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Síol Newsletter – Winter 2017

Students from Coláiste Rís, Dundalk

http://www.erst.ie/uploads/Siol_FINAL_WEB_Winter_2017.pdf

Gerry Bennett, Chief Executive, ERST, Opening Welcome, Síol Newsletter – Winter 2017

This edition of Síol contains news from many schools around the country. We have accounts of prizegiving, sporting achievements, distinguished visitors and special events. We hear of the work of our schools for the poor and disadvantaged in our society and throughout the world.

The vision and passion of Edmund Rice found practical expression in the schools he founded for students who would otherwise have been deprived of education. Today our Charter encourages us as Edmund Rice schools to work for a fairer and more just world. The Charter says “The hallmarks of an Edmund Rice school are care, especially for those who are vulnerable or disadvantaged in any way and action for social and ecological justice” (p.19).

Edmund Rice also saw education as the path to achieving full human dignity and potential for young people.  Following his vision, the Charter tells us that “The Edmund Rice School is a community of people dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in all its endeavours and in all aspects of its teaching and learning” (p.17).

These two themes, excellence in learning and teaching and care for everyone, especially those who are disadvantaged, run through all the events and activities which we share in Síol.  Our community of 96 schools shares a common vision and I hope you find the contents of this edition of Síol inspiring and thought provoking.

There’s a well known quote which says “If you want to change the world, start in your own backyard".  Our schools are doing just that.  But we are also sharing with and getting inspiration from our fellow Edmund Rice schools throughout Ireland.

We belong to a powerful national network of schools where we share inspiration and ideas. But we also belong to an international network of almost 300 Edmund Rice schools worldwide.  In 2014 delegates from schools in different countries and continents met to explore how we could tap into this international network and Edmund Rice Education Beyond Borders (EREBB) was born.

EREBB’s vision statement says “Inspired by the teachings of Jesus, Gospel values and the spirit of Edmund Rice, we commit ourselves in global solidarity to transformational education for justice and liberation”.  To the themes of justice and education which we see in our schools we have the added dimension of global solidarity.

What does this mean for you? Through EREBB, it means that in your school you can connect online with other Edmund Rice schools in 20 countries, north and south, east and west. It means that you can create common projects. It means you can share your initiatives and learn from the initiatives of others. It means you can put Catholic Social teaching into action by speaking up for those whose voices have been suppressed.

Already quite a number of our schools are involved in EREBB. Why not join them? The first step is to visit the website http://www.erebb.org/. Take that step and you will be amazed at what you see! I sincerely encourage you to explore the wonderful world of EREBB.

Gerry Bennett
Chief Executive
The Edmund Rice Schools Trust

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