Season’s Greetings from the Headmaster in our 198th Academic Year
As we look to the celebration of Christmas, with Mass on Christmas Eve (at 9 PM, and to which all are warmly invited), we have much to be thankful for. A personal hightlight for me this past term has been the emerging versatility of the new Sports Hall, not least for its facilitation of the celebration of the school’s Sunday liturgy in ever richer ways.
We must remember, however, the less fortunate. The recession is affecting everyone: the Clongowes community is not immune from these chilling winds. But we think especially of the families of the young children and their teachers who were so cruelly slaughtered in Newtown, Connecticut, last week. We must pray for the bereaved over Christmas, remembering also the families of other children who have been killed in further recent tragedies, like the twelve young girls in Afghanistan who trod upon an active land-mine. The father in Newtown who spoke so movingly about his own beloved, murdered daughter, and who reached out to everyone through his grief and tears, not only to the other bereaved parents but even to the family of the murderer himself, is a Christ-like model for all of us.
This foil adds particular poignancy to our celebration of the Feast of the Holy Innocents next week, just three days after Christmas: the mystery of God’s direct intervention in the world against the background of human pain and suffering – and evil. Little more than 2,000 years ago he sent us his only Son Jesus Christ as an earnest of his love for each and every one of us: all that we can do is strive to emulate that Dad in Newtown, bringing hope to an often despairing world.
I am happy to welcome this year’s second issue of the Clongowes Digest, revived by Declan O’Keeffe, Head of Communications, and looking even brighter and better thanks to the technical wizardry of Ross Giles (OC 2005). This digest includes (but cannot contain) some of the many stories emanating from the school since September, further details of which may be found on the website by following the various links. It appears several times a year and is designed to complement the school’s other communications media, Clongowes Life and The Clongownian as well the website (which is regularly updated).
During this season of joy we remember in prayer all those of the broad Clongowes Family who have lost a loved one – and they are many – or who are struggling with health or other worries at this time.
All of us in the Jesuit community wish everyone a happy and a hope-filled Christmas.
Leonard Moloney SJ, Headmaster