Mrs Shelia Armitage, headteacher of St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Handsworth for the last 17 years, has celebrated her retirement with her whole school with a surprise pilgrimage to Padley. Mrs Armitage, who has been teaching for 37 years, has always wanted to take her whole school on a pilgrimage. As part of a school-wide surprise, staff were able to plan a whole school pilgrimage to Padley in June. The whole school, along with parents and members of Mrs Armitage’s family, gathered together for a beautiful Mass led by Fr Adrian Tomlinson, who gave a heartfelt tribute to a much loved headteacher.
Archives for September 2016
Pope Francis has said, “Education in the fullness of Humanity should be the defining feature of Catholic Schools.” As we start the new academic year and in recognition of this guidance the Pope has given us, all our schools features will now appear under the title EDUCATION IN THE FULLNESS OF HUMANITY. This September we welcome two new Directors of the Schools Department; Philip Patterson (Primary) and Bob Sawyer (Secondary). Alan Dewhurst joins the team with special responsibility for Religious Education and the Catholic life of our schools. Other changes in our schools are: Holy Trinity, Barnsley, Mrs Anna Dickson, acting Headteacher St Francis Xavier, Doncaster, Mrs Bernadette Nesbit, Executive Headteacher (also head at Holy Family, Stainforth) St Joseph’s, Rossington, Mrs Natalie Kelly, Headteacher St Peter’s, Doncaster, Mrs Stella Groarke, Headteacher St Joseph’s, Sheffield, Mrs Debra McFarlane, Headteacher St Wilfrid’s, Sheffield, Mr Andrew Truby (continues to be the Head at St Thomas of Canterbury, Sheffield) McAuley, Doncaster, Mr George Long continues as acting Headteacher Notre Dame, Sheffield, Mr Steve Davies, Headteacher St Pius X, Wath-upon-Dearne, Mrs Sue Smith, acting Headteacher We pray that God will bless and guide everyone in their work.
Christine Watts, who is a very active member of St William’s Catholic Church in Sheffield, has retired from childminding. She had a surprise afternoon tea party organised by her husband, Richard, and Alan and Claire Wenham from St Francis’ Parish. Some of the children she cared for are now studying at college or University and one is now pregnant herself. All have in common that they enjoyed going to Christine’s as she is such a cheery and kind woman, appreciated by many. Christine now plans to spend more time with her own family. Thank you Christine.
Like many people, I have a ‘bucket list’ of things I want to do, places to visit, friends and relatives far away I would love to meet again. Over time the list has naturally lengthened. Occasionally I bow to old age and delete with some sadness items such as bungee jumps and parachute drops! As my rambling continues the few readers who are still with me may be wondering what tops my list. The answer is, and always has been, Lourdes. My first pilgrimage was over 60 years ago as a schoolboy and my parents must have scrimped and saved up to send me. I still have vivid memories of the Grotto, the holy silence of the Domain, and the chill waters of the baths! Even during those post war years of austerity the little town was crowded with pilgrims. I recall bringing home a small statue of Our Lady from one of those tacky gift shops. My parents seemed very pleased and placed it on their bedroom mantelpiece. Later that evening there were hoots of laughter when they brought the family in to see how the statue glowed in the dark! Some of my friends are quietly sceptical about Lourdes and have stated how much they detest the commercial side of the town, using this as a lame excuse for avoiding a pilgrimage. I say to such critics, they cannot make an informed decision about Lourdes if they have not experienced for themselves the truly amazing sanctity around the Grotto, and the genuine Christian attitude of the pilgrims, young and old, towards one another. The recent Diocesan Pilgrimage was an amazing journey of faith and I wish to thank all those helpers, musicians, nurses, doctors, priests and students who willingly gave their time and expertise. Without them there would be no annual pilgrimage at all and Hallam Diocese would be the poorer for it. I met many old friends in Lourdes and made some new ones. A group of us, keen football fans, voted unanimously to join the torchlight procession rather than watch England’s Euro game with Iceland. Such a good decision! Ever hopeful, I am saving some of my pension for next year’s journey of faith. Back to that bucket list! To be honest, a bungee jump was never on it!
Recently, parishioners of Our Lady and St.James, Worsbrough went on a day visit to the Bar Convent, York. They enjoyed a tour of the new interactive museum, celebrated Mass in the convent chapel and were shown the relic of St Margaret Clitherow. This was followed by a splendid lunch at the Bar Convent restaurant. A wonderful day in wonderful surroundings.
For the past six months there has been a lot of talk about hillwalking at St Wilfrid’s Centre. Helen Lowry, Office Manager at the Centre, and Kate Chapman, Volunteer, together with a group of friends, have been training for the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. This is a 24.5 mile walk over the three highest Peaks in Yorkshire: Ingleborough, Pen y ghent and Whernside. The day finally came on 23 July when the team, who were raising money for St Wilfrid’s, set off on their long trek. Helen said, “I have never before challenged myself to anything as tough as the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge! Even though we trained every week for the last six months, we found it really hard. Thanks to all of us encouraging each other and our great guides, eight of us got round 24.5 miles and the three peaks in under twelve hours. “You may see a pair of crutches in the picture. Unfortunately, Kate suffered a torn calf muscle at 18 miles so had to pull out. We are very proud of her, she was on schedule to complete in less than twelve hours too! We must be mad, but we are planning to do this again next year with Kate when her leg is better. “When all the money comes in we hope to have raised, between us, over £2,450 towards the work of St Wilfrid’s Centre. That will be over £100 per mile, and we earned every penny! Thank you to all our sponsors and everyone at St Wilfrid’s, we couldn’t have done it without your encouragement.” Pictured are some of ‘Team St Wilf’s’ after the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge – looking rightly proud of themselves! Anyone who wishes to donate in retrospect, the Justgiving page is still open www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TeamStWilfs.
On Tuesday, 21 June fourteen teams representing ten Catholic primary schools from all over Sheffield battled it out to be the 2016 Maths Champions. The teams, made up of six pupils of all abilities from Y3/Y4, had to work together to complete the twenty increasingly difficult maths problems in as short a time as possible. The pupils were allowed to use their joker three times which allowed them to pass a question, however this did incur a time penalty. Each team had a pupil from Notre Dame to encourage them as much as possible without helping them! Organisers, Paula Croft from Notre Dame Catholic High School and Lynsie Tuplin from St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, High Green both agree that the maths challenge, now in its 3rd year, is a fantastic opportunity for the Sheffield Family of Catholic Schools to come together and celebrate the wonderful maths learning that happens around the city. It was a very close contest between the top three teams but the winners in the end were the Y4 team from Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, Hillsborough – well done! Our photographs show the winning Sacred Heart, Hillsborough team being presented with the trophy by Jane Willis, headteacher at Notre Dame above, and the team representing St Mary’s, High Green on the right.
A local girl was invited to a glittering awards ceremony in London on 19 July for the national Celebrating Young People Awards. Anna Marshall, a Year 7 student at St Mary’s Catholic High School, Chesterfield was honoured for her community and charity work in her school and parish, St Hugh of Lincoln, Newbold. The awards ceremony was held in London’s Barbican Centre and was hosted by national youth charity, Million Minutes in partnership with St Mary’s University, Twickenham. “I feel really privileged and amazed to have met so many other people doing good things!” said Anna. Nominations and Awards were made in eight categories, including the Dorothy Day Community Award which Anna received. Guest of honour, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, gave the Pope Francis award on the night, the overall youth award. “Young people all too often get a bad name,” said Danny Curtin, Director of Million Minutes. “But they are amazing. Million Minutes is all about giving a voice to the young people that get overlooked – we’re delighted to have held these awards to celebrate all that young people are and all that they give to our world.” The awards are intended to celebrate and inspire young people to get more involved in social action projects, as well as helping everyone to reflect on how Catholic social teaching is being lived out in the everyday of our lives. The awards have been organised and promoted by Million Minutes, a charity that supports projects helping young people to transform their lives and put Catholic social teaching into practice. Anne Peacey, who nominated Anna and is chair of the National Justice and Peace Network and also a parishioner of St Hugh’s, said, “I am delighted that Anna has received a Dorothy Day Award because she has demonstrated the potential to be an outstanding and inspirational young leader of the future working for justice, peace and the integrity of creation, in her parish, youth group, school and local community. I firmly believe that her gifts, talents and commitment should be affirmed and encouraged. I am so proud that I was able to nominate Anna for this award.”