Froebel’s Gifts: History of Froebel College Sion Hill 1943-2013 “
This book is a fitting testament to the courageous educational vision of the Dominican Sisters of the Dominican Congregation of Our Lady of the Rosary and of Saint Catherine of Siena, whose motherhouse is in Cabra, Dublin, Ireland.
Sr. Maura Duggan OP has managed to weave together many different strands depicting the creative vision, the necessary courage and perseverance with the variety of individuals and community that made up the Dominican Campus in Sion Hill, Blackrock, Dublin.
It is a hymn to ‘small is beautiful’ and to the enrichment of diversity in an Education Establishment and Campus. From the early 19th Century to the late 20th Century, Sion Hill Campus was a vibrant, creative place with so many branches of education. It provided primary, secondary and tertiary education on its grounds. Within these levels there was a junior school, a primary school for children with special needs, a secondary school and at tertiary level there were five colleges: St. Catherine’s for Domestic Science, St. Raphael’s for Physical Education, the Montessori College, the Froebel College and St. Annes, which taught a one year Domestic Training course. The place was a hive of activity with interesting programmes and events.
This book deals mainly with the history and great contribution of the Froebel College, a story which reveals a varied and courageous journey. The narrative succeeds in gathering together all the historic facts as well as giving us interesting and lively vignettes of many of the individuals who passed through the doors of the Froebel College. This was not an easy task as this history was begun by Sr. Maura Duggan, a past principal who unfortunately died before she could complete the work. Sr. Mairéad Flynn OP picked up the story and edited the previous work to combine it into this fine edition.
The reader, and any student of education will, I am sure, find this story fascinating and inspiring. All past students and staff will delight in the fact that the Froebel College has once more changed its location, this time to the National University of Ireland Maynooth. I am confident that Maynooth’s excellent Education Department will hold dear and promote the values of Friedrich Froebel and that of the Dominican Vision of Education.
Sr. Helen Mary Harmey OP,