“Education is for people with first names and last names, with virtues and faults, with needs and values”
Augustine himself was first and foremost a wonderful teacher. As such then it would come as no surprise that those who profess to follow his inspiration would be equally committed to teaching and educating at all levels. Around the world somewhat over one third of all Augustinian friars are involved in this apostolate. Here in Ireland we have quite a commitment to this activity as well. In our parishes there is a commitment to visiting the local primary schools and acting as chaplains there, visiting when possible and also helping in preparing the kids for the Sacramental Celebrations which mark their time at that level: the Sacrament of Reconciliation, First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Some of the Parish Priests would also have a managerial function at that level in being Chairman of the Board of Management. We also have some friars who teach and work in Secondary Schools and serve on Boards of Management there too. Finally we have a number of friars involved in Third Level Institutions, lecturing in Milltown College and elsewhere.
From the point of view of the Irish Province there is a very great commitment to our two secondary schools, Saint Augustine’s College in Abbeyside, Dungarvan and Good Counsel College in New Ross. Why not find out more about these schools from their web sites? www.staugustines.ie and www.goodcounselcollege.ie
The actual involvement of the friars in the two schools is vibrant. As a Province we are committed to an educational model of partnership. With community as our fundamental characteristic it could hardly be otherwise! The friars in both areas probably began by taking in local men and educating them for the Priesthood. How times have changed. While “The Counsel” is an all-boys school catering for 800 young men from Wexford, Kilkenny, Carlow and the odd Waterford man, St. Augustine’s is a co-educational day school pleasantly located on a 43 acre site about 2km from Dungarvan town centre. The school’s impressive site looks out across the bay to the Cunnigar and Helvic Head with the Comeragh mountains forming a sweeping background. In Abbeyside there are currently four friars involved in ministry there ranging from teaching, coaching, administration and chaplaincy and there are three friars involved in Good Counsel College, teaching, principalship and chaplaincy. However, looking to the future, the Province is fully committed to developing the notion of the Augustinian Educator and currently funds training for lay chaplains to assist in both schools as well as organising annual days devoted to the notion of Augustinian education. The future of Augustinian education in Ireland is in very safe hands with two wonderful, vibrant and enthusiastic staffs committed to continuing the path of excellence set down over so many years.