of 61. Prior to his appointment as bishop, he had been provincial of the Franciscan Order in Ireland and was the first Franciscan to become a bishop in Ireland for over 170 years.

After the ceremony, the students, Fr Ulic, Bishop Fiachra and the sponsors had a celebratory meal in Whytes of Stamullen.

Congratulations to the students – (pictured below) Alejo, Jaime, Jaime, Javier, Gabriel, Mario, Philipp, Pablo on this great milestone in their lives. We pray that the Holy Spirit will guide them now and always. Many thanks to Bishop Fiachra for the lovely ceremony and to Fr Ulic for the preparation involved.


The Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation (Section F)

Hello again,

I hope you have had a chance to complete the exam essay from 2007 Section 5 Question 6. After you have done your work, take a look at this sample answer. You can easily see that the essay question is not as difficult as ome might think.

2007 Section 5 Q 6

Outline the work being done by one community of faith to promote justice. In your answer you should describe the religious moral vision on which this work is based.

One community of faith that works to promote justice is the Christian Community. The struggle for justice and peace is one of the most important ideals of any Christian moral vision. In Ireland, leaders have spoken publicly about the struggle for justice and peace. They have condemned the unmerciful killings of innocent people.

As a result of the struggle, a Christian organisation is putting justice and peace to the forefront. That organisation is the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation. Its motto is: “If we wage peace with the intensity with which we waged war, there would be no wars.’

The Glencree Centre was founded in 1974 in reaction to the violent conflict in Irish society. People wanted to believe that there was a better way than violence and vandalism, intolerance and sectarianism. Concern for what was happening in Northern Ireland in the 1970’s was not enough. Reconciliation was the key. The achievement of a peaceful society is of interest and value to us all.

The Centre for Peace and Reconciliation welcomes all traditions in Ireland that have the same hopes for peace-building. It is a non-governmental organisation. Its people see peace-building as a way to understand the nature and meaning of conflicts. The Centre’s programmes are based on the belief that new ways can be found to deal with diversity and conflict in a democratic society. In Glencree, the job of reconciling very old differences requires enormous effort and courage, as well as time and patience.

Since its foundation, Glencree has been the scene of important events and projects. These have been in the fields of education, fundraising, recreation, work camps and hosting a flow of visitors.

The religious moral vision of Glencree is strongly based on scripture’s message of justice. In the Bible we are asked to follow the teachings of Jesus and to act justly towards our neighbours. Jesus’ teaching on justice is rooted in the writings of the prophets Amos, Job and Jeremiah. The prophets continually speak of the love that God shows to all especially the downtrodden and poor. During his ministry, Jesus clearly identified with the poor, the sick, women and the downtrodden. At all times he preached: “You must love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength. You must love your neighbour as yourself.” (Mk 12:30). There can never be real love of God without loving others. This is the religious moral vision that acts as the basis for the work of the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation.

Forgiveness and Reconciliation (Section F)


I hope you are enjoying the long weekend. One piece of homework you had to do was 2010 Section 4 Q 6  based on the Morality Section of the course. You should have attempted this by now. Here is a model answer to let you know the standard of writing and kind of answer expected. Compare this answer with the one you did yourselves.

2010 Section 4 Q 6

A. Outline the understanding of forgiveness found in the teaching of a major world religion that you have studied. (18)

In Christianity, forgiveness is at the heart of all relationships. The Bible shows us that the God we know and love is a forgiving God. The greatest example of forgiveness is when Jesus was nailed to the cross on the hill of Calvary with criminals on either side. In St Luke’s Gospel we are told that, nearing his death, Jesus called out to his Father: ‘Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing’.

We also learn from the parable of the Prodigal Son that forgiveness from God is unconditional. The father always remained faithful to his son, even though the son left and showed no respect for his father. On his return, with nothing left, the prodigal son was welcomed with open arms and his father held a fest in his honour.  God forgives all the wrong things we do and embraces each of us back into his family.

B. a. Explain two reasons why reconciliation is seen as important by members of a world religion. (16)

(i) Reconciliation is important in Christianity because it is about bringing the Christian community closer together and closer to God. Reconciliation heals any hurt that people feel and in doing so makes it easier for people to love again without any barriers. The priest represents the community of believers and offers forgiveness on behalf of the community.

(ii) Reconciliation is also important because it is an opportunity to meet the risen Christ. Through this forgiveness we are encouraged to move forward in harmony with ourselves and our neighbours. By doing this, God’s love can be seen in the world around us. The sacrament can therefore be seen as a healing of the relationships that one has broken.

B. b. Describe one way in which a world religion offers its members an opportunity for reconciliation. (16)

One way Christianity offers reconciliation by confessing their sins and seeking forgiveness from God and others. This sacrament can take place individually in a confession box where the priest hears confession privately. The confessor first acknowledges their sinfulness and then recites the Act of Contrition. In this the person thanks God for all his love and promises not to sin again. Then the priest gives absolution showing that the person is cleansed from sins. Finally, the priest gives a penance which usually involves a few prayers being said.