March 27, 2018
On Friday, 23 March 2018, Fr Bruno Cadoré, Master of the Order of Preachers, blessed and opened a new classroom block, at Newbridge College.
Fr Bruno, the 86th successor of St Dominic as head of the Order, was on an official visitation of the Irish Province. Born in 1954 in the region of Bourgogne in France, he became a medical doctor and worked for two years in Haiti before entering the Order in 1979. His first post after ordination was as master of students, responsible for the formation of young Dominicans. Receiving a doctorate in moral theology in 1992, he taught biomedical ethics at the Catholic University of Lille while directing the centre for medical ethics there. He also served on the National Aids Council of France from January 2008 to 2010, the year he was elected Master of the Order for a nine-year term.
The new block, of 17 additional rooms, is named the Walker Building, after Fr Dominic Walker who, with Fr Nicholas Freyne, founded the college in response to the educational needs arising after Catholics in Ireland and Britain were granted emancipation from the Penal Laws. The school founded, with 50 pupils, as a boarding school for boys in 1852, is now a co-educational, secondary day-school with 884 students and a teaching staff of 73. Despite falling numbers, Dominican friars remain active in the College as chaplains and as teachers of religious knowledge, as well as serving on the Board of Governors.
Speaking to the assembly of teachers, students and guests, Fr Bruno reflected on the values described in the College’s statement of its vision and its educational philosophy. The College is ‘dedicated to promoting, in co-operation with parents and guardians, the religious, spiritual, moral, academic, aesthetic, cultural, physical, emotional, and social development of all the students committed to its care.’ Further, the College seeks to impart ‘values for living in a way that shows respect for all that is noble and true. It acknowledges that each of its students is uniquely gifted and it seeks to provide each one of them with curricular and extra-curricular opportunities that are suited to his/her aptitudes and aspirations.’ Fr Bruno saw in this commitment to cooperative action and to being actively respectful of the unique gifts of each individual an ongoing expression of the Dominican ethos. And he wished parents, students and staff continuing success.
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