Tony Nolan – Chairperson
Diocese: Cashel & Emly
School: Cashel Community School
I am enjoying my role in Cashel Community School. This is my ninth year as Chaplain. I am honoured and humbled to be working on your behalf on the Executive Committee of the School Chaplains’ Association. This is my fourth year on the Executive Committee. I am always inspired by the camaraderie and togetherness on the Executive, something that inspired me to join the Committee in the first place. I have been working with young people in education since 1997 in various guises such as Guidance Counsellor, School Completion Programme Co-ordinator, Youthreach Resource worker and now ultimately as Chaplain, a role in which I feel at home. I feel very privileged to be in this role. I see it as a calling in which I am blessed to serve. I enjoy meeting and mixing with people and like new challenges. I am interested in all sports and music and love spending time with my family.
Catherine Clarke – Vice Chairperson & Membership
School: Portmarnock Community School
Hello, this is my second year on this current Executive Committee, I worked on a previous Executive many moons ago. I am 15 Years in Chaplaincy and am five years in my current school. I love to travel, and this photo is from a recent trip that I made to Santiago de Compostela over the mid-term break. Some of my other interests include listening to music and spending time with family and friends. On a Friday after school, you will often find me in a nice coffee shop sipping a nice cappuccino and watching the world go by, there is no better way than to wind down after a busy week’s work. I continue to look forward to working with the SCA and getting to know its members. Let us continue to pray for each other in our mission and work.
Anita-Marie Mc Glynn
School: Ardee Community School
Hi, this is my third year being a part of the School Chaplains’ Association Executive Committee. I am from Co. Monaghan and I studied in Theology, Music and Gaeilge in Maynooth University, before going on to study a Masters in Pastoral Theology in Maynooth University and my PGCE (Dip.) in the UK.
In previous years, I was Chaplain in Blackrock College and went back to the classroom last year. I love spending time with and around people. I enjoy reading, music and just being…. I am enjoying finding resources and making them available for Chaplains in my role of creating the SCA newsletters.
Maura Gilmore – Secretary
School: St. Attracta’s C.S. Tubbercurry, Co Sligo
I have been working in education since 2001, starting out as a RE Teacher with Chaplaincy duties in St. Louis High School Rathmines. Following a move home to my native Roscommon in 2011, the commute continued until the opportunity of a full time Chaplains post became available in St. Attracta’s C.S. Tubbercurry, in 2014. Working happily and a mum of three, life is busy but fulfilling. Building key relationships with students, parents and colleagues is my main objective and providing a safe place to listen and be present with those who come to me, underpins all I do. I’m grateful for the unwavering support of both management and colleagues who assist and work with me tailoring liturgies and organising wellbeing programmes and placing value in the time spent with individuals. And of course, where would I be without my own personal faith…. ” The Lord replied, My precious child, I love you and will never leave you Never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.” And so, I look forward to joining a great Executive team and in my role as secretary supporting the School Chaplains’ Association. I have always experienced the Annual Conference organised by the Executive to be the “well that nourishes me” and this is my way of giving back.
Pierce Cuthbert – Treasurer
School: Killinarden CS,Tallaght
This is my 30th year working as a school chaplain and l volunteered to join the SCA executive this year as l have always been grateful for the work that other chaplains have done on my behalf over the years and I thought it was about time that l gave something back!
The role of a chaplain in a school is unique but as a result it can be quite isolating so l think it is very important that we can find support from one another in our association and clusters.
I am a very proud Cork man despite the many years l have been living in exile as well as being the father of two grown up young men. I like all sports but consider hurling as the closest thing to Godliness! I look forward to working on your behalf on the executive for the next few years and hopefully getting the chance to meet you all in person soon
Shona Killeen – Membership and diaries
Diocese: Kildare & Leighlin
School: Heywood Community School, Ballinakill, Co. Laois
I qualified as a School Chaplain from Mater Dei Institute of Education, DCU in 2012 and have been working in this privileged role for 10 years and counting! I am also Religion and English teacher with a special interest in Wellbeing and SPHE. I am nourished by the support provided to me by my school community in its entirety, especially our exceptional students, staff, management, Parents and our Patrons- The Salesians of Don Bosco Ireland.
I feel a special connection to Celtic Spirituality and both my school and our national heritage and traditions. I have completed a Diploma in Integrative Adolescent Psychotherapy and my work as a School Chaplain is guided by my interest in the Neuroscience of the Adolescent Brain, the Relationship between the Brain and the Body (Polyvagal Theory) and our our human need for Bondedness.
I use prayer and mindfulness techniques, art therapy and sand tray therapy in both my person and professional life in order to honour these areas of interest and to help address challenges such as anxiety, trauma and isolation. This is my second stint on the executive and I’m looking forward to connecting with others more closely once again and hopefilly being able to do something for them in gratitude for God’s promise to us all ‘I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine’ (Ephesians 3.20).
Sr Mercedes Coen – Newsletter
School: Retired – Since I qualified as a Post-Primary Teacher in 1970, I have held the posts of Post-Primary Teacher/Counsellor/Principal/Chaplain/Diocesan Advisor and Spiritual Director.
I retired from Principal in 2005 and took up the post of Chaplain in St Patrick’s High School in Keady Co. Armagh, the school in which I got my first job in 1970. In 2005 I began the Masters in School Chaplaincy in Mater Dei.
I qualified as a School Chaplain from Mater Dei Institute of Education, DCU in 2007 and continued my work as a Chaplain in Patrick’s High School in Keady. During that time I worked for three years on the executive.
I retired from my Chaplain‘s post in 2013 to take up the post of Diocesan Advisor in the Dromore Diocese from which I retired in 2019. I continued my connection with SCA, as an Associate member, since 2005 and have found attending the SCA conferences over the years to be most enriching and life -giving. This is my second time on the executive and I look forward to it, as I am retired I hope to have more time to give to the executive and the SCA in wherever I am needed.
Finola Casey – Newsletter and Website
School: Presentation Community College, Terenure
This is my second time to serve on the Executive. Previously my role as Conference & Social Media. This time my role is Newsletter & Website.
I am the College Chaplain in my school. I worked as the Tallaght Chaplains Cluster Coordinator for a number of years and I am passionate about making and fostering connections and support between Chaplains in our roles.
In my role as Chaplain I think building rapport with students, teachers, parents/guardians & the wider school community is vital as well as providing a supportive and safe environment.
I love travel and keeping active, going on hikes and walks. I love meeting up with friends and trying new things.
School: I retired from my position as fulltime School Chaplain at Coláiste Cholmcille, Ballyshannon Co. Donegal in September 2021 after 18 Years in the role. Prior to this I was 17 years in Summerhill College, Sligo working as Head Cathechist. I was awarded an MA in Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy by St. Angela’s College/NUIG in 2006.
Since retiring I has taken up a role as Diocesan Advisor to the Raphoe Diocese. I also serve as Choir Mistress at the Church of Mary Immaculate Grange Co. Sligo, where I reside. I always believed that the SCA was invaluable support and resource in my role as chaplain, and always looked forward to the annual conference for nourishment, support and to meet with other chaplain friends and colleagues.