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An empty classroom An empty classroom  (2020 Getty Images)

Covid-19: Irish Bishop urges patience and support as schools re-open

With schools in Ireland set to re-open at the end of August, the Bishop of Limerick, Brendan Leahy, is urging everyone to be “supportive and patient” in the task ahead.

By Vatican News

Speaking ahead of the re-opening of schools at the end of the month in Ireland, Bishop Brendan Leahy described the task of getting pupils back into the classroom as both “wonderful and challenging” for everyone involved.

Schools and colleges across the country were forced to close in March in a bid to contain the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, Bishop Leahy urged all to be “supportive and patient” as schools get up and running again.

The Bishop of Limerick highlighted the importance of schools in communities. He also paid tribute to all involved in the process, not least principals for their leadership during the summer months.

The challenge ahead

“We all need to be grateful for those who have risen to the challenge to get the schools ready to meet the Covid-19 disruption.”

Noting that “there is a natural quiver of nervousness around what lies ahead,” he called for an atmosphere of mutual support and an adherence to official health guidelines.

“It is important that we promote all the advice given by the health authorities, especially about hand-washing and social distancing.”

Acknowledging it will be a challenging time, Bishop Leahy asked for a “an extra supplement of patience, understanding and forbearance.”

“The daily vaccine of patience, understanding and a gentle approach will go a long way to ensure the re-opening of schools will be as positive an experience as possible for all.”

Prayers for pupils and staff

As pupils prepare to resume their studies in the classroom, the Bishop said, “It is good for the children and young people to be resuming a structure that facilitates their personal growth.”

He added: “As schools re-open, I want to assure the pupils, teachers and staff of my prayers and the prayers of the Diocese of Limerick. We appreciate this is both a wonderful time and a challenging time for all concerned.”

“It is wonderful the schools are re-opening. Schools are the heartbeat of communities across the Diocese. Life thrives when they are up and running. Perhaps we don’t always appreciate it, but, along with the pupils, we all benefit from the community life that schools generate.”

27 August 2020, 15:11