CBS Kilkenny - an Edmund Rice School
Edmund Rice - A History
Ignatius Rice was born on the 1st June 1762 in Westcourt, Callan, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland. He was born into a large family of two stepsisters and seven brothers. From a very early age Edmund showed great kindness to the poor. At the age of seventeen he left his native Callan to work for his uncle, who had a business in Waterford city. Edmund was amazed when he saw the poverty of the Waterford people. He was especially taken at the number of young boys who were neglected and destitute. After a while Edmund opened up his own chandler shop (a person who supplies goods to ships). Edmund employed mostly poor people for his business. He became a very successful businessman.
At the age of twenty-five, Edmund married a lady called Mary Elliot. After the unfortunate death of Mary in a tragic accident, Edmund decided to sell his business and opened a school for poor children. He had difficulty securing teachers. One night while Edmund was praying, there was a knock at the door. Thomas Grosvenor and Patrick Finn, two friends from Callan, had come to support him. Their combined efforts led to the formation of the Irish Christian Brothers. Word soon spread throughout Ireland about the great work Edmund was doing in Waterford. At the request of the Bishop of Ossory, Rev. Dr. Walsh, the people of Kilkenny held a meeting under the Chairmanship of the Mayor, James Tidmarch. The large assembly unanimously decided to invite the Christian Brothers, led by Edmund Ignatius Rice to open a school in the city.
A fund of £3000 was collected and invested for this purpose. It was agreed that three Brothers would be sent to Kilkenny. They were provided with a school and a residence. The Irish Christian Brothers came to Kilkenny in 1859 and laid the foundation stone of a new school on the present site. The school was formally opened on 24th September 1860. On this day, the school opened its doors to a large influx of pupils. The first boy registered was 12 year old James Kavanagh from the Dublin Road. Two hundred and sixty boys were enrolled on this day but many others unhappily had to be turned away due to lack of space. Fortunately throughout the years the Christian Brothers Secondary School has continued to expand.
On the 29th of August 1884 Edmund Ignatius Rice died. He is buried in Edmund Rice Chapel, Mount Sion, Waterford. He was beatified in Rome in October 1997. He is now Blessed Edmund Rice. A fitting tribute to a great man. For the past 159 years, CBS Kilkenny on James’s Street has produced leaders of Church and State. Our Edmund Rice school aspires not just for academic excellence, but also for the development of the whole person; physically, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Edmund Rice Schools have played an important role in the history of Irish education for more than two centuries. Today there are more than one hundred Edmund Rice schools in Ireland, and the Edmund Rice mission has extended to all five continents. At the start of the new millennium the Irish Christian Brothers, founded by Blessed Edmund Rice, took the decision to hand on responsibility for the schools to a group of lay people. The Edmund Rice Schools Trust (ERST) was established to hold the schools in trust so that they may continue to provide Catholic education into the future for the people of Kilkenny and Ireland.
Ash Wednesday 2019
Ash Wednesday – the first day of Lent. Lent is an old word that means Spring … and traditionally, as the sun gets stronger and the days get longer we think of ‘spring cleaning’ our homes after the long dark winter.
For Christians, Lent is a time during which we take time out of our busy, noisy lives to prepare for Holy Week and Easter – the high point of the Church’s year. It is a time for ‘spring-cleaning’ our hearts!
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of this time of penance – a time when we make an effort to take stock of our lives; to recognise that we are not perfect, that there is always room for improvement and to make an effort to live as better people.
In the Gospel we read that Jesus went out into the wilderness and remained there for forty days. If you were to think of leaving behind all the busyness of your life – even for a day or two – what would you have to let go of? What would you have to cancel? How would you cope without your mobile phone? Would you find it hard to be alone for even a day? Would you find it hard to be silent for a day?
Realistically we can’t just walk away from our lives. However, we can decide to do something that makes us think more deeply about our lives and that might help us to be better people.
What can you do for this week? Make a resolution to do something positive ….
We pray: Lord, we ask you to give us the strength this Lent to genuinely think about the deeper things in our lives, to make time to grow spiritually and to live each day being more aware of the people around us and how we are with them in each moment. Amen.