Saturday, December 20, 2014

Some memories of Irish religious education during the late 80s.

Via: Wexford History 

Over at politics.ie we were reminiscing about Irish education during the late 80s and early 90s. One poster refused to believe a number of us never studied the bible during our entire time in the Catholic run school system.

Well, we didn't. I vaguely remember spending weeks in primarily school pasting pictures and copying passages into a notebook as part of confirmation. I don't even recall the content because the emphasis was very much on the presentation. "Now leave this page blank and skip five lines there and write this here in red pen then colour that border in black pen". Utter waste of time. We did get to met bishop Brendan Comiskey who was later forced into retirement over his handling of the church child abuse scandals and is currently some lifestyle spiritual guru helping people discover their true selves for 500eur per person. We liked him.

In secondary school religion was a general study session that we used for doing our homework. We were shown a pretty graphic abortion video (one kid fainted), given passionate warnings over the dangers of ouija boards and our English teacher told us endless stories of receiving aid from various saints. (My favourite was the story about St Anthony finding her car keys. Apparently god wanted more money from her because she had to donate twice before Anto saw fit to return her keys). There was some visiting priest who rambled about creation being compatible with evolution to our incomprehension and apathy. We had a few mind numbingly boring retreats where some alleged rock star we never heard of told us he found Jesus while high on drugs in a nightclub toilet. We had a strange hippie teach us spirituality by screaming out the vowel sounds (just picture 30 kids screaming Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee IIIIIIIiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii OOOOOOooooooooooooooo UUUuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu at the top of their voices for five minutes) and becoming spiritually in touch with our bodies by lying on the floor and mindfully becoming aware of each body part. Que plenty of giggles once we reached the groin, a body part every 15 year old is quite mindful of.

The mother often dragged me to yet more retreats with plenty of candles and yawn inducing prayers led by a priest called fr Doyle who I think my mother quite fancied. I was glad when fr Doyle fled the priesthood with an attractive bank teller because the fecken candle retreats stopped.

The 90's were a bad time in our local schools. The old guard were a year or two away from retirement and completely helpless after been disarmed of using physical force to control a class. The newly trained teachers were equally helpless and we made a few of them flee in tears. Some like myself managed to get lucky and catch the rising tide of the IT world more from love of computer games than by design. Most ended up working their family farms or doing a string of dead end jobs for drinking money.

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