Many teachers are enthusiastically engaging with faith initiatives despite “media spin” to the contrary, a Dublin principal has said.
The Laudate initiative aims to build a common hymn repertoire between school and parish to help children use their talents and feel more involved in Church, with the founder saying teachers have been very proactive in their involvement.
“I think there’s media spin out there about the fact that teachers aren’t engaging in faith initiatives,” said Cathy Burke, the principal of Scoil Eoin in Kilbarrack.
“But certainly through the Laudate programme, we didn’t have to sell this programme at all, teachers volunteered to come forward for this and have engaged very, very actively and supportively.
“The great thing about this is it’s a natural process as well,” she said.
Laudate has been running for three years and was started by Ms Burke, who said she believes it will grow, with about 50 schools being involved each year.
The teachers involved give their own time by attending an introductory meeting and going to the celebrations.
About 2,500 children are taking part in this year’s Laudate Festival 2019, which takes place during Catholic Schools Week at the end of this month in St Pius X Church, Templeogue on Monday, January 28 at 7pm and Our Lady of Victories Church in Ballymun Road on Tuesday, January 29 at 7pm.
The last day of the festival will be celebrated in St Therese’s Church, Mount Merrion on Wednesday, January 30 at 7pm.
Ms Burke, who comes from Knock in Co. Mayo, became involved in Church activities because the parish offered her the opportunity to sing.
She added: “It may be a way of bringing children who are interested in music and for teachers who are involved in music as well, to become part of their own parish community in a way that’s actually meaningful to their own talents.
“The children realise that they actually matter, that the adults actually do want to work with them and bring them into the community.”