St Kieran's College
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2010)|
|St Kieran's College
The Winter Has Passed
Republic of Ireland
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|President||Rev. Dr Dermot Ryan|
|Principal||Mr. John Curtis|
|Website||*St Kieran's College website|
- 1 History
- 2 Seminary
- 3 Present day education
- 4 Adult Education
- 5 Extra services
- 6 Activities
- 7 School crest and motto
- 8 People Associated with the College
- 9 References
St Kieran's College was founded in Kilkenny, in the diocese of Ossory in 1782, after the passing of the Relief Act of 1782. This act enabled Catholics to found schools (with the consent of the Protestant bishop of the diocese) for the first time since the Irish penal laws were introduced. Prior to this only Protestants could found educational institutions. Saint Kieran's College was founded as the diocesan school and was the first of its kind in the country.
The school's motto is “Hiems Transiit”, Latin for “The Winter Has Passed”, It is a metaphor for the repeal of the penal laws which had kept Catholics as second class citizens in Ireland. It is taken from chapter 2 verse 11 of the Song of Solomon book of the bible:
|“||"My beloved speaks and says to me: Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone."||”|
The saint for whom the school was named was Saint Kieran Saighir, "first-born of the saints of Ireland" (Primogenitus Sanctorum Hiberniae). By the 1790s upheaval on the continent led to the demand for the provision of education for priests at home. In 1792 the college opened its doors to students of philosophy and theology, the first college in Ireland to do so.
The first location of the college was at Burrell's Hall, James Street, Kilkenny, which is now the location of Saint Mary's Cathedral (the seat of the Bishop of Ossory) and the Irish Christian Brothers secondary school. It was later moved to the present location of the Loreto Convent Girls' Secondary School, Granges Road, Kilkenny.
In 1814, the Birchfield Estate was purchased for ecclesiastical students for St Kyran's College with the name Birchfield College also being used. The college was at Birchfield, Shillelogher until 1838 when the estate was bought by the Smithwick family. Between 1811 and 1845 a new permanent building was constructed on what is now College Road. Architect William Deane Butler, who also designed St Mary's Cathedral, was the architect; he was assisted by George Ashlin. The tower which rises from the centre of the cathedral was actually originally intended for the college. Some distinguishing features of the building include the Clock Tower, the Chapel and the Glass-Hall. The college chapel contains some stained glass windows designed by Harry Clarke which have recently undergone restoration. Fundraising has begun for maintenance and restoration work on Pipe Organ in the College Chapel which dates from the 1800s.
As well as teaching lay students St. Kieran's was a minor and major seminary. In 1793 courses in philosophy and theology were added, previously only humanities were taught. As it was located in Birchfield, Shillelogher, the seminary for a time was known as Birchfield College, and would have had a President and professors of Philosophy and Theology.
As a seminary, the college educated many priests who went on to be ordained to serve in Ireland and abroad (some 600 in the United States). Unlike Maynooth College St. Kieran's was not supported by the British government financially.
During the 19th century following the example of St. Patrick's College, Carlow students were able to sit degree examinations for the University of London, where the name of the college was sometimes misspelled as St. Kyrans. In 1982 the College celebrated its bicentenary with over 200 priests from around the world attending. In 1994, with the approval of the authorities in the seminary and all the priests of the diocese, a decision was made by Bishop Forristal to close the seminary at St Kieran's after 212 years due to a dramatic fall in vocations to the priesthood.
Present day education
The college had originally catered for seminarians and boarding students but eventually day students were allowed to attend. This led to the abolishment of a five-days-a-week class structure and the introduction of the three day week school time. In 2003 it ceased boarding students and became solely a day-student secondary school. More than 700 students attend the school.
Adult faith formation
The College is the base for the diocesan adult religious education and faith formation office. In association with the Catholic Diocese of Ossory, 2011 saw the commencement of a Certificate in Theological Studies accredited by St. Patrick's College, Maynooth.
Kilkenny Campus (NUI Maynooth)
Since 1997 the Kilkenny Campus of NUI Maynooth, an outreach project of the university, has been housed in the west wing of the original college buildings. Two modular and inter-disciplinary part-time degree programmes (in Local Studies and in Community Studies) are offered, as well as a range of undergraduate certificates. In recent years postgraduate programmes for adult education practitioners have also been offered on a part-time basis. Approximately 1,400 awards have been made by the university to students who took their courses in Kilkenny between 1997 and 2012. In September 2013, the first full-time students registered at the campus for the First Year of their BA. This initiative offers students a chance to commence their studies locally, before transferring to the main campus in Maynooth for second and third year. Graduation ceremonies now take place in Kilkenny Castle, in earlier years they took place in Maynooth.
ICT Research Centre
In February 2011 it was announced that a new ICT Research centre was to be established in St Kierans, this is a partnership between Kilkenny County Council (Invest Kilkenny), Waterford Institute of Technology(Telecommunications Software and Systems Group) and the Institute of Technology, Carlow. it is on the campus in Burrell's Hall it was officially opened on May 24, 2012 by Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
St Kieran's College also provides services and class-room usage for the City Vocational School and Coláiste Pobail Osraí – the city's Irish-language medium secondary school.
The Carrigan Room contains all of the documents and pictures collected by William Carrigan for his four-volume encyclopaedia on the history of the diocese. The archives also contain documents collected by Carrigan for an intended second edition. These were never used for that purpose after Carrigan died of Spanish Flu. The Kilkenny Archive a collection of papers of Kilkenny families and businesses, including the Wandesforde papers, the Aylward papers, the Smithwick papers, the Swift Heath papers and the Catherine Lanigan papers, is also stored at the College.
St Kieran's College is a noted hurling school, winning numerous cups and leagues. Other sports that the school partakes in are Gaelic handball, Gaelic football, soccer, basketball, equestrian trials, chess, swimming, golf, tennis, and rugby. Other than sports, there are poetry workshops with a writer-in-residence, poet Mark Roper, has helped compile poetry broadsheets and advised people on the way to being published.
Musical and Artistic Studies are also part of the school curriculum. The school also has a film-editing suite, which was used to complete a feature-length film about the Great Famine. This project was undertaken as part of a Schools Integration Project in Kilkenny. On 7 May 2009, the U-16 soccer team won the All-Ireland for the first time in the school's history.
School crest and motto
The motto of the school is “Hiems Transiit”, Latin for “The Winter Has Passed”. The school crest is the diocese's crest emblazoned on a Celtic Cross. The coat of arms of the diocese has a representation of St Kieran between two pillars. It appears on Episcopal arms from the 18th century and on a beautiful book plate of Archbishop Troy as well as the college crest.
People Associated with the College
As a seminary the college trained many priests for ministry in Ireland and abroad. Patrick Kelly, Bishop of Richmond taught at Birchfield College, and also served as president. Thomas MacDonagh an Easter Rising leader was a teacher at the school (1901-03), as was the pacifist Francis Sheehy Skeffington (1900-01). Both men died in the aftermath of the Rising in 1916. John Wilson, former Tánaiste, was a teacher in the school (1957-60).
Notable students to have attended the school include:
- Wisconsin statesman Michael Egan
- Actor Ralph Fiennes (did not graduate)
- Filmmaker and animator Tomm Moore
- Economist Raymond Crotty
- Kerbdog members
- Patrick Neary, banker
- Phil Hogan, TD, Minister of the Environment
- Peter Whelan OSM, Army chaplain during the American Civil War attended Birchfield College
- Dr Richard Phelan, Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, Bishop of Pittsburgh
- Rev Dr. Patrick Collier, Bishop of Ossory
- Bishop James Whyte of Dunedin, New Zealand
- Bishop William J. McDonald, American bishop and Rector of the Catholic University of America
- Several members of the band Engine Alley attended the school. Guitarist Brian Kenealy would go on to use the school's motto as the title of his second solo album Hiems Transiit.
Presidents of St Kieran's College
- Rev Lawrence Reynolds (1817)
- Rev Nicholas Sherman (1817-1829)
- Rev Gerald Foley (1829-1832) and (1836-1838)
- Rev Edward Aylward (1838) - President of Ecclesiastical Seminary
- Rev Edward Nolan (1838-1839) - President of Lay Seminary
- Rev Edward Nowlan, (1839-1842)
- Rev James Ryan (1842-1843)
- Rev Ed. McDonald (1853-1873)
- Rev Nicholas Murphy (1873-1875)
- Rev Patrick Murphy (1875-1885)
- Rev Michael Barry (1885-1894)
- Rev James Doyle (1894-1901)
- Rev John Doody (1903-1911)
- Rev Cornelius McNamara (1911-1919)
- Rev Dr Patrick Collier (1925-1928)
- Rev Martin Joseph Campion
- Mgr Michael Ryan
- Mgr Jim Cassin (19??-2005)
- Mgr Kieron Kennedy (2005-2012)
- Rev Dr Dermot Ryan (2013- )
- School history, StKieransCollege.ie; accessed 24 October 2014.
- The Case for Maynooth, St Patrick's College (publ).
- William L. Smith, St Kierans' College - Irish priests in the United States: a vanishing subculture, books.google.ie; accessed 24 October 2014.
- University of London - The Historical Record (1830-1912) University of London Press, 1912.
- SPCM Certificate in Theological Studies, kilkenny.nuim.ie; accessed 24 October 2014.
- Cardinal Brady's address at graduation in St Patrick's College, Maynooth, catholicbishops.ie, 19 November 2011.
- Kilkenny Campus website, nuim.ie; accessed 24 October 2014.
- Taoiseach Opens Kilkenny Research Centre, WIT.ie, 24 May 2012.
- Kilkenny Research and innovation centre opens SiliconRepublic.com, 24 May 2012.
- Canon William Carrigan, Historian of Ossory, Later Life and Legacy, askaboutireland.ie; accessed 24 October 2014.
- Group seeks council help in preserving Kilkenny's past, kilkennypeople.ie, 17 October 2011.
- Kilkenny Archives secure new headquarters, Kilkenny Advertiser, 21 October 2011.
- Eyes on watchdog, independent.ie, 16 August 2008.
- "Engine man has power", independent.ie; accessed 14 June 2013.