The work of the Chaplain can be described under the following headings:
- Ministry to students
- Ministry to the family of a student
- Ministry to all members of staff
- Ministry through the liturgy
In essence, chaplaincy is about “being there” to all members of the school community; staff, students and family members.
No matter what stage in life we are at, all of us need some kind of support. The Chaplain provides an open door where students, as well as other members of the school community, can receive support in a confidential and safe way. The chaplain is privileged to operate with a unique code of confidentiality, which is respected by the school. This allows the chaplain to offer pastoral care in a sensitive way. Many students will use the open door as their first step in dealing with a problem or seeking help. At times the Chaplain may feel that another member of staff or the Guidance Counsellors may be of help to the student and with the student’s permission may refer them to another support person. Parents/Guardians are contacted in consultation with the student when necessary.The School Chaplain works closely with the Guidance Counsellors, Class Tutors, Year Heads and the Pastoral Care Team. The Chaplain also works in close collaboration with School Management in aiming to promote a harmonious school environment.
The Chaplain ensures the liturgical life of the school is celebrated through leading and co-ordinating prayer services, for example Masses, Penitential Services, Advent and Lenten liturgies. The local clergy: Fr. Tommy Marrinan and Fr. Gearóid O’ Griofa support liturgical celebrations throughout the school year.
Retreats contribute to the development of the whole person and offer a unique opportunity for spiritual and religious awareness and development. One year of junior cycle students and one year of senior cycle students attend a day of retreat. First year students travel to Knock Shrine and partake in a one day retreat. Fourth year students attend a one day retreat in the Diocesan Pastoral Centre in Galway City.
We are very fortunate at Gort Community School to now have an Oratory. This Oratory is in it’s infancy as it was officially opened this past October. The altar in the Oratory was constructed by a present leaving certificate student, Anthony Rodgers under the guidance of Mr. E. Marren, from our woodwork department. The Oratory has been and will be used for prayer services, meditation and group discussion related to the RE Programme. The Oratory is also used for quiet personal reflection by students and staff.
In order that all in the school community receive the care they need, it is important that members of staff, family, or friends inform the school immediately if a student or staff member is sick at home/hospital or if they are bereaved in any way.
Contact Details for the Acting Chaplain John Mc Namara
Phone: 091 632163 Ext. 24