This past week, and this weekend, we mark the closure of two chapters of the history and life of Mayfield in honouring Scoil Mhuire Banríon and Scoil Eoin Aspal. As we do so, we mark the opening of a wonderful new chapter in the future of our community and our parish with the opening of Scoil Mhuire agus Eoin. There is evident nostalgia and sadness around the closure of these enormous chapters of education and life in our parish. I have compared our two schools as the two lungs of our parish. Scoil Mhuire agus Eoin will be a new chapter and will become the heart of our parish. It will be a special place for children and families. The two lungs will become one beating heart. These special Masses which we celebrate are emotional moments evoking wonderful memories especially in memory of pupils, parents and staff members who have gone to their eternal reward. However, progress is to be embraced and the future is bright. May God bless all those who passed through the doors of Scoil Eoin Aspal since 1973 and Scoil Mhuire Banríon since 1962. May God bless the children, the families and staff members of Scoil Mhuire agus Eoin who will walk through the door for the first time on next Tue. Jun. 27th and then for the new school year in September. Another wonderful chapter will also open when the children from St. Killian’s School will cross the threshold of the current building of Scoil Eoin Aspal in the Autumn. May God bless them, their families, their teachers and their school.
There was a fantastic response to the display of old photographs of previous school events in St. John the Apostle school during the week. There was a real sense of nostalgia and genuine appreciation from former pupils, parents and families in the community. Indeed, some past pupils made huge efforts to be present coming from throughout Cork and different parts of the country. There was also an evident appreciation that the building will be retained by the parish and for educational use. Plans are accelerating for the refurbishment of the building to accommodate St. Killian’s Special School in September. There was also a great attendance of current parents and prospective parents in the hall of Scoil Mhuire Banríon on last Thursday morning to make final and detailed preparations for the newly amalgamated school, Scoil Mhuire agus Eoin in September. The number of Junior Infants enrolled for next September has already exceeded 40 and continues to grow. This illustrates the level of support for the amalgamation process and the provision of a co-educational school. The next phase of the amalgamation process will be to honour the rich traditions of both Scoil Mhuire Banríon and Scoil Eoin Aspal contributing to an even stronger sense of identity for the new school. There will be a special Mass in Scoil Eoin Aspal on Tue. Jun. 20th. The school community of Scoil Mhuire Banríon will participate in the vigil Mass in Our Lady Crowned on Sat. Jun. 24th. The last and final step will be the building and refurbishment works scheduled for both school buildings from early July onwards. The Department of Education and Skills is investing substantial funds in both school buildings ensuring the best of accommodation for both Scoil Mhuire agus Eoin and St.Killian’s Special School. May God bless the work of all those planning for the future of our schools, our parish and our community. These are exciting days for our schools and our parish.
Substantial funding has now been secured from the Department of Education and Skills for the refurbishment of the two parish schools in coming months. These works will be carried out during the summer. This substantial investment in both school buildings will ensure the best of permanent accommodation for both Scoil Mhuire agus Eoin and St. Killian’s Special School. The educational landscape of Mayfield, at primary level, will be transformed in coming months for the benefit of our parish and community. The enrolment for Scoil Mhuire agus Eoin, as the newly amalgamated co-educational school, continues to grow ensuring a vibrant school into the future. Every blessing to the all involved and particularly to those who give their time and support on a volunteer basis for the good of the schools and our parish community.
Welcome to Fr. Rafal Zielonka who has been appointed as curate to our parish by Bishop Buckley. While Fr. Rafal has been appointed to Our Lady Crowned, he will also assist in St. Patrick’s/Holy Family and St. Joseph’s. Fr. Rafal is from the diocese of Tarnow in southern Poland. He is currently resident in St. Augustine’s in Washington Street which is the home of the Polish community here in Cork. He has been assisting Fr. Piotr Galus there for several months and will move to our parish in the next few weeks. Fr. Rafal will reside in the presbytery in St. Joseph’s. I know that Our Lady Crowned and the wider Mayfield community will take Fr. Rafal to their hearts and make him warmly welcome. The appointment of Fr. Rafal is yet another positive step for the Mayfield area in 2017. We also look forward to the ordination of David Lane to the permanent deaconate on 10th Sept next and the golden jubilee celebrations for Fr. Dermot Brennan OP on Sat. Jul. 8th @ 7pm. 2017 will be a great year for our parish and community and we are delighted that Fr. Rafal will now be part of our parish and our story.
Mayfield people are incredibly proud of our parish and community. We are blessed with a vibrant parish and great congregations. We have a fantastic community with numerous cultural, community and sporting groups. We want everyone to know our story and broadcast the best of our parish and community. Our community and parish is built on great traditions of volunteerism and a wish ‘to give to the community’ 2017 will see several ‘milestones’ honouring this unique tradition and several ‘new beginnings’ which will sustain that unique spirit into the future. Just some of the notable ‘landmarks’ of 2017 are: Mayfield Ladies Club celebrating 50 years of community involvement; Newbury House marking 30 years of community building; Our Lady Crowned Credit Union is marking 50 years of service to the community; Fr. Dermot Brennan O.P. is celebrating 50 years of priestly service; The ordination to the permanent deaconate of David Lane in this September; The opening of Scoil Mhuire agus Eoin in September building on the history and traditions of Scoil Mhuire Banríon & Scoil Eoin Aspal; The opening of St. Killian’s School as a whole new chapter of special education in Mayfield and joining Cara Junior School which opened in 2013; Ceremonies to mark traditions of Scoil Mhuire Banríon and Scoil Eoin Aspal will take place before the Summer; These are all positive and forward looking moments. These are opportunities and not conclusions. These are all happy events and not sad ones. These are ‘the story’ of our parish and community. Why not let everyone know that we are looking to the future with confidence, trust and faith. As always we pray, Our Lady Crowned, pray for us.