Student Leadership Conference 2018

The fourth annual CEIST Student Leadership Conference took place on Tuesday, 13th March 2018. We were delighted that students from 80 of our 107 schools were represented at the event which took place again in the DCU Institute of Education, Drumcondra, formerly known as St. Patrick’s College.

Shona Kavanagh of Presentation Wexford lighting the CEIST candle


The day began at 10am when students were welcomed by Dr Marie Griffin of CEIST and Professor Daire Keogh of DCU. Shona Kavanagh of Presentation Wexford then lit the CEIST candle to symbolise the light of Christ guiding all CEIST students and uniting us all in one school faith community.

Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin speaking with students tCiarán Archer, Evan Leonard & Faith Pluckett from 5th year of St. Joseph’s Secondary School Rush


Students were then addressed by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, who kindly called in to talk to the students and bless them. There was also a talk from David Kennedy of the World Meeting of Families. David informed all students that Dublin has been chosen by Pope Francis to host the next World Meeting of Families in August 2018, and that Pope Francis will also be in attendance. David encouraged all students to volunteer at the event and provided details of how to do so.

David Kennedy with some of the World Meeting of Families team at the volunteer stand


Students were then divided into smaller groups. Each group was assigned to a different classroom where volunteer teachers presented a workshop on the World Meeting of Families including videos on Pope Francis and information leaflets for the event ahead. Student leaders from some of the schools then made their own presentations to demonstrate how they had shown leadership in their own schools.

5th years Clare Keleghan, Ciara Whelan and Kate Henry from St. Joseph’s College, Lucan presenting at the student workshop


After lunch everyone moved to the chapel in St. Patrick’s College. Here the students heard from Rev. Philip Mulryne of Newbridge College. Rev. Philip is a former professional soccer player who played for Manchester United, captained Norwich City Football Club and also had 27 appearances for Northern Ireland in his professional career. He was ordained as a priest for the Dominican Order in July 2017 and he spoke to the students of his journey from football to the priesthood.

Rev. Philip Mulryne addressing the students


Following Rev. Philip Mulryne’s talk the St Joseph’s Mercy Secondary School Navan Schola Choir led by Ephrem Feeley performed “A Joy for all the Earth”. This is the official hymn for the World Meeting of Families 2018 and was written by Ephrem himself. Sheet music was provided and all attendees joined in the refrain.

St Joseph’s Mercy Secondary School Navan Schola Choir led by Ephrem Feeley


The day ended with a blessing from Dr. Gareth Byrne, Associate Professor of Religious Education, and Director of the Mater Dei Centre for Catholic Education at the DCU St. Patrick’s Campus. After the blessing the students at the front of the church were asked to hold the CEIST flag and a picture was taken of everyone in attendance. Students were then free to leave but a number of them stayed around to get pictures with the CEIST flag also.

Farewell blessing from Dr. Gareth Byrne


The day was a great success and highly enjoyable. CEIST would like to thank all the schools who nominated students to attend the Conference as well as the students who attended and presented on the day.
We look forward to another successful conference in 2019.

Students with CEIST flag after the conference


Please click image below to view full pictures of the day.

Links of interest

World Meeting of Families

DCU Mater Dei Centre for Catholic Education news of Student Leadership Conference
Kilkenny Today news article written by St Brigid’s Presentation Secondary School Student Council member Áine O’Connor

Ordination to the Priesthood of Fr. Philip Mulryne OP

Ephrem Feeley “A Joy for all the Earth” official hymn for World Meeting of Families 2018

CEIST Twitter #CSLConf18