Award and Papal blessing for pupils from St Aloysius’ College
21 Jun 2016
The Scottish Catholic Education Service has this year awarded its prestigious Caritas Award to a record number of pupils from St Aloysius’ College, recognising their service to others and their active commitment to faith during their final year at school. The Caritas Award was introduced in 2011 by the Bishops Conference of Scotland and invites young people of any faith to explore the idea that “the love which God lavishes upon us must in turn be shared with others”.
The College was delighted to present the most award winners yet this year, with nine pupils invited to the Clyde Auditorium to receive their award in front of almost 3000 pupils, teachers and family members from schools all over Scotland. Among the tributes paid to the pupils at the award ceremony was a special greeting and Apostolic Blessing from Pope Francis, who urged the young people “to courageously witness to the love that God has for every individual person”.
Throughout their final year at school, the Aloysians dedicated at least 40 hours of their time to promoting active faith within their College and Parish communities whilst some were recognised as going ’above and beyond’ with their dedication to groups such as the College’s Children’s Fund. Congratulations to the following St Aloysius’ College pupils who were awarded the Caritas Award 2016 - Joseph Burns, Ciara Fagan, Ruth Hewitt, Niamh Higgins, Andrew J P Hoey, Orlaith-Mairead Hynes, Kieran MacCann, Laura Matheson and Kathryn Jane Munro.
One of the pupils Joseph Burns penned a personal reflection on how the Caritas Award has helped shape his experience at St Aloysius’ College:
"As a school steeped in Jesuit tradition, the pupil’s at St Aloysius’ College are inspired by St. Ignatius Loyola’s words: “Go forth, and set the world on fire”. Indeed, Caritas this year has reinforced this message for us, as we have been inspired to share our love with those in our school community through various channels, be it those of altar serving, administering the Eucharist at mass, or reading Scripture. These seemingly small acts have certainly impacted upon our school community, and it seems clear that actively helping people and sharing love through our actions is the natural conclusion of Caritas.
The work undertaken in our community within the school and acting in our capacity as retreat leaders to the younger pupils, has ensured the permeation of a Catholic ethos of love and understanding throughout the College. In this way, Caritas has encouraged us to serve others in a manner which strengthens our school community. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
The opportunity which Caritas presented us - of gathering together to discuss our faith and rejoice in its presence - has indeed offered many of us in the group a newfound confidence in showing our Faith. As we have come to learn: it is by sharing God’s love for us with those around us that we can truly come to know and love Jesus. Caritas has, by encouraging us to fully consider what being a Catholic means, been an extraordinary force in our school".