Our School Ethos and Philosophy of Education
 Our Ethos in Action Our School Crest

Our Mission Statement outlines our educational philosophy in full:

As part of the family of Loreto schools and in cooperation with parents and the community,we are dedicated to Christian education.
We aim to provide a balanced education,
academic, pastoral and physical for all students, affording space for reflection and for learning through experience.
We seek to promote self-esteem, self-discipline and the goal of self-fulfilment
and to foster in our students the virtues of courage, sincerity and truth.

Loreto College is one of thirty five Loreto schools in Ireland. Loret schools are to be found in twenty one countries and on all five continents. Mary Ward, a young Yorkshire woman, founded the first school in St. Omer, France in 1609. She and the sisters of her new religious community had as their aim the education of young women and the support of victims of injustice. She travelled Europe on foot founding schools in The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Austria, The Czech Republic and Slovakia. She sought to empower women to fulfill whatever part God called them to play. She invited her followers to ' become lovers of truth and workers of justice'. Her vision placed particular emphasis on education inspired by the values of joy, justice, freedom and sincerity.

Mary Ward’s core values of justice, freedom, sincerity, truth and joy are at the heart of school life.
Education in a Loreto school:

  • Promotes Catholic values, attitudes and principles.
  • Strives for the all-round development of the student.
  • Affirms the personal worth and dignity of each student.
  • Fosters awareness of the responsibility to work for peace, justice and unity in society.
  • Endeavours to encourage excellence in all areas of the student’s life in an atmosphere of interest, concern and friendship for each person.

Mary Ward was a woman ahead of her time. Pope John Paul 2nd described Mary Ward as 'that extraordinary Yorkshire woman....who became a pioneer of the active, unenclosed congregations of women'. Almost two hundred years after Mary Wards death, Frances Teresa Ball, a young Dublin woman, began Mary Wards dream in Ireland with the establishment of 'Loreto House' at Rathfarnham. By degrees a number of young women joined Teresa and her first companions to become Loreto Sisters, members of The Institute of The Blessed Virgin Mary. Today, in the 21st Century, the thirty five Loreto schools in Ireland continue Mary Ward's dream of providing a Catholic education for young women. We, in Loreto Cavan, are proud to be part of this tradition.

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Spiritual and Religious Formation
We, in Loreto College Cavan, foster the spiritual and religious development of our students in accordance with our school ethos and its emphasis on holistic education. We are a Catholic school in the Loreto tradition, promoting the values espoused by our foundress Mary Ward: love, joy, freedom, justice, truth and sincerity.

We have a comprehensive religious formation programme, which is implemented by our Religion teachers, supported by our school chaplain. This programme includes:

· Religious instruction for all year groups. Students in Junior Cycle follow the Department of Education and Science syllabus for Junior Certificate Religious Education. In Senior Cycle, religious education is provided in a modular format. Modules include: The Search for Meaning, Christianity- origins and expressions, World religions, the Journey of life, Morality, Religion and Science, Relationships and Sexuality.

· Retreats for Third year and Sixth year students.

· Reconciliation Services during Advent and Lent

· Celebratory masses, including the annual Opening mass and Graduation mass.

· Prayer Services

· Supporting Trocaire`s Lenten Fast and collections for the underprivileged

· A Christmas Carol Service

· Projects with local community involvement

· Information sessions on important topics and issues

Our Ethos in Action

On Tuesday November 8th 2005, The Bishop of Kilmore, Dr. Leo O'Reilly, gave the following homily when he offically opened and blessed our new Prayer Room in Loreto College.

"I congratulate the Loreto Trustees, the Board of Management, the Principal, Ms. Donagh, the Religion Department and everyone involved in the provision of this oratory for the school community here. An oratory like this is a statement of faith about the place of God in the life of this community. It is a space for God, a place for prayer, for quietness and reflection. If you were taking a narrow, utilitarian view of things this might seem like a waste of space that could have been used for Maths or Music or Science or even storage. You could say that aprayer space is no earthly use, and you'd be right, in part anyway. It reminds us that there is more to life and education than the earthly. And that's precisely why it is so important.

In the Loreto tradition of education that extra dimension - beyond the earthly - the spiritual dimension, the God dimension - has always held a pride of place. And I was very pleased to see that stated so eloquently by the Principal in a recent article in the local paper. So as well as a statement of faith, this oratory is a statemnt of identity. It proclaims that this school values and promotes the whole person in all her dimensions, the physical, the intellectual and social - of course - but also the moral and emotional and the spiritual.

This room will be a valuable resource for the teachers of religion, the chaplain and others involved in the religious formation of the young people here, and it will help to ensure that the education provided will be Catholic, not only in the sense of a particular denomination, but in it's literal sense of universal, forming the whole person, embracing the whole reality.

But of course the oratory is first and foremost for you, the students. In the gospel I've read, the story of the Transfiguration, Jesus took his closest disciples up a mountain to pray. Why did he have to go up a mountain? The mountain is a place apart - a place of solitude, of silence. To get there you have to detach yourself from your everyday occupations. You leave the distractions and 'busyness' of work or pleasure and enter the sphere of the holy. This oratory is your mountain. You will be able to come here - to leave the other pursuits of school life behind for a while and experience God in the quietness and solitude.

The apostles' experience of God when they were on the mountain with Jesus was very satisfying in one way - so much so that they wanted to stay: 'Let us build three tents here......' But it was also a bit scary. When they entered the cloud - symbolising the presence of God - they were afraid. There is always that mixture in our relationship with God: a deep down attraction, a desire that is rooted in our being, in the way we are. St. Augustine said it most eloquently: 'You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and we will not rest until we rest in you.' So there's that deep longing for God. But there is also hesitation, a reluctance, a fear of getting too close to God, because if I do get close, He might ask me for things that I do not want to give.

The three apostles learned a lot from their visit to the mountain:

  • A new understanding of who Jesus was - they saw the divine dimension which shone out there for the first time
  • A new experience of God
  • A great joy in God's presence

Perhaps the most important lesson they learned was that they couldn't stay up on the mountain. They had to go back down and engage in the earthly work again. They learned that prayer is not an escape from reality. It's an invitation to step back from the everyday, to get a new perspective, to see things in a new way - to see them from Gods point of view. And that enables us to go back to our earthly tasks renewed and strengthened and encouraged. It helps us to engage in our earthly tasks with greater commitment and a new awareness that God is not only to be found on the mountain, or in the tabernacle, but in every person and in every thing. It helps us to acquire the vision of Kavanagh who could say: 'God is in the bits and pieces of every day', or Joseph Mary Plunkett who said: 'I see His blood upon the rose, and in the stars the glory of his eyes', or Hopkins who could see Gods glory in everything, even something as mundane as an upturned sod or a dying fire:
'Sheer plod makes ploughdown sillion shine
And blue bleek embers, Ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves and gash gold vermillion.









Our School Crest

The Crest is the badge worn by all students in Loreto schools throughout the world. The design includes four symbols:

  • The Cross - the emblem of salvation.
  • The Heart of Jesus - symbolises His personal love for us.
  • The pierced Heart of Mary - depicting her courage as a guide for us.
  • The anchor - the symbol of hope encouraging us to trust Him.

The crest is surmounted by the title - Mary, Queen of Angels. This reminds those who wear it of the protective presence of Mary.

At the bottom of the crest are cthe words which bring us comforton our journey through life. They read:

"I will always trust in the cross"

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