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‘We can cope with whatever life throws at us’

Bishop Ray Browne: Letter to Leaving Cert students

THE difficulties being experienced by Leaving Cert students as a result of the Covid-19 crisis has been acknowledged by the Bishop of Kerry who has encouraged them to try not to spend the summer worrying and thinking negative thoughts.

In a letter to secondary schools in the diocese, for the attention of the Class of 2020, Bishop Ray Browne said he is mindful of the uncertainty and pressure the students felt over the past two months when it was very difficult to study on their own and difficult not to have had an opportunity to bid farewell to the school and to each other.

“The results will come out in due time. For the vast majority of you, by late October the next section of your path in life will have opened up ahead of you – college, apprenticeship or whatever other personal option you choose,” he wrote.
Bishop Browne thanked Leaving Cert students for their contribution to their schools over the years, in friendship, in care for each other, in academics, in sport, in music and in other ways too numerous to mention.

He also had a word of praise for their teachers and their families for the roles they played.
“2019-20 has been a year of major events outside the school gate. The Brexit saga continued, our country is now 100 days without a new government, all that Covid-19 has brought with it, those long weeks of confining ourselves to our own homes,” he reflected.
Bishop Browne said he draws three lessons from Covid-19:
• Each day of your life, you have all you need to be happy and content. Find happiness in the present as it is.
• Together, united with our families and friends, united as a country, we can cope with whatever life throws at us.
• We are blessed that there are so many wonderful, talented, generous, caring people of all ages everywhere, locally, nationally, globally.

Offering advice to the students as they prepare for the future, Bishop Browne quoted the following piece, written in the 18th century, which urges everyone to put love of others at the centre of how they live:
But once I pass this way, and then – no more.
So while I may, with all my might
I will bring sweet comfort and delight
to all I meet upon the Pilgrim Way.
For no one travels twice the Great Highway
that climbs through darkness up to light, through night to day.
I shall pass through this world but once.
Therefore, any good that I can do,
any kind act that I can perform for any fellow-creature,
let me do it now.
Let me not delay, or omit it, for I shall not pass this way again.

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