BY Martin Dunlop | December 14 | comments icon 1 COMMENT     print icon print


St Mary’s Primary School celebrates a new beginning

— Cardinal O’Brien joins Lanark school community for a special Mass to mark the opening and blessing of a new school building and nursery

Staff and pupils of St Mary’s Primary School in Lanark were delighted to welcome Cardinal Keith O’Brien as a special visitor last Thursday as the community’s new school and nursery building was blessed during the celebration of Mass.

Despite the harsh winter weather, Cardinal O’Brien made his way to Lanark, and was greeted with a warm reception by young pupils and members of the local community.

Speaking to the children during the Mass, the cardinal informed them that the history of their school goes way back to 1860.

Sisters from the Daughters of Charity order, representatives of which were present at last week’s Mass, were the first teachers at the school, the cardinal informed pupils.


Fresh start

In 1939, a replacement school for St Mary’s was built, a building that still partly serves as a parish hall at the town’s St Mary’s Church.

This building was to serve the young Catholic community of Lanark until today’s new school building was completed, which staff and pupils moved into earlier this year.

Cardinal O’Brien recalled that his predecessor, Cardinal Thomas Winning, former Archbishop of Glasgow, had once said to him that ‘it must have been great for our predecessors, going around opening things while we are now going around closing things.’

“That is why it is great to be coming here today and opening a new school,” the cardinal—who, at the beginning of Mass, blessed every classroom in the school individually—said. “This is such a wonderful and happy occasion.”

Fr Joseph Brannigan, school chaplain and parish priest at St Mary’s Church, concelebrated the Mass and thanked Cardinal O’Brien for attending and taking the time to meet all St Mary’s children in their classrooms.

Joanne Droy, acting headteacher at St Mary’s, spoke on behalf of the whole school community when she said it had been ‘an honour and a privilege’ to have Cardinal O’Brien blessing the new school building on what was a ‘very special and memorable occasion for everybody connected with the school.’


Top performance

St Mary’s pupils performed key duties throughout the afternoon, welcoming guests, participating in the Mass and singing beautifully to the selected hymns.

There remained time at the close of the celebrations to make a special presentation to parent Mrs Martin, who had given so much of her time in preparation for the Mass and to teach the children the hymns, as well as performing expertly on the piano.



Pic: Paul McSherry

Comments - One Response

  1. Well done St Mary all the best from Winnipeg Canada

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