The role of Chaplain is a professional and privileged one. It is about caring for the whole college community. It is a faith presence accompanying each person with pastoral care on their journey. The college Chaplain animates the college community by way of establishing the many faiths and cultures within St. Kevin’s College. Support is provided through one to one meetings with students, teaching, caring for and fostering ownership of the college.
The Chaplain is a supportive presence during difficult times but also celebrates in the joy of individual and college success. The college Chaplain works as one member of the Student Support Team within the college.
School Chaplain: Catriona Keegan
The Role of the School Chaplain to Students, Staff and Parents of St. Kevin’s College
What is School Chaplaincy?
School chaplains are unique! They have a special interest in a person’s total wellbeing. They do not see him/her as a cog in a productivity wheel, but as a person made in the image and likeness of God, with a unique calling in life and a unique contribution to make. Chaplaincies are special places of welcome.
They allow a person to be totally themselves, to enjoy their unique personality and talents and to share these with others.
They encourage students to explore, to play, to grow as whole persons with their dreams, their deeper desires, their ideals.
Chaplains also have a lot of life-experience which can be very useful to students and staff who may be anxious or unsure about something and in need of a little bit of sound advice.
Chaplains are selected because of their approachability and friendliness and eagerness to help.
Chaplaincy and School Community
Secondary School students can often feel isolated and alone amongst their peers.
Chaplains help create community, i.e. a space in which to relax, meet like-minded people, make friends with people who share similar values and ideals. They like to offer hospitality, not unusually in the form of food – for body and soul.
Chaplaincy and Spirituality
Spirituality touches a deep place in us that is often ‘hungry’ and when we are nourished at that level, we feel deeply satisfied. Chaplaincies are places where students and teachers alike can find this kind of personal support. He/she can find it in prayer groups, faith-sharing groups, retreats, pilgrimages or in open and trusting one-to-one conversations with a spiritual guide. Chaplains are trained and available for this.
Chaplaincy and Social Justice
Christian faith is expressed through ‘Service’ to others. In reaching out to others in their community people experience the love of God in their lives.
Chaplains offer so many opportunities for volunteering at home and overseas that can include the whole community of St. Kevin’s.
Chaplaincy and Discipline
Chaplaincy is a full-time job and requires full-time commitment. As a staff member, the Chaplain is expected to share in the corporate responsibility for discipline and good order. In this context, it is reasonable to expect that the Chaplain shares supervisory duties, but it is important that the special role of the Chaplain in developing the spirituality of students and in providing a strong Christian witness is not compromised by too much involvement as a disciplinarian. Chaplains work with a school’s Pastoral Care Team in ensuring proper care is provided to the most challenged student.
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