Towards greater openness: Christian educators respond to the challenges of the pandemic

Four Catholic educators from Ireland and Scotland reflect on working and engaging with children and young people during the restrictions and lockdowns imposed by Covid-19. Jayne Guiney, Ursula Lawler, Stephen J. McKinney and Eileen O’Sullivan are part of the GRACE project (Global Researchers Advancing Catholic Education).

This article has its origins in the activities of the GRACE project (Global Researchers Advancing Catholic Education) initiated by Mary Immaculate College (MIC), Limerick. The project planned a conference for 2019 in Kylemore, which had to be cancelled as a result of the pandemic. The project then invited interested parties to meet synchronously with a group of people with similar research interests. The groups focused on different themes. The responses in this article are provided by the four members of the group concerned with the themes of spirituality, social justice and Catholic social teaching. The group began to meet by Zoom on in November 2020 under the guidance of Sr Ursula Lawler of the Presentation Sisters. The group is composed of Sr Ursula, a lecturer in Christian Ethics at MIC; Eileen, a lecturer in the Pedagogy of History in the Department of Learning, Society and Religious Education, MIC; Jayne, who is is a teacher at a Catholic primary school in Limerick; and Stephen, who works at the School of Education, University of Glasgow which has a mission to prepare teachers for Catholic schools.

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