Leavers Mass 2018


To make an end is to make a beginning
On the evening of Wednesday 9th May our school chaplain, Fr. Raymond McCullagh, led our Year 14 pupils and their parents in a special Leavers’ Mass.
Fr. Raymond welcomed pupils and parents together for the first time since those tentative first days in September 2011 to celebrate the culmination of the journey that had begun and to appreciate the fine young Dominican men and women they had become. He encouraged pupils to remain an integral part of the Dominican family.
To commemorate the class of 2017 as our centenary leavers each pupil was given a special bookmark.
The theme of the mass was inspired by T.S Eliot’s lines from Little Gidding:
What we call the beginning is often the end
and to make and end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.
In a special ceremony of light pupils and parents passed on the gifts of faith, justice, wisdom and truth and learned that every ending is a new beginning; pupils also reflected on how everything they learned was learned in the company of others.
Fr. Raymond took as the theme of his homily the little-known story of Margaret Devaney who left Sligo aged 19 on board Titanic for a new life in America. Margaret was given the parting gift of a penknife from her brother John, a gift that would prove vital in cutting the twisted ropes of the C lifeboat and saving the lives of Margaret and the other 31 people on board her lifeboat. He explained how this seemingly disastrous end was in reality a beginning as Margaret had a long and happy life.
Fr Raymond compared the penknife to all the values that both the pupils’ parents and Dominican College had passed on and how their Dominican ethos will continue to be a lifeline to them as they begin their journey away from Portstewart.  He challenged our class of 2018 in the words of the First reading from Joshua to “Be Strong and courageous, prosper and succeed and know that the God of Justice will be with you wherever you go” and concluded with the word of St Paul that our pupils must above all “Be happy”.
Reflecting his own leave taking of St Malachy’s over 30 years ago, Fr. Raymond concluded by asking our U6 pupils to be all that God calls them to be and to “always come back to DCP as we always love to hear your stories and see where the road ahead leads you”.
Ms Ronan thanked all those who had made the evening such a success, especially the Music and RE departments who had helped lead the pupils in word and song and our Dominican parents for “entrusting us with their most precious gift; the gift of your young people”.
The principal encouraged our class of 2018 to always see themselves as members of the Dominican family and encouraged then to remain in close contact with the school as they begin to contemplate life beyond the walls of DCP.
The school library is open each day throughout the exam period for our leavers to study. Pupils are reminded that they must be in school uniform for all study sessions and for all exams.
Good luck to all our Year 14 pupils over the coming weeks and every success in their work and life beyond DCP.
Below are some images from Wednesday’s Mass.