I enjoyed coordinating this event last week at Ennis Cathedral
Songs of Praise for Bishop Willie Walsh at Ennis Cathedral.
More than 500 school children, many bearing fiddles, harps, flutes and drums representing eight schools in Ennis converged on the Cathedral last Thursday to participate in a Thanksgiving service in honour of retired Bishop of Killaloe , Willie Walsh. The event was an initiative of Ennis Parish Education Forum which was set up in 2005 by Bishop Walsh . The children were welcomed by Isobel O Dea, Chairman of the Forum who said ‘ it is a great credit to the teachers to have so many children here to acknowledge the contribution of the Bishop to Education in Ennis ‘
Musicians from Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Cíosóg opened the proceedings with their rendition of Slán le Máigh . Choir directors and accompanists in turn led the groups from Holy Family Senior School, Ennis National School, CBS Primary School , Scoil Chríost Rí and St Anne’s School in a selection of hymns reflecting the themes of praise and thanksgiving. A group of dancers from St Clare’s School delighted the congregation and Bishop Walsh with their presentation of a dance routine titled ‘Love Can Build a Bridge’ and parish representative on the Forum, Fr. Tom O Gorman read from the Letters of St Paul . Three young students from Holy Family Junior School, the youngest representatives in the Cathedral thanked the Bishop and expressed the wish that he would continue to have lots of adventures in his retirement, including some interesting facts of achievements by famous people in their 80’s and 90’s in their reflection.
Bishop Walsh in his own address praised the wonderful work done by the teachers in schools in Ennis. He thanked all present for the very special occasion and he finished by reprising his message treasured by countless Confirmation candidates that each one of the students gathered was unique and special in their own way. The many musicians accompanying the groups filled the vaulted space with the strains of Mo Gile Mear and the proceedings closed with rousing rendition of Give Me Joy in my Heart.
Fr. Tom Hogan, Administrator said the Ennis Parish was delighted to facilitate this service. Any occasion where we have all the diocesan schools gathered is a very special event and we have posted of photos of the event in the Gallery section at www.ennisparish.ie ’