Scoil Chríost Rí girls secondary school in Portlaoise have celebrated their Golden Jubilee with a Mass led by Bishop Denis Nulty.
The day was a reunion for many past teachers and Presentation sisters connected with the school. Students played a strong part in the Mass too. Watch their choir perform here.
Heavenly singing and sunshine marked the 50th birthday of what is the only girls secondary school in Laois.
The Mass was on Friday morning November 29 to concelebrate a special Mass in their GP hall.
The President of Ireland Michael D Higgins was invited but had a prior engagement and sent his best wishes.
School Principal Helen O’Donnell thanked the Presentation sisters including those unable to travel to the ceremony.
“You continue to be a light that inspires us to strive for excellence. We are proud of all our students. We nurture their faith through a Catholic education while preparing them to be strong women of the future, ready to take their place as leaders in the community and the workforce,” she said.
Head Girl Katie Walsh spoke confidently.
“I’ve spent 817 days here and they have been the happiest of my life, guided by the light of Nano Nagle. I am inspired and in awe of the mná around me and our teachers are a driving force guiding us,” she said.
Bishop Nulty in his homily noted how the school now has over 30 nationalities.
“This building is a pearl in the oyster of our diocese. Congratulations to the staff and Presentation sister and all who made it what it is today,” he said.
He blessed the gold pins specially created to mark the jubilee.
The school choir and musicians gave a stunning performance throughout led by music teacher Maria Breen, with talented soloists Layla Mullally, Jennifer Osadolo and Sophie McNamara.
Sinead Ni Chninn, Holly Kavanagh, Anna Lee Dowling and Jill Cushen spoke to give a history of the school.
The secondary school was founded by Sr Columba in 1968 in the town centre. It moved to a new building on the Borris road campus shared with St Mary's CBS in 2010 where it rapidly grew to the current population of 950 students.
Second year students represented all students at the Mass, along with all prefects and vice prefects, student council, Meitheal and Mentoirí and various committees.
Past teachers were given bouquets including Sr Marie Therese King who was Principal, Valerie Turley who was vice principal, Sr Evelyn who was chair of the Board of Management from 1995 to 2016, and Sandra Campion also a former vice principal.
Student Hanna Biju presented a piece of art she created to Bishop Nulty.
Concelebrating with Bishop Nulty were Fr Liam Merrigan PP of Monasterevin and former school chaplain, Fr Ciprian Matei, curate in Portlaoise, Fr David Vard the current chaplain and Monsignor John Byrne PP.
Principals from local schools and a representavive of CEIST all attended.
Scroll through our gallery of lovely photos taken by Alf Harvey for the Leinster Express.