Loreto Balbriggan: Remembering Rafaella
The sudden passing, before Christmas, of their beloved student, Rafaella Costin, has deeply saddened and shocked the entire Loreto Balbriggan school community and her absence is felt by all.
Rafaella followed in the footsteps of her older sisters Adriana and Francesca when she joined Loreto Balbriggan in 2020. She truly embraced all that school life had to offer and was an excellent student.
Not only did Rafaella excel academically but she was also a very talented sportsperson, representing the school’s U15 Soccer team in midfield. As a member of the school’s newspaper committee, ‘Lorbal News’, Rafaella gave of her time, talents, energy and creativity.
One member of the committee noted that Rafaella “took on each task with a smile on her face and put her heart into each piece she wrote.”
Despite the fact that students and teachers have been wearing face masks for the past two academic years, many of Rafaella’s teachers and friends have commented that her smile could brighten a room and the warmth of her positive presence could be felt by all those around her.
The passing of such a bubbly, sociable, enthusiastic, kind hearted student, who evidently had such a love of life, has left a indelible mark on all who knew Rafaella.
Every Christmas the Student Council of Loreto Balbriggan organise a ‘Christmas Jumper’ event to raise funds and awareness for St. Vincent de Paul. This year, as way to remember and to honour Rafaella, the school community organised ‘A Headband for Rafaella’ event in addition to their ‘Christmas Jumper’ fundraiser.
Anyone who knew Rafaella knew how she loved to wear headbands and the array of headbands worn by students and staff on the day were a fitting and touching tribute to a wonderful and dearly missed student. A percentage of the proceeds raised went Temple Street Hospital in memory of Rafaella.
The students of the school newspaper included the following quote in the final edition of ‘Lorbal News’ for 2021 and it reflects the impact Rafaella had on the school community and the place she will continue to hold in their hearts.
“Perhaps, they are not stars in the sky,
But rather openings where our loved ones,
Shine down to let us know
That they are happy. ”
‘When you look into the sky tonight, look for the brightest star, as there isn’t a star that would shine as brightly as her.’
Rafaella will be greatly missed by her many friends and teachers in Loreto Balbriggan but she will also be remembered with great love and joy.
The school community also keep in their thoughts and prayers Rafaella’s parents Biljana and Eugen, her brother Dino and her sisters and past pupils Adriana and Francesca.