This week saw the closure of our primary schools for the summer break; it’s a long year for little people; from September through to Halloween, on to Christmas, Easter etc. until finally the dying days of June see the long-anticipated holiday closure.

Nowadays the vast majority of children seem to enjoy school greatly, and our schools are places that bring out the best in them. Teachers are well trained and dedicated people, and despite the under resourcing of our schools, they succeed in doing a great job in forming young minds for the future. It’s always a wonderful thing to see the genuine bonds of affection that develop between young people and their teachers, and vice-versa. These bonds are clearly seen when graduation day approaches and the time comes to bid farewell to primary school for good.

I have been part of a number of graduation ceremonies over the years, and it’s always heart-warming to witness the depth of emotion stirred up in the young people as they bring down the curtain on this long and happy chapter of their lives. There are tears-a-plenty on these occasions. They leave primary school very different young people to the junior infants that walked through the doors of what probably seemed a slightly scary place some eight long years ago. They are of course the same, but also different. Personalities have emerged, opinions formed, likes and dislikes have crystallised, hobbies and interests have taken shape and a vast amount of learning has happened.

A foundation has been laid for these young people that they will continue to build on through the years of the chapters yet to be written; a sound foundation is essential for any construction. Friendships have formed too, and many schooldays friendships will become the most long-lasting of all.Their faith lives too have been developed through these years, and hopefully their experience of the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and most recently Confirmation will have laid a bedrock of faith that will be an important part of who they are, and who they will as yet become.

The task of all of education is to bring out the best in young people, and to form them as intelligent and responsible individuals grounded in a healthy sense of self-worth, with the confidence to realise that they have much to contribute to society. We can be proud in Lucan that our schools reach these high ideals. We hope that summer will bring well-deserved rest and relaxation to all who make up our school communities and that they will return with batteries recharged for a new school year beginning in September.

To the boys and girls moving on to pastures new, we wish you every happiness and success. May the Lord who has seen you safely this far, walk with you through the years to come.

Philip Curran
St. Mary’s and St. Patrick’s Parishes