As School Chaplain I am in the very privileged position of being able to walk part of life’s journey with the teachers, pupils, parents, staff and management of Ballincollig Community School. I have shared in people’s sorrow, joy, anger and pain.
First Years often ask me, what does the chaplain do? My simple answer is, I am there for everyone.
In an increasingly complex world where everyone is under more and more pressure I offer a safe haven where people can be themselves, vent their anger, cry their tears and express their hopes.
As chaplain I see Christ as my model and I try to answer the call to be a witness to His presence within the school community, bringing His love joy peace and justice, to each situation I’m in and each encounter I have.
I am here to invite, to encourage but never to force myself on people. Like Jesus on the road to Emmaus, I try to meet people in their present situation, I walk with them, I invite them to a fuller life in Christ. I acknowledge their fears hopes and needs, and I accompany those who wish to have a closer relationship with the Lord.
Jean Vanier sums this up in another way in his book The Body Broken – Journey to Wholeness. He says: It is important to approach people in their brokenness and littleness gently so gently, not forcing yourself upon them but accepting them as they are with humility and respect.