The academic year 2019-2020 drew to a close at Loreto College with the celebration of an online Mass via the school’s social media platforms.
The College was very grateful to Fr Raymond McCullagh, who celebrated the Mass in the Convent Chapel. Fr Raymond has been a tremendous support to the College, with his words and presence bringing continued support during these difficult times. The theme of the Mass was ‘New Horizons’. Co-ordinated by Mrs Siobhan McCarry (SLT), alongside Mrs Grainne Carey (School Liturgist), Mrs Brenda Sweeney (Head of Religion) and Miss Nicole O’Neill (RE Department), the Religious Education Department worked together to ensure that Loreto could still have its traditional close to the year, even in lockdown.
The RE Department wish to thank all the students who contributed from their homes, either by reading or through the beautiful instrumental music and singing arranged by Mr Brendan McCann (Head of Music). Mrs McCarry, on behalf of the College, thanked Mr Nigel McDowell, videographer for the Mass and of the school surroundings; his time, professionalism and eye for detail were very much appreciated.
The Mass was also an opportunity to say some farewells to members of staff leaving Loreto College at the end of the year. The newly appointed Head Girl and Head Boy for 2020-2021, Orla McEwan and Kelan O’Kane, paid tribute to Miss Aisling McKeever, leaving the Irish Department after one year, Mrs Stella Gill, leaving the Health & Social Care/Drama Department after one year, Mr Matthew Black, leaving the Maths Department after one year, and Mr John McAleer, leaving the Chemistry Department after two years. Tributes and thanks were also passed on to Mrs Felicity Ferris, leaving the School Office after many years’ service. Mrs Martina Mackle is leaving the Maths Department after twenty years’ service, and will be greatly missed by her students and colleagues – her gentleness, positivity and absolutely expert knowledge was appreciated by everyone who knew her. Finally, there were good wishes to College Principal Mr Michael James: Mr James is taking up a secondment position with the Education Authority, working in a leading role in its Education Transformation project for the next year. In his absence, Miss Belinda Toner will be Acting Principal; everyone at Loreto College wishes both Mr James and Miss Toner every success and happiness in their new challenges.
The academic year 2019-2020 may have been the strangest in living memory, but Loreto College has done everything possible to keep its school community together. Whether this took the form of daily posts on the school’s Facebook page, tireless interactions on Google Classroom or rapidly populating email inboxes, members of the school community have kept together, though apart. The online Mass was a very fitting way to bring the school year to a close.