Educating in Faith

A Tale of Nine Centuries: The Story and Spirituality of the Le Chéile Schools Trust, by Úna Collins and Sean Goan (The Columba Press, €14.99)

Back in 2003 12 small congregations came together to see what could be done about creating an overall trust which would, in these changing and challenging times for education, provide some way of protecting and continuing the special ethos which each had brought to the vocation of teaching. The result was the foundation of Le Chéile a lay trust in 2011. There are now some 14 congregations under its umbrella, which oversees over 28,000 students.

In this book the authors have had the notion of outlining the history of each of the congregations over the nine centuries of their title. The result is a concise history of the education of Ireland since the middle ages. How during long centuries of conflict and persecution and indifference they persevered. There are perhaps lessons from the past to be learnt, they seem to suggest. Having survived, the charism of each will hopefully thrive under their new trust. And so they enable the Faith that was preserved, as they explain, by previous generations to be passed on into a future where the name and nature of the Church will be very different perhaps.

This is a book for everyone at all interested in Irish education, its past, its present, and its true purpose in the future.