Edmund Rice England - Presence . Compassion . Liberation

Heads & Chairs Conference 2018

On 11th and 12th October we gathered at the Emmaus Centre, Dublin for our annual schools conference. We welcomed Headteachers, governors, schools representatives and key network members for 2 days of input, experiential workshops, planning and reflection with the main theme of ‘Responding to the Call’. Delegates were inspired by the great actions outlined by Fiona Uschmann and Andrew Newton from ‘Catch the Dream’, an organisation helping a Sierra Leonian village back onto its feet following the devastating effects of the Ebola epidemic. We also heard about Project Zambia from Aidan Donaldson, how his organisation has been working on the ground to offer shelter and education to street children exposed to extreme poverty and exploitation in Southern Africa. Closer to home, Don O’Leary from the Cork Life Centre outlined his work with young people who are attending the Life Centre, unable to access main stream education. Figures of children not attending school, ¬†shocked the educationalists at our conference. Discussions were held as to the response we can have to need ‘outside our window’ both at home and further afield. We look to the continued guidance of Blessed Edmund to ‘give generously to the poor in handfuls’ and to respond to the need we identify all around us. This fed into our whole network planning for the forthcoming EREBB Congress when all our schools will be undertaking communal days of outreach and delegates will be involved in pre-congress immersion experiences. Ann and Tom will be meeting with key staff in all schools over the coming weeks to aid the planning and execution of this large-scale and exciting involvement in outreach projects. Planning document is downloadable from the ‘schools, resources’ section on this website.

For more information or to donate to ‘Catch the Dream’


We highly recommend Aidan Donaldson’s latest publication:

The Beatitudes of Pope Francis :


We thank all the delegates and speakers for a most inspiring couple of days. Look out for the dates and location of next year’s conference to be confirmed soon.


Prayer of Thanks for Blessed Edmund Rice

O God, we thank you for the life of Edmund Rice.
He opened his heart to Christ present in those oppressed by poverty and injustice.
May we follow his example of faith and generosity.
Grant us the courage and compassion of Edmund as we seek to live lives of love and service.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.