My name is Marie Murphy, and I am the school chaplain in Colaiste Pobail Bheanntrai. Originally from Limerick but living in Bantry, I have previously worked as a teacher in Dunmanway and as Chaplain in Beara for eleven years.

The position of Chaplain in Colaiste Pobail Bheanntrai is a very privileged role as I share the unique and particular journey of each member of the school community through the school over the years. This journey will move through many seasons, and it is for this reason that I have chosen the seasons of life to represent my role and work in the school.

I, as school Chaplain, am here as a gentle presence that supports and encourages everyone to reach their own individual full potential. I bring empathy, care, compassion, kindness, acceptance, respect and understanding to this role. I welcome, listen, advocate and guide our students in dealings with the challenges, obstacles and difficulties as well as celebrating the accomplishments, triumphs and victories. Inclusivity, equality and justice underpin my work every day. I shall endeavour to be non-judgmental, never presuming and always willing to listen.

I am available as a support to all students and staff. Through my presence and involvement in the life of the school, I aim to develop a relationship of trust with the students, staff and parents. I will respond to the spiritual and religious needs of the school community too respecting the denominational, religious and personal beliefs of all. I aim to put flesh on the holistic aims of the Education Act (1998) which obliges schools to ‘promote the moral, spiritual, social and personal development of students.’ As chaplain I am also missioned by the Christian community to accompany and support young people so that they may ‘have life and have it to the full’ (Jn. 10:10)

I take an active part in activities which relate to the wellbeing and development of the school community, e.g., extra-curricular activities , Student support team, School planning, Evaluation, Training/in-service.

At all times I promote the ethos and core values of our school in word and action. I ensure that the characteristic spirit of the school, reflecting the founding intention of the school and the school’s Mission Statement, finds practical expression in daily school life and in the pastoral, liturgical, para-liturgical and school outreach activities.

The role of the school chaplain is wide and varied ranging from teaching Religious Education, organising liturgies and para liturgies, meeting students as groups and on an individual basis and taking an active part in all areas of school life. The role of chaplain is a professional one and a privileged responsibility. Sometimes it can be difficult to define the role of the school Chaplain in a single measure. The interesting and challenging aspects of chaplaincy lie in the various elements of the job. Chaplains do anything and everything- there is not really a typical day.

As a newly appointed Chaplain, I strive to makes this position my own- using my previous experience, training and skills. I do plan each day, week, month and year however these plans may all change at a moment’s notice despite all best intentions and flexibility is a constant necessity.

If you would like to contact me, please ring 027 56434 or email