All over Ireland these days, thousands of young people in their final year of primary education are receiving the sacrament of Confirmation. This year in anticipation of the World Meeting of the families, I’m taking the opportunity at Confirmation ceremonies to say thanks to families, to acknowledge and celebrate the joy of love in the family, and to reflect on some of the challenges, pressures and struggles which families face. The Confirmation ceremony is a special moment of connection between Family, Parish and School. It is an opportunity to humbly recognise how much we all need each other and to underline the importance of our working together in order to offer the very best education to our young people.
The three and a half thousand young people confirmed this year in the Archdiocese of Armagh will transfer in September to post-primary schools in Louth, Armagh, Tyrone and Derry – schools like your own. The theme of your Conference is: “Catholic Schools – a Meeting of Families”. I would like to reflect on some of the distinctive ways in which our Catholic schools can support families in the sometimes daunting task of educating young people today.
To read Archbishop Eamon Martin’s Keynote address download this pdf of his full talk.