Community Connections with New Candle Shrine

Many thanks to Engineering teacher Willie Gleeson, who created a wonderful candle shrine for Hospital Parish church, with brass materials donated by the school. Last Sunday, the 11th of June, saw the presentation and consecration of this amazing piece dedicated to Padre Pio to the parish during Sunday mass. This was a lovely occasion, marking the first use of the stand which will hopefully be a source of comfort to the congregation for many years to come. Many thanks to Fr. Sean who suggested and facilitated the addition.

Principal Rachel Hayes spoke on the day to mark this very special occasion:

“I am delighted to have the honour this morning to address you all for the unveiling of the new Padre Pio candle votive. We are proud at John the Baptist Community School of the Catholic ethos that is the heart of all we do, building upon the traditions of the De La Salle Brothers and the Presentation Sisters. Our Trustees in the form of the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly ,and Ms Padraigín Uí Riordáin with CEIST add another vital dimension to Catholicism in our school. Indeed, a very special space lies at the centre of our school building – our school oratory. This truly spiritual place adorned with bog oak elemental figures and stunning stained glass depictions inspires and shines a real light for all through sometimes challenging times. We are deeply fortunate and blessed to still have such a connection with the wonderful Presentation sisters, in many forms – from Sr. Declan sitting on our Board to Sr. Brenda’s inspiring services for class groups and so much more. Their commitment to John the Baptist helps to instil the charism of Nano Nagle in so many ways, and inspires our community to live a life of service and compassion.
The halls of our school also feature artistic depictions of the stations of the cross, created by our own students. Indeed, there is a rich tradition of students crafting pieces within the religious sphere for exam projects and classwork. It is a real source of pride for the school that many such pieces have been donated to this very church and many others, including a tabernacle, seats and lecterns.
That tradition continues today with the presentation and consecration of this beautiful candle shrine, painstakingly crafted by Engineering teacher Willie Gleeson, with brass materials donated by the school. We thank him for the hours of meticulous care that has resulted in a simple but powerful piece that is a testament to the continued strong connection between the school, this church, this parish and indeed the wider community.
We are especially lucky to have your parish priest Fr. Sean as our chaplain in the school, his genuine interest and passion enliven Christian values each day on our halls and in our classrooms. His presence and his continued positive impact on so many students speak to today’s generations search for spiritual connection in the modern world, where it is so easy to get lost among the many ways to connect. It is particularly fitting therefore given the pressures that young people face today that Padre Pio, to whom this piece will be dedicated, is the patron saint of among other things, adolescents, healing and stress relief.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the parish of Hospital/Herbertstown for their commitment and unwavering support of John the Baptist Community School in a myriad of ways. In particular, we would like to also thank Canon Ryan who has always facilitated the school’s connection to the parish and this church, facilitating services and masses in this beautiful temple of God.
We are delighted to be able to give back to this parish. May this stand be a symbol and embodiment of our continued connection with you all and with God for many years to come”.