AFTER 14 years in the planning, the pupils, teachers, staff, parents and those closely connected to the School Of The Holy Spirit, Callan Road, Kilkenny gathered on Friday for the blessing of the new building, sensory garden and other fantastic facilities at the school which has over 70 special needs students.
It was by any standard a wonderful event, with Mass celebrated by Bishop Seamus Freeman and many of those connected with the school playing a role in the liturgy.
But when one student stood up to recite a prayer of the faithful, the tears welled up in many faces as his story mirrored those of many others fortunate to have come through the doors of the school.
He said: “I give thanks for the years I have spent in the school, during which time, I have developed personally, socially and emotionally. We remember our past students and pray for them as they continue on their journey through life.”
Blessed with a dry day, everyone was in good form as Bishop Freeman spoke of the importance of community and the need to band together to achieve things.
He highlighted the need for empathy with and for others and said it was this compassion that was at the heart of the school.
And he had message for all of us: “If you see a need go and help.”
Chairman of the board of management, Tommy Lanigan thanked all who helped to bring the facility to fruition and had special word for retired principal, June Barrett and former chairman of the board of management, Diarmuid Healy. He spoke about the amazing team at the school under the stewardship of principal, Karen Lowther.