So, I thought I would follow through from a nagging thought that I had in the build up to the brilliant and highly successful Cardinal Vaughan stake out (Candlelit Vigil). My thought concerned the top honcho at the Catholic Education Service, Dr Oona Stannard and the CES itself. If memory serves me correctly, Oona is the Irish version of Winifred, but I guess Oona would prefer that to remain a well kept secret so, please, do not mention it to anyone.
|Picture: Fr Ray Blake's Blog|
The CES website does its job, if you are a teacher or parent but what took my eye was the blurb on Education Sunday.
Now you must have heard of Education Sunday? No? Well the website tells me that it traditionally (nice word, Oona) is held on the ninth Sunday before Easter. Hmmm.....that had me counting off on my fingertips before giving up in disgust.
But then, silly me, if you click on a bit you find that it is on 20 February - OS likes to make us work a little to find the info!
But, as yet, I am no wiser, what is it for? Why do they hold it? Well it is a day of prayer and celebration and, another fact, it is inter denominational so I suppose that means what precisely?
Here's what Oona's blurb says:
Education Sunday is a national day of prayer and
Now all of this is news to me, my Church does not have posters promoting this important ecumenical event - does yours?
Then I read the Chairman's message (always a mistake, the words anodyne and meaningless spring to mind). The Chairman is, of course, Bishop Malcolm McMahon OP and, if you think me too cynical, here's a bit of what His Lordship writes:-
"Our schools must always be places where faith, hope and love are fostered, and in this special Year of Celebration of Catholic Education I am full of hope for the future. I hope that you, too, will pause to reflect upon the great and wonderful achievements that happen unsung daily in our schools. These may be good academic results but they also include the warmth of the welcome which a child who cannot speak English receives or the concern our children have for young people in plight in a faraway country. But above all it is the miracle of grace that takes place in the hearts of young people because of the presence of Christ at the heart of their school".
Hmmmm.......................grammar needs a bit more attention, please stay behind after school, Bishop. I am also further confused by his mention of it being a Catholic celebration, perhaps he meant to use a small 'c'. But then, Chairmen never write their own messages, it's normally done by a PR type of person.
And, to sum up from my original point, the thing I was looking for was a report on the goings on at Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School. OK, I was not expecting a miracle, I just wanted to see how the CES played their hand over the affair. No, nothing or, Dim as they say in Wales.
So, I will leave you with one of the CES's download resources (under the heading of Creative Prayer Resources) for the great day. I hope that you are sitting down and have a cup of weak tea handy (good for the nerves). It is, I warn you pretty dynamic and exciting stuff......(I have added a word or two in red)........here goes:-
Use these creative prayer ideas in an all-age worship service, at a more informal prayer event, or as prayer stations in your prayer room.
..Small wonder the parents of Cardinal Vaughan have got a fight on their hands!