Guidance re Covid 19

News:

Posted 23rd March

Updated: 16.00, 10 June 2020

Main messages

  • The Pontifical University has been closed for face-to-face teaching since 13 March, when all teaching and assessments moved online. University operations and research have continued, although with many staff working from home. The university residences remain open, and a number of students remain in residence.
  • University staff who can work effectively from home should continue to do so, and non-essential travel should not be undertaken.
  • The University will recommence a range of activities in a staged and controlled way over the course of the next two months based on government and public health guidelines, and a Return to Campus process.
  • Staff and students are urged to exercise caution and continue to follow the public health guidelines rigorously

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19: let us know immediately. Similarly, if you are a staff member and a student or staff member informs you they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, let us know immediately.

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For campus guidelines and student support, see below.

The PU Office: The office is closed to the students and the public. Our support continues with remotely, particularly by email at theology.office@spcm.ie.

Library: The library is closed until further notice. For access to our eBooks please click here.

For more information on our online resources and subject guides please click here.

For further information please contact us on Library.Information@mu.ie or via LibraryChat from Monday-Friday, 9.00-17.00.

All current loans have been extended and there will be no fines incurred during this period.

All Maynooth University information and guidance related to Covid-19 is available here.

Remote Access Off-campus access is available to MU and SPCM registered students and staff to c. 500,000 books, c.70,000 journals and a range of databases accessible via Library Search.

Further Information We will continue to provide Library updates via our website and social media, click here. Please check your University email regularly for updates.

Ongoing communication: We will update staff and students with additional information via your official staff or student email account and on this webpage.

Who to contact:

Staff: president@spcm.ie

Students: student.services@mu.ie / theology.office@spcm.ie / michael.shortall@spcm.ie

Students abroad/International students: international.office@mu.ie / johnpaul.sheridan@spcm.ie

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COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION BELOW

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Message from President Mullaney

Dear Students,

I hope these lines find you, your families, and all you care for well and safe. Over the last three weeks our worlds have been turned upside down. The current Covid-19 crisis has also had an enormous impact on your education due to the social / physical distancing required for everyone’s safety and health.

We are now into our third week of on-line learning for both students and staff. This has been a steep learning curve for everyone. We all feel the separation and miss the companionship and interaction with our friends, with those in our classes, and and even with staff! Thankfully we are able to continue our learning and teaching, for this we are grateful. That said, studying and working from home, is not easy. To you and to our administrative and teaching staff, who are in the situation—we are all in the same boat—I want to pay tribute. Together you have made an extra-ordinary transition over the last few weeks. Thank you. We are extremely fortunate to have had a solid on-line learning infrastructure that is now being used to its full potential to ensure the completion of this year’s academic programmes and will continue to play some role in our future programmes.

Learning on-line is not without its challenges for staff and students. Frustratingly, some students and staff have poor broadband in their areas due to no fault of theirs. Please let us know if you are still having difficulties so we can explore how we may possibly be able to support you. Remember that all the student services are still available to you.

In particular, I wish to address our third year undergraduates who are completing their current programmes at St Patrick’s College and Maynooth University off-campus. Our genuine hope is that you will be with us for your graduation in early November. My colleagues and I were sorry to prematurely say farewell to our Erasmus and international undergraduates; I hope they will have another opportunity to return to us.

As I wander the empty corridors and grounds, I realise more then ever why this place exists, to serve our students, both lay and seminarian, who are the life and soul of the place, its raison d’être. The College also has to adapt to new ways to continue supporting and caring for our valued students even in this challenging and surreal times.

As students of theology, philosophy and, for those of faith, of the Word of God, we need to reflect and ponder on the many questions and challenges this crisis poses for us. One of the most significant moments for me in the last few weeks was the image of a solitary Pope Francis addressing an empty St Pater’s Square. He gave a profound reflection on one of the more perplexing passages of the New Testament, when the storm threatens the boat in which Jesus and his disciples had embarked. It was broadcast worldwide and brought comfort to millions and it is available online (the link to the reflection is at the bottom of this letter and I encourage you to read it if you have not already). The virus is revealing is revealing humanity to itself, our interdependence on one another, on creation and also on God. It helps us see more clearly through the philosophy and economics of exploitation and ‘every person for themselves.’

As I write to you the College campus that is strangely and sadly quiet and more than ever I realise what this College is also budding with spring life and this inspires hope that life will return to the squares and pathways, cloisters and halls of the College again soon. Spring and the great celebration of Easter this week allow us to reawaken and also revive our faith and hope that God’s strength is “… able to turn for the good everything that happens to us, even the bad things. He brings serenity into our storms, because with God life never dies.” (From Pope Francis’ reflection during his extra-ordinary Urbi et Orbi, 27 March 2020.)

Last Sunday Pope Francis in another powerful homily for Palm Sunday and the 35th World Youth Day concluded: “… look at the real heroes who come to light in these days: they are not famous, rich and successful people; rather, they are those who are giving themselves in order to serve others. Feel called yourselves to put your lives on the line. Do not be afraid to devote your life to God and to others; it pays! For life is a gift we receive only when we give ourselves away, and our deepest joy comes from saying yes to love, without ifs and buts. To truly say yes to love, without ifs and buts. As Jesus did for us.” We salute and pray for doctors, nurses, supermarket employees, cleaners, caregivers, providers of transport, volunteers, priests, religious and so very many others who have understood “that no one reaches salvation by themselves.”

Over its 225 year history, St Patrick’s College has come through many hardships and navigated many storms. Our resolve is to continue to continue to educate every one of you – our students, to savour your energy and diversity, to continue to offer new vision and depth, and find new ways of bringing good news and a spirit of service to your communities, churches and careers in this rapidly changing and radically changed world. We will come through this!

The Registrar has already informed you that end of year examinations will be held remotely. I want to assure you that the examinations will reflect the hard work you have put in during the year. For this reason, I encourage you to engage with any continuous assessments (essays and assignment papers), as these will form an important part of your summer evaluation. The Pontifical University Office and the Registrar will be in contact with you shortly about arrangements for the Summer Examinations.

In conclusion, I wish you all success in completing this academic year, and your final assessments and evaluations. Stay well and healthy and I look forward to welcoming you back next September—when we reopen—or in November for graduation.

http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/homilies/2020/documents/papa-francesco_20200327_omelia-epidemia.html

Wishing you a blessed Holy Week and a joyful Easter!

Michael Mullaney

President

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