By all accounts an excellent school (if you can afford it), but not surprised that this craic still goes on https://m.independent.ie/irish-news/education/sixth-year-girls-in-tears-over-anti-abortion-video-40752424.html
That school you describe sounds like my school, I however really love that, i think the relgous ceremonies bring out the best in the girls . its lovely to see how they buy into it and really open to participating in the Masses and service, some write their own poems and reflections which is really nice, imo it helps the atmosphere of the school no end.
It's just a shame that these ceremonies are designed to exclude a significant bunch of students and their families.
@Dickie10 I have to agree with @AndrewJRenko
Many students and staff were made to feel excluded in those situation. For example all the students were brought to the church for confession rather than the kids who wanted confession being facilitated to go as would happen in other Catholic schools. I lost an entire class period and had to mind children of other religions in a church. It would be far more efficient for the kids interested and who were Catholic to go. It was kind of uncomfortable sitting in a church beside a child wearing a hijab along with other Christians (non catholic) and a few atheists while the other girls went to confession as a priest was watching us.
In the school I went to for example ( a community school - many years ago at this stage). A priest would come to the school and if you wanted to go to confession you gave your name to the religion teacher and you were excused from class for 10 minutes. Catholic students ( the majority) were facilitated but it wasn’t compsulary by any means. Also ceremonies were still held all the time it just wasn’t a mass and everyone took part (mostly Catholic kids but also Protestants and non-religious students at the time). It’s probably more varied now depending on the school. The school ceremonies were lovely as were concerts, plays etc.
One difference actually was all the students parents came to the Leaving Cert Graduation ceremony (in which some prayers were read by Catholic /Protestant kids but it wasn’t a mass) and in the CEIST school where the ceremony was a mass none of the non religious parents came.
One thing I do remember is a lad in my class had an aunt who was a reverend and she visited and gave us a talk on the Church of Ireland. I think she did a service as well for our religion class. I enjoyed religion class as we discussed everything openly in fairness to the teacher at the time.
I’m in no way against celebrations. I think they’re great but a Christmas concert is more inclusive than a Christmas mass in my opinion.
In my opinion ceremonies should be held after school - concerts, plays etc so that parents and the community can attend. In the all girls CEIST school with the tons of ceremonies (all of which were held during the school day) I lost a load of class time which was annoying but you couldn’t say anything about it really. In the mixed CEIST all that craic was in the evenings mostly (the yearly mass, concerts, plays, graduation) and I was pretty much guaranteed to be teaching every class with maybe some kids missing for practice (sport, concert, readings etc.) In the community school any ceremonies were in the evening too. Personally I found the second a better system. @Dickie10
I suppose it's interesting to think why the quotes have to be religious and from the Catholic Canon. Respect, inspiration and reflection are certainly not religious traits exclusively, I'd be able to comfortably debate the opposite in fact. If you want to put quotes on Twitter I think better than scripture could be found.
I'm never fully sure I understand why religion is required in state schools beyond reinforcing control or tradition, neither of which I'd be very interested in but can be important to other. In fairness, there are lunatics in all walks of life but I've always found the unhinged lunatics with religious backing in positions of power are more dangerous. The example above from the Ursuline shows this. Anyone with a screed of sense would know that was a very inappropriate things to show.