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St. Patrick Celebrations in St. Patrick's National School, Clara

The pupils of Clara National School had double reason to celebrate St. Patrick last week as he is the Patron Saint of the School and of the Nation. The area around Clara is very closely connected with St. Patrick with St. Patrick's Well and other sites believed to be part of Patrick's life and work in Ireland. This was a true celebration for our national saint with the emphasis in the right place. It began with a whole school Assembly with all the children and staff involved. It began by remembering why Patrick came back to Ireland and his work to introduce the life of Jesus to the people of this country. Poems, prayers and songs were used to celebrate and thank God for the gifts which Patrick brought us. An outline of his life was then delivered by pupils and his message of forgiveness was highlighted and again this was followed by prayer. These included prayers for St. Patrick and his family; for the suffering people in our community; for Church leaders and missionaries who are trying to spread the word of the gospel as Patrick did; for all our neighbours and that we might be good neighbours to others; for our emigrants abroad; and for nature and brighter days ahead with spring. Each pupil was then given a bunch of shamrock after making the sign of the cross in memory of the Trinity as taught by Patrick - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There was music, song and dancing then and a parade to the sensory garden at the school led by the National flag. This was a very touching way of celebrating our National Saint and great messages were imparted as to the true reason why we should honour our National Patron and it was also so enjoyed by the participants who were totally involved in its delivery. Also thanks to the school for the Shamrocks they presented to me.
An added dimension, which was very appropriate, was the attendance of Darragh McKenna. Darragh, from Clara, is a pupil in St. Ciaran's College, Ballygawley and a former pupil of St. Patrick's. Clara, and he is heading out with a group from St. Ciaran's to Zambia to visit Fr. P.J. Gormley who is ministering there and to see the work he is doing for the young and youth of his parish. They will have some funds to assist him with his work and anyone who would like to donate towards the project can contact Darragh. However the fact that the message brought to Ireland by Patrick is now being passed on to people in Zambia by Fr. P.J. and the pupils of St. Ciaran was very appropriate to be included in the celebrations in Clara NS. We wish Darragh and the group a very successful and safe journey from April 10th for two weeks and we send our best wishes to Fr. P.J.

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Above Darragh is pictured with Ms. Halligan, Ms O'Hanlon, and the pupils who will be leaving the school at the end of this years.