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A Tale of Nine Centuries

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The Story and Spirituality of the Le Chéile School Trust
Úna Collins & Sean Goan
ISBN 9781782181316



Confucius, the Chinese philosopher, advises that a study of the past is necessary for those who wish to define the future. This book is about past, present and future.  The Le Chéile Catholic Schools Trust was established in contemporary time, but is rooted in the past and is defining and ensuring the future of the Irish Catholic secondary school.

The trust is unique in its origin. Twelve small religious congregations came together in 2003 and collaborated for seven years to create a new lay trust which was launched by President McAleese in 2010. The trust now represents 14 religious congregations, fifty nine schools, 1650 staff members, and 28,684 students.

The Le Chéile story stretches from the thirteenth to the twenty-first century and from the United States of America to Italy, France, England and Ireland. It is a story which includes the fascinating lives of a thirteenth century young noble man challenging heresy, a nineteenth century American single mother of five children providing school for English young girls, a young bishop learning how to provide Catholic education in an impoverished penal Ireland by observing children sing and play, an Irish woman in prison planning on how to educate poor children, and an Anglican nurse in the Crimea converted by the faith of dying Irish soldiers.  Each of the fourteen stories is compelling, each one a personal story of a courageous response in faith to the immediate needs of context and time.

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