The Start of Catholic Schools Week took place at St John the Baptist Church Drumcree Portadown yesterday January 26th. Schools from all over the Archdiocese attended. Nearly 600 gathered for the event at 11.30 am.The Liturgy was a service that featured reflection of the theme of mercy in our lives personally and as school communities.

Archbishop Eamon led the celebration which featured art based on the seven corporal works of mercy, a dramatized retelling of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount with the Beatitutes.  We watched a drama about the Apple tree Story and then were fortunate to be able to reflect in a prayerful way in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.  Two original 18th Century Penal Crosses from South Armagh were used to confirm our commitment to be mercy-filled people. We each venerated the cross and offered incense to the Blessed Sacrament as a sign and pledge of our discipleship in this Jubilee Year..

The service was moving and filled with God’s Holy Spirit.  Many seeds of faith were planted in young hearts. Pupils received a personal copy of a penal cross to use in their own homes, rooms and prayerlife.

Fr Ryan our new Primary Adviser led the prayers and students and teachers took part by reading these. Fr Toner PP Portadown led the Procession of the Blessed Sacrament.  Mr Francis Hagan sacristan acted as MC.

Music and hymns were just splendid and really enhanced the whole experience for all present.  Light refreshments were provided by Drumcree College in the Pastoral Centre for those travelling.  All in all a brilliant start to our week celebrating all that is special and good in Catholic Education.

” Highlights for me were the Drama of the Beatitudes so moving and thought provoking, and the heavenly music from St Paul’s Choir,  what a joy and treat. ”

” Loved every minute, could not believe we were praying for nearly an hour and 20 minutes. Well done all concerned.”

” What a warm Church. We could see everything this year.  Great hospitality afterwards.  Thanks Drumcree College !!”

” The Apple tree drama and story was just what I needed to hear today.  God was thinking of me. Thanks. ”

” Loved the veneration of the Cross just like Good Friday.  What a lovely idea.”

” Our children were spell bound by the beauty and presence of the Holy Eucharist in the Monstrance. Real seeds of faith were planted. ”