Faith Matters

St Patrick's PS pupil Rowan presented with Honouring the Faith award

St Patrick's Primary School pupil Rowan Cahalan, pictured centre, is presented with the Honouring the Faith award

ROWAN Cahalan, a P7 pupil at Saint Patrick's PS in north Belfast, has become the first child from the school to be presented with an Honouring the Faith award.

The award, sponsored by the Knights of Saint Columbanus, recognises those whose faith has shone out, even amid adversity.

He was given the award last week at the school's end of year Mass in St Patrick's Church. The school had no shortage of reasons to explain why Rowan was a worthy recipient.

"He recognises when someone needs help and will always put others' needs ahead of his own no matter where he is, whether that be at school, at home or within the wider community," it said in a statement paying tribute to Rowan.

"Over many years at St Patrick's there have been both personal and family difficulties; through these times, Rowan has had to dig deep into his character, his faith and belief, which has made him both resilient and strong."

Rowan recognises when someone needs help and will always put others' needs ahead of his own no matter where he is, whether that be at school, at home or within the wider community 

Rowan's "generous heart" shines out, including in how he had cared for others during his time at St Patrick's "in particular a boy within his class who has had to adjust to a life-changing situation".

"Rowan always shows that he is concerned about the feelings of his peers; he is always honest and trustworthy and can be depended on to do what he is asked to do."

The Knights of Saint Columbanus is a Catholic order of laymen dedicated to the service of Christ in their daily lives, which aims to 'restore all things in Christ'.

Among other things, the Honouring the Faith award seeks to recognise those who have pushed through difficulties and challenges to not only succeed but also to share their faith; it attempts to acknowledge those who have met the challenge of Pope Francis: "Take action. Live life to the full. And when others see the witness you give, they may ask: 'Why do you live this way?'"

In Rowan's case, the school noted that he has "a great skill of seeing Christ in his neighbour": "It is clear that Rowan takes as his own personal motto in life the Gospel message of: 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'

"We all at Saint Patrick's Primary School and parish wish to send our grateful thanks to the Knights of Saint Columbanus for sponsoring the award, but especially to Rowan for his display of faith throughout his time at the school."

P4 children from Saint Patrick's Primary School have been working extremely hard to prepare hampers of food for the homeless who are helped by the Door of Mercy Soup Kitchen in Donegall Street. The children decided they wanted to end the school year by helping those who were in need in Belfast. The food hampers were presented to Fr Tony McAleese, Fr Eugene O'Neill and Paul McCusker following the end-of-year school Mass which was celebrated last week.

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