On Tuesday May 5th, the CBS Roscommon will host a virtual celebration of the Feast Day of Blessed Edmund Rice Day by connecting with 95 other secondary and primary schools in the Republic of Ireland under the Edmund Rice Schools Trust. As part of the celebration, Edmund Rice schools will connect with each other and post messages about the impact that one of Ireland’s most influential social activists and educators has had on their school and their education. The overall message for 2020 will be one of hope and living out our faith through courage, prayer and positive community engagement.
CBS student Jamie Finnegan posted a video online discussing how the life of Edmund Rice has inspired him and so many others within the school to volunteer their time and talents to society. He gave his recent involvement with the RTE Mass as an example, and said that spreading a message of hope at a time when it was needed most felt like a making a positive impact. RE Teacher Ms Laura Quinn has also devised an online quiz which will test students on the life of Edmund Rice.
Edmund Rice schools pride themselves on passing on a deep sense of social justice to their students. Within the CBS Roscommon, there are many students who advocate for change on issues such as homelessness, healthcare and the environment. They organise
The five main tenets of the Edmund Rice Charter include: nurturing faith and Christian spirituality and values; promoting partnership, excelling in teaching and learning, creating a caring school community and inspiring transformational leadership.
The legacy of Edmund Rice has had particular resonance in Roscommon in recent years, with the CBS Roscommon’s newest facility – a state-of-the-art centre to provide for the specific educational needs for those with autism – being named after the man who dedicated his life to creating educational opportunities for everyone. At the opening of the centre, Principal Fiona Gallagher said ‘It was the vision of Edmund Rice to create a vibrant educational environment for all. It is significant that this was the Brothers’ home. How wonderful a sign of their continuing legacy to our education. And we want those who are educated here to be at home.’
Although the 96 Edmund Rice school buildings remains empty today, we can still come together virtually to celebrate the essence of the school spirit, the amazing students and teachers who give so much of themselves to the community, and to reflect on the life of someone who dedicated his life to the betterment of others. Surely, a pertinent message in today’s environment.