The Pastoral Programme in Blackrock College is underpinned by a Catholic understanding of life. In all things Jesus Christ is the exemplar. The Programme proposes a sacramental way of living so that the life of Christ and his Spirit may be recognised and fostered. It helps students appreciate their lives in God’s perspective as unique and of everlasting value. Every life has meaning and purpose always.
The Programme tries to help the boys recognise the workings of the Holy Spirit in their lives, to heighten awareness and appreciation of what is going on at the deeper levels of our living, the inner life, the life of the spirit, mind, emotion and will. Jesus’ example and maxim ‘to love God and love our neighbour’ is proposed as the right way to live, the only way to fulfillment and eternal life. Each School Term is punctuated with opportunities for us to reflect which spur us on to “Reach Out in Caring and Kindness”; “to love with God the things God loves”.
Blackrock College Pastoral Programme includes:
- Family Masses for all Years
- Reconciliation Services for all Students at least twice a year
- Involvement by 6th Year students in helping people with disability on Dublin’s Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes (6 Days in Sept. each year)
- Leaving Certificate Retreat, including 2 overnights, for all 6th Years in 15 different Retreat locations throughout the country
- Availability of Mass each day before class begins
- Leadership Course for House Representatives and
- Commissioning of House Representatives for all Years
- Days of Reflection for 2nd to 5th Years
- 5th Year participation in Spiritan Youth Day
- Pilgrimage to Taize proposed to 5th Year boys
- Whole School Assemblies
- November Services of Remembrance
- Carol Service for the whole school
- Ash Wednesday Services
- Graduation Mass & Reception
- Faith Friends Programme
- John Paul II Awards
- Transition Year Pastoral Placement Programme
- Facilitation of occasional specific events appropriate to particular school groups.
- Spirasi sponsored fast.
- Transition Year Camino de Santiago pilgrimage
- Preparation of Eucharistic Ministers for College liturgies
- Outreach to developing world; in the Post Leaving Cert. Parents Association/Union Machacos project and Mr. Christy McDaid’s Willow Wheelers initiatives
- The Leman Concert highlights this Outreach
- Bullying Awareness Days
- Addiction Awareness Day
- Fundraising Events for St. Vincent de Paul and selected charities.
The Pastoral Programme outlined here does not exhaust the pastoral work of the College. Nor is it the responsibility of the Pastoral Department alone. At its broadest the full curriculum and all extra- curricular activity constitute pastoral care. It is gratefully acknowledged that the Blackrock Pastoral Programme could not operate effectively without the support of the Spiritan Community, College management, academic and ancillary staff, the College Union and Parents Association and very many agencies and individuals in the wider community. The Chaplaincy, Counseling and Guidance Departments and all other Subject Departments and personnel share appropriate responsibility in the pastoral care of our students. We are particularly fortunate in the contributions of Ms. Una O’Kane and Ms. Patrice O’Connor to music in the liturgy.