On Friday, 23 March 2018, Fr Bruno Cadore, Master of the Order, blessed and opened a new class-room block, at Newbridge College, in the town of Newbridge, Co. Kildare, 49 km south-west of Dublin city centre. 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.
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.
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.