By Lydia O’Kane
Sunday the 28th January marks the start of Catholic Schools Week 2018 in Ireland.
The week is an all-Ireland annual celebration which invites Catholic schools to give expression in a special way to the ethos of Catholic education.
The theme for 2018 is ‘Catholic Schools: Called to be a Family of Families’.
Speaking about the week-long event following Wednesday’s launch, Bishop Fintan Monahan of Killaloe in the Midwest of Ireland, said “the reason for it was to highlight many of the positive aspects of Catholic education, adding that it’s establishment was to highlight what was unique and important about Catholic schools.”
It was also an attempt he said, in an increasingly secular society, to respond to the growth of public schools being founded in the country.
The theme for this year is ‘Catholic Schools: Called to be a Family of Families’, which links in with the World Meeting of Families which will be held in Dublin in August. Bishop Monahan explains that the family is Catholic Church, "that is the Catholic parish, that is the Catholic schools, that is the Catholic family itself and what that contributes to the greater good of society.”
During the week there will be a catechetical programme for both primary and secondary schools and there will also be a reflection on the theme for this year.
As Ireland gears up to host the World Meeting of Families, the Bishop of Killaloe said that preparations in his diocese were ongoing and there have already been a number of events in the lead up to the gathering. “We are really really looking forward to it, and it’s really coloured so many of the Church events that we’ve had in the course of the year”, he said.
Catholic Schools Week 2018 in Ireland runs from the 28th of January to the 4th February.