Start of Year Mass 17


From the smallest mustard seed grows the greatest tree

Dominican staff and pupils gather for Start of Year Mass

On Thursday 28th September our entire school community gathered for our start of Year Mass. Our September Centenary special event was held in Star of The Sea and was celebrated by Fr. Raymond McCullagh, our school chaplain.
In the entrance procession our youngest pupil, Ewan Craig, was handed the candle symbolising the faith of the Dominican sisters by Sr. Lucina. Pupils carried up other symbols of the school such as a picture of St. Dominic, a list of the names of the sisters who have served in Portstewart, pictures of the school, a school scarf and old school roll books.
Taking the parable of the mustard seed as the inspiration, Fr.Raymond spoke in his homily about how God’s plan is much bigger than any of our dreams. He spoke of the “mustard seed moment” when Ciara, a friend’s daughter, donated her much money to a homeless man and how this reflected the small acts of kindness of Frederick Osman which make such a big difference.
Turning to the “mustard seed moment” of the Dominican sisters arriving in Portstewart in 1917, Fr. Raymond reflected on how amazed they would be by the scale of the school in 2017 concluding: “This is what happens when we plant mustard seeds which are rooted and grounded in Jesus’s love and which are sustained by God. This is the importance of doing small things well”.
Fr Raymond challenged our students of 2017,our largest ever school population, to think of the changes they might make which they would never see and to think how in 20, 30, 50 or 100 years’ time, people might thank us for the mustard seed moments we bring.
Our junior choir performed the beautiful hymn “10,000 Reasons” and the senior choir added beautiful music through the celebration. Amy North and Molly Byrne played a harp and violin duet during the offertory.
Ms Ronan congratulated pupils on their reverential and respectful behaviour throughout the celebration and thanked FR Raymond and Fr Austin.