As a Catholic Secondary School operating according to the traditions of the Sisters of Mercy, we are committed to nurturing a reflective and committed religious faith as it is an integral dimension of our school ethos. “Christian community is our heritage and goal, the Good News of the Gospel is our story.”
Many religious events take place at our school during the year, the beginning of year mass in September, the first year mass, the sixth year mass before the exams, the Easter Reflection, the Christmas Reflection and the Religious Education teachers bring their classes to the prayer room every now and again for meditation, relaxation and prayer.
Religion at Our Lady’s
Religious Education in Our Lady’s contributes not only to the personal reflection and development of young people, but also heightens respect for the beliefs of others and help build a diverse but cohesive school. Religious Education at Our Lady’s contributes significantly, indeed uniquely, to the education of the whole person. Good Religious Education as offered in Our Lady’s honours the freedom of conscience of the young person while revering their family faith and/or belief traditions and expectations. Religious Education creates a safe space to test one’s own identity, and reflect with others in a respectful manner on the search for meaning and values.
Junior Cycle Religious Education
At Junior Cycle level, our students study a range of topics including:
- First Year: Communities and roles within a community; Communities at work; Sign and symbol; The world of ritual ; The foundations of Christianity, evidence of Jesus Christ, the person and His preaching; An introduction to morality.
- Second Year: The beginnings of faith; The Question of Faith – How Faith begins and grows; The ways in which we express our faith ; Prayer; Communities of Faith and the relationship between them; Faith in Christ; The death and resurrection of Jesus.
- Third Year: Sources of Morality, Conscience, Moral Decision Making, Living Morality. Law and Morality; Sin and Forgiveness; The Dignity of the Human Person; Exploring Moral Issues; Rites of passage and other rituals; The situation of faith today; Challenges to faith; The Experience of worship; Worship as response to mystery.
Senior Cycle Religious Education
At Senior Cycle, our students experience a modular system of Religious Education whereby they study four/five courses per year with four/five different teachers. At senior cycle level the emphasis is on becoming a “critical questioner and reflective searcher”. Our students study the following five modules:
Transition Year Religious Education Modules:
5th Year Religious Education Modules
- The Search for Meaning
6th Year Religious Education Modules
- Celebrating Faith
Our Lady’s Secondary School has a Special Education Needs Team of teachers to provide personalised support to students with learning difficulties and those with physical disabilities. This is complimented by a fantastic team of SNA’s.
The Special Needs Co-ordinator leads the Special Needs Team and acts as a contact for parents and guardians. Regular contact with parents of students with Special Educational Needs is seen as a vital component of our work at Our Lady’s.
The SNA’s at Our Lady’s have established positive working relationship with the religion class teachers which are critical to ensuring successful educational outcomes for the students.
In the words of Sr Catherine Mc Cauley who founded and inspired our Mercy Ethos, she says “our whole life should be a continual act of praise and prayer”.
Our Lady’s is an inclusive school. Our aim is to ensure that every student is enabled to fulfil their potential academically and socially and to take an active part in the life of the school community and participate fully within the religion class.
The School Chaplain is a faith presence in the school community who is available to students, parents and staff members alike. The Chaplain works closely with school management, year heads, class tutors, and classroom teachers to promote a harmonious school environment for the well-being of all its members. Our Lady’s derives its ethos from the philosophy of the Sisters of Mercy as staff and students enjoy working together to realise our full potential in a healthy, safe, stimulating and friendly environment. This vision is shared by the Chaplain who endeavors to accompany young people on their journey through life, and encourages them to let their light shine brightly.
Our school chaplain is Ms Duffy. Her role varies from teaching religious education, organising prayer services/Masses, sacred spaces, school retreats, meeting students on an individual basis and working closely with the pastoral care team in the school. This service is student based and follows through to home and family life particularly with regard to illness, bereavement and loss. The Chaplain’s priority is to treat students with respect and dignity in all situations within and beyond the school.
Easter Reflection 2018
On Thursday 15th of March, the whole school cohort were humbled and privileged to celebrate our first liturgical service, the sacrament of reconciliation in St. Maeldoid’s Church, celebrated by Fr. Mc Hugh. Priests from neighboring parishes came to help facilitate and celebrate with us.
Our Lady’s celebrate the beginning of Lent in school this week with a Lenten path in the school foyer.
Catholic Schools Week 2018
Our sacred space in our school is dedicated to Catholic Schools Week. Students have been taking part in various activities all week including morning prayers over the intercom, visitation to classes from local parish Priests and classroom group activities.
Our school crib made by students.
Christmas Reflection 2017
We held our annual Christmas reflection on Tuesday 12th of December. It was attended by the whole school, Fr. Mc Hugh and Fr. Creelmanl. Mr. Kelly, Fr. Creelman spoke at the reflection and commented on the the talent, Christmas spirit and positive atmosphere exhibited at our Christmas reflection. The reflection spread Christmas cheer with the beautiful singing from the choir, and reminded the students of the true meaning of Christmas, through prayer, power points, videos and drama.
November Remembrance 2017
Our annual November Remembrance Service took place last night, 21st November, in the Convent Chapel. Our school community and beyond gathered to reflect and remember those who have passed.
OLSS and Clogher don Óige
Clogher don Óige is the diocesan youth ministry organisation. As a Ceist school we are very proud to have students and staff associated with the organisation. An opportunity for Transition Year students and 5th year students is the Pope John Paul II award. Students take on a fixed amount of social commitments and parish commitments dependant on the level they wish to achieve (bronze, silver or gold). The award is parish based, but extra curricular activities and assistance at school functions can count towards their award, strengthening the connection between school and the parish. Some of our senior cycle students have travelled on pilgrimage with Clogher don Óige since 2011. They have travelled to Taizé, Lourdes and World Youth Day in Madrid (2011) and Krakow (2016). This summer 8 senior cycle students travelled to Lourdes with many to receive their Pope John Paul II award in the coming spring.
Mercy Day 2017
On this Mercy day, 24th of SEPTEMBER, we celebrate the founding of the Sisters of Mercy by Catherine Mc Auley . This school is a Mercy school and it’s because of Catherine Mc Auley and the Mercy Sisters that we are here today.
We gather to praise our God and to give thanks for all the blessings that we have received. We pray that we will have new enthusiasm and vision in the work of teaching and learning.
On this Mercy Day 2016, we recall the words of Catherine McAuley:
“We should be as shining lamps, giving light to all around us.”
Therefore our gift, the light of mercy, is a gift to be shared by all! On this Mercy Day let us pray that Mercy enlivens a spirit of compassion, charity and love in the hearts of all of us and that this spirit may bring grace and light to all those who s
uffer in our world.
We especially remember all the refugees .
May the charism of mercy be a shining light for all the world!
We ask this through Christ our Lord amen.
Proclamation Day 2016
Today we recalled the Easter Rising of April 2016. A prayer service was held at the front of the school to remember those who fought in 1916 for this country. We are very privileged and honoured to have within our school community blood relatives of those who were so heavily involved in this Rising. Ms.Murray’s Great Gran-Uncle Michael Mallin was a commander of St.Stephens Green during The Rising. He was arrested and imprisoned in Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin. He was one of the 15 leaders executed on the 8th May 1916.
While he was in Kilmainham Gaol,he learnt to play the flute which was taught to him by members of the British Army. Roisin Dubh was one of his favourite tunes. After he was executed, his sister Kate opened a bank account and saved money for the next flute player in the family. Ms.Murray, an accomplished flute player, replayed Roisin Dubh during the ceremony and read aloud letter that Michael Mallin, her Great Gran-Uncle wrote to his parents the day before he died.
Ms.O Hanrahan proudly raised the tricolour today on our school grounds. Her Great Gran-Uncle , Michael O Hanrahan, was executed in Kilmainham Gaol on May 4th 1916 as one of the leaders in The Rising. Michael was Quartermaster General of the Irish Volunteers and was part of the command at Jacobs Factory during The Rising. His brother Harry was also in Jacobs Factory and was sentenced to death by execution, but his sentence was commuted to penal servitude. Michael who was also a talented journalist and novelist, was instrumental in setting up the first branch of the Gaelic League in Carlow. His three sisters Eily, Maire and Aine were leading members of Cumann na mBan.
24 Hours for the Lord
Students took part in Pope Francis’ 24 Hours for the Lord today in the Convent church. The church was kept open from 9am until 4pm. Teachers took their classes to the Convent church and it was also open during break time and lunch time for students
First Year Retreat 2014
Third Year Retreat 2014
TY STUDENTS VISIT KNOCK SEPT 2014