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Best Wishes from Bishop Michael to those beginning the Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle Examinations 2023

“It can indeed be a stressful few weeks. A time when you need to take care of yourself on many levels.”


As the Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle Examinations begin next week, I wanted to let all the students involved, their families and teachers know that you are very much in our thoughts and prayers. For students, it can indeed be a stressful few weeks. A time when you need to take care of yourself on many levels. Physically, eating well, exercising and getting a good night’s sleep is recommended. A good mental attitude can indeed make a difference. Focus on what you are doing and remember above all that these exams, while important, are not the be all and the end all – there are much more important things in life and many different opportunities to get to where you want to be. The support of family and friends and having someone to chat to if the pressure mounts up is vital. Who is this person for you?

To these, I would like to add a spiritual perspective. For people of faith – a sense of a greater power than yourself – of God supporting and guiding you is most helpful. Once you have done your bit – your study, your work – hand it over to God and let him be a source of calm strength for you from then on. He is with you in ways you couldn’t even imagine. He is there for you – gently guiding you on your own individual journey of life. Talk to God in these days- use your own words – friend to friend. Chat with him about what is going on – share your worries with him – ask his help. Don’t forget to thank him too. The American Professor, Reinhold Niebuhr used these words – perhaps they might help you too:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference, living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; taking this world as it is and not as I would have it; trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will; so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen.

Wishing you all God’s blessings – you are very much in my thoughts and prayers at this time.

Michael Duignan

Bishop of Clonfert

Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh

Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora