Castlecuffe N.S.

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Co-operation is Cool

Archive 2

Our Local Churches and Graveyards

Our project involved a field trip to the two village churches and to Kilmanman graveyard. We followed a trail in St. Manman's Church and devised a trail for the Heritage Centre. Many thanks to Claire McEnroe at the Heritage Centre for facilitating our visit and being so good to us. We had interviews with Fr. O'Reilly and Dinny Finnerty and we also spoke to our parents and grandparents about their memories. Paddy Bates came to our school to talk to us about the parish history. We also did our own research from local books and the internet. Our parish website was a good source of information. Click here to go to our parish website and find out more. Can you spot us at the Bi-centenary Concert?

The Spirit of St. Manman
Yes, I recall the thrill of it all.
Those days of growth
When I seized the day and set my roots
In those green fields around Lahool.

The dreams which were sown
In my mind had soon grown
to new buildings though bare
but great houses of prayer
And places to share
In our meals of plain fare.
Produced by our own bare hands.

The joy I would feel
When the bells would peal
Calling us to kneel,
To chant and to pray.
Six times a day
We were called to pray
That was our way.

These scholars and saints
With precious inks for paints
Copied at length
Using quills, not a pen
On calfskin called vellum which was
Stretched, pulled and scraped
For illuminated manuscript.
What joy to behold
the stories unfold
A gospel retold
In a labour of love.

Some monks played a part
Making other works of art
Or working on the farm.
Our time was well spent
Carving stone monuments
or tending the plants.

But now
What a scene
No activity to be seen
In Kilmanman or Corrigeen.

Surrounded by Yew
There is a view
The graves of the dead.
In the bushes
The lovely thrushes
Sing songs over
The graves of the dead.
In Heaven above
Surrounded by love
Those who have left
The graves of the dead.
Is that all that’s left?
I am feeling bereft,
As if there’s been theft
Of all of our effort!
My heart it is heavy
Nothing’s left of my monastery
Farewell Christianity?

But now a bell chimes
Is this still a sign
Of people called to prayer?
I follow the sound
That I hear in the air
It brings me around
To a sight so fair
A wonderful church
In Clonaslee ‘By the Way’.

What wonderful singing
Is in my ears ringing,
As I make my way forward
To the beautiful building.
And oh, how exciting!
There’s people alighting
From boxes on wheels
that come to a halt.
I watch in surprise
As families arrive,
Women and children,
What a change from my time.
As I stand at the door
I am struck by the scene
Celebrating 200 years
since 1813!

200 years! I could burst out in tears!
All that hard work and strain has not been in vain!
That feeling inside is now one of pride.
The tradition I started has not stopped or departed.
But lives on today in the Church of Saint Manman.

As I turn to my right, I am struck by the sight
Of a familiar tombstone.
That stone is a link to those days with the ink
And I travel back happy again.
I can hardly wait
For the creak of that gate
To look on and listen again
To the sounds of the silence.
Sweet sounds to soothe my soul.

Co-operation is Cool

We have entered the Co-operation Is Cool competition every year since 2005 when we entered with the theme ‘Co-operation is Cool – Look at our school’.

The competition is run by Laois Education Centre and Glanbia and it is all about co-operation. It is fun as we go to Laois Education Centre to display and talk about our project and we get to see projects from other schools. The prizes are cool too!

The 2014 projects will be shown on March 6th at Laois Education Centre. This year our project is called 'Our Local Churches and Graveyards'. We chose this theme because both churches in the village are now 200 years old. St Manman's Church celebrated its bi-centenary in 2013 and the Protestant Church, which is now the Heritage Centre, was built in 1814. We were involved in last year's bi-centenary celebrations and this inspired us to find out more. At the moment we are busy getting our displays ready and we are having great fun co-operating on them!

In 2006 our project was based on Clonaslee Co-op. Our project won the Glanbia prize.
Click on the link above if you would like to find out more about this project.

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