On 4th May, President Michael D Higgins visited St. Dominic’s College, Ballyfermot as part of their 60th Anniversary celebrations.
Sr. Elisabeth Healy OP, Congregation Prioress, Congregation of Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of the Rosary and St. Catherine of Siena, Cabra, gave the following address.
A Uachtarain, Distinguished Guests, Staff and Students.
Congratulations to each one associated with St. Dominic’s Ballyfermot on your 60 year anniversary. This is a joyful day , a day for looking back, to the courage and dynamism of the sisters who founded the school and even further back to St Dominic, in whose honour the school is named. It is a day for rejoicing in the past, telling all the stories but also a day for looking forward to a future when all of you girls will go out into a world which really needs your gifts and your influence. Never doubt that you can have an influence. St Catherine of Siena said,
Be who God want you to be and you will set the world on fire. It does not have to be the whole world, but your corner of it. You can bring all the things you have learnt in St Dominic’s College, things that make you Dominican:
• a belief in yourself as having value as a child of God, a child of the universe
• a belief that you should be the best you can be
• a belief that you have a gift to give which is uniquely yours and no one else’s, your hard work, your kindness, your sense of justice,
• a belief in the importance of your motto, truth/veritas
• a belief that you can be a star , (though you may never be on dancing with the stars like your past-pupil Karen Byrne.)
A little prayer which has always helped me is this:
I am only one but I am one
I can’t do everything but I can do something
What I can do I ought to do,
What I ought to do I will do
By the grace of God
So take pride in who you are and in who you will be( because we never stop growing and developing even when you are as old as I am!)
It is good to know that the history of Dominican Life stretches much further back than the 60 years your school is in existence. Dominicans have been celebrating 800 years since St Dominic founded his Order and Sr Liz who most of you know, was at the closing Congress of this special anniversary year which was held in Rome and celebrated and explored what it means to be a Dominican. So you can be proud that you are Dominican pupils.
In wanting to give the school a gift for this great occasion, the Congregation Council decided upon a Peace Pole. This will be erected on the school grounds to remind you all of the great need there is for peace and understanding in our world. The words Let peace prevail on earth is inscribed in English, Irish, Hebrew and Arabic and we hope the peace pole will be a reminder to each one to do everything in your power to spread peace in families, communities,(including the school community) your country, the world. The future will be your time…it is up to you!