Joining the Dots: Spirit, Faith, Work, Life

A programme of theology and spiritual renewal for educators

This course is an invitation to all of you, every teacher of every subject area, to explore your faith and your own spirituality and connect it to your life, especially your work life. It involves 90 minutes one evening a week for five weeks. As a school based programme there are no fees, no travel and no exams. It involves only your time and enthusiasm!









Joining the Dots concluded its first pilot run in Mercy Mounthawk, Tralee, on November 30th 2009. 15 teachers from a host of different subject areas took part. The programme was facilitated by Amalee Meehan, CEIST and John O’Roarke, Principal of Mercy Mounthawk.

The second pilot run took place during March-April 2010 in St Mary’s Secondary School, Mallow where 14 teachers participated. It has since run in Coláiste na Toirbhirte, Bandon and in St Mary’s Secondary School, Nenagh.

Join the Dots is due to run in Christ King Girls Secondary School, Cork on Monday 12th September, 2011.

Through connecting how God is revealed with the deep desires of the human heart, it hopes to deepen participants’ own faith, praxis and relationships – with God, with themselves, and with others - especially in the context of the school community.

In a confidential survey, 100% of participants said that Joining the Dots enhanced their understanding of Christian faith and their own spirituality.

What the participants said (Mercy Mounthawk) . . .

In answer to the question “what have you found most helpful about the programme so far?” participants answered:

  • “The opportunity to think at ease about myself in the light of my faith. My faith was nurtured and strengthened throughout these seven weeks. I needed this guided time more than I knew.”
  • “Time out to reflect is essential. I felt that it was ‘my’ time in this week. It has given me a focus on my work here in school for 6 weeks – and I really want to keep that focus going.”
  • “I really found the programme helpful in looking and reflecting on my own spirituality. The programme gave me a greater appreciation of scripture. I found myself asking myself so many real questions.”
  • “Finding the spiritual side of myself, looking at my relationship with God and relating this to students that I teach. I reflected a lot.”
  • “The reflection process – accessing self through reflection action. Raising questions of faith/spirituality and allowing them space in my hectic life. Honest engagement of the whole group in the process.”
  • “It helped and pushed me to think about myself, God, and how I relate to others, [things] that I would normally not think about or ask myself.”
  • “To take the opportunity to mediate and reflect on what we’re about as teachers. Also, to discuss this with others in the group. A great opportunity for openness and sharing with colleagues.”




‘Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?’

Mary Oliver



What the participants said (St Mary’s, Mallow) . . .

“I really enjoyed the time for spiritual reflection with other people, the combination of intellectual rigour and the experiential, and the prayerful relaxation.”

“The atmosphere was very relaxed and friendly.”

“[Joining the Dots had] a lovely, respectful approach. Very good time management, facilitation and clear content, with a lovely blend of literature, theology and art. Thank you so much.”

In answer to the question “what did you find most helpful about the programme?” participants answered:

  • "Gathering as a searching community as distinct from a professional body."
  • "The mystery of how God is at work in each person is very evident and heartening."
  • "Time out to reflect and ponder the many questions I have wanted to explore for so long."
  • "Talking to colleagues at a different level, so much deeper than "shop" talk."
  • "I was glad of the opportunity to hear and read Scripture portrayed in a most enjoyable way. It has jogged my belief in God."
  • "Having the opportunity to reflect on my spirituality and give myself space to think about me and where I'm going."

Course Outline

  • Spirituality and life’s journey: living life with meaning
  • Being a reflective teacher: is it actually possible and why bother?
  • Imago Dei: Who am I and Whose Am I - and whose are those kids!
  • Jesus - the face of God
  • Connecting the dots: what this means for me, for us & for our school

Contact: Amalee Meehan, CEIST
Tel: 086 1704714