Serving Mass in school time

A short piece in the Catholic Times caught my eye this week. The Department of Education and Science in Ireland has criticised two primary schools in Limerick because
some pupils were engaged in non-curricular activities during school time, were not directly supervised and had no acess to teaching and learning facilities
They were in fact serving Mass.

I doubt if there can be many schools left in England who allow children to go to serve Mass at their local Church. The inspectors would choke on their coffee and biscuits if they saw such a dreadful transgression of the national curriculum. Let's face it, we are not really running our schools any more - the Government is, via OFSTED. It is sad to see that Ireland is going the same way.

Whe I was a small boy, we took it in turns to walk round from school to serve Mass. It was actually a very educational experience. We learned about being given the responsibility to get ourselves there and back without messing around: going to serve Mass was a privilege we didn't want to lose. We learned to respect the different priests of St Mary's in Croydon. And of course, we learned to love the Mass and the care of the altar and the sacristy. I thank God that the "curriculum" was not such an idol then.

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