Hello, my name is Maria Ruane and I am the Chaplain here at St Edmund Arrowsmith. Every day I am reminded of how fortunate I am to have a job that I love and to share what I love with everyone I meet.
When I first applied for the role as Chaplain at SEA I was told that the community here was special – they weren’t wrong! From the moment I started working here I have felt as though I am a part of a big Catholic family that is nurturing, supportive and kind. The love and respect that staff and students have for each other shines brightly in every aspect of school life and it really is a wonderful place to be.
Prior to working here at St Edmund Arrowsmith, I studied Theology and Philosophy at University whilst working as an administrator for a well-known clothing store! But anyone who knows me knows that I am the least fashionable person on the planet so it’s a good job I didn’t chose that as my final career choice!
What is a Chaplain?
The word Chaplain comes from the Latin word for a cloak which has its origins in a 4th Century story about a Roman soldier named Martin who was stationed in France. One day, when on patrol, Martin came across a poor man who was begging in the cold and rain without a cloak to keep him warm and dry. Martin took pity on the man and decided to give the man his cloak, however upon approaching the man, he wondered what good giving the man his cloak would actually do. Of course it would solve the beggar man’s problem and he would be warm and dry but then Martin himself would be cold and wet. So instead, he took off his cloak, ripped it in half and shared it with the man.
Being a chaplain is like sharing a cloak – it’s sharing the problem between two people rather than shifting a problem from one person to the next. The role of a chaplain is to walk beside people and offer them support, guidance and a helping hand during times of trouble and hard ship – it is to offer a listening ear or a sympathetic voice and spiritual direction during those difficult times.
If anyone in our school needs someone to talk to then pop in to the Chapel at any time and speak to me (Maria) and I will do my best to share your burden and lighten your load.