A Day with Liam Lawton

CEIST teachers had a profound experience with Liam Lawton in Temple Bar on the 8 and 9th March in Firkin Crane.

Both mornings began with Morning Prayer. Tuesday being Shrove Tuesday allowed us to embrace that lovely tradition and in like manner ashes were distributed on the Wednesday morning in Cork to mark Ash Wednesday. With the music of Liam Lawton the simple rituals made for powerful prayer experience. Both of these prayer services are on our CEIST website. 

Liam Lawton, who was accompanied by Martin Quinn on guitar and Mark Cahill on the keyboard, shared stories, songs and prayer with the teacher audience.  Liam was a teacher himself. He was able to key into this background during the performance. The whole day made a deep impact on all those who attended.


These are some of the comments that teachers made afterwards. They capture the essence of the day;

‘What a day yesterday! My teachers were fired up in the staff room this morning at break sharing with the others the 'good news' . Never saw such enthusiasm after any day. It was a treat beyond measure and so appreciated by us. Well done to you for organising same… We were touched by the stories which pulled at the strings of our hearts and emotions. Such a talented, unassuming, spiritual man… Well done again to you and all at CEIST’. (Principal)

‘I am writing to thank you most sincerely for including me in today's CEIST event. It was a very moving experience for me and provided a truly sacred space for reflection and contemplation through prayer and song for which I most grateful. (Deputy Principal)

It was lovely to meet you, Liam, Margaret, Ned and the other participants involved. You all made me feel so welcome. Today's experience will stay with me for a long time and I took away very positive feelings of hope which need to be communicated to a wider audience which I will endeavour to do as I go about my work. With deepest thanks and appreciation’. (Board Member)

‘I want to thank you and your colleagues for the wonderful day last Tuesday with Liam Lawton.
I thoroughly enjoyed the day and felt privileged to be part of it. What a wonderful opportunity. It was uplifting in every sense. ... Looking forward to the retreat’. (Retired Teacher)

‘Words cannot explain what I got from the occasion. When I arrived this morning it was with something of a heavy heart… I sat and shuffled a bit and put on a mask to keep up the public face when suddenly I was told to choose a stone. Well let me tell you I felt a sense of letting go and really handing over something to God when I placed that stone in the water. From that moment on the sense of "All will be well" took over. Every moment of today resonated deeply and strongly within me. For me, your organising today, brought Hope and Trust back into my life and for that I thank you all. You truly brought my "Aingeal" alive again.

Tomorrow I'm bringing some of today back to my school and I will try and bring some of the essence of what was gifted to me today. Thanks to you all and may God bless you, may the Spirit guide you and may Jesus walk with you in the work you continue to do’ (Teacher).

These are but a small sense of how the experience with Liam affected people. Our endeavour on such a day is to care for the carer. Teachers give such a huge amount to others without looking for much, if anything’ in return. Some might say, ‘Well, it’s your job’. Of course it is but if it were not also a vocation the impact that teachers have on the lives of their students would be much reduced. As Carl Jung reminds us;‘One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child’.

Some of the teachers who attended the Day with Liam Lawton will also join us on our CEIST Annual Retreat during Holy Week in Glendalough. This is being directed again by Fr. Michael Rodgers and Sr. Breda Ahern CP. It was another amazing experience last year and promises to be again this year.

We pray the Holy Spirit will touch all your hearts in a personal and special way during the Season of Lent and Holy Week. Bail ó Dhia oraibh go léir.