St Joseph’s Parish in Wath-upon-Dearne held a ‘60s and 70s Rock and Roll Night’ on 18 March for CAFOD and to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. It was a fantastic success. Thanks go to everyone who contributed in any way with the preparation and on the night. The band, ‘Landslide’, were brilliant. The music was fantastic and many joined in by dancing the night away. The raffle and spin the wheel tickets were very popular and Pete Oldling’s pie and peas were fantastic. An amazing £811 was raised for CAFOD.
Archives for 2017
St Joseph’s, Wath-upon-Dearne supported CAFOD Lenten Family Fast Day with a wonderful soup lunch served up by Peter Olding and Margaret Cook. All agreed it was worthy of “Master Chef”! The soup could be described as Spring vegetable macaroni. There were sixteen parishioners there and a brilliant £65 was raised. During Lent donations for CAFOD were also collected at the Wednesday coffee mornings.
On Friday, 3 March, Bishop Ralph visited St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Handsworth. It was a very special morning and all of the children were extremely honoured to be visited by such an important person. Bishop Ralph spent time in all of the classes and chatted to lots of the children. This visit came at the end of a very busy week for St Joseph’s as unfortunately on Tuesday the children learnt that the fairy tales had quit! This was the introduction to Thursday’s World Book Day, as the staff dressed as characters from fairy tales that were no longer prepared to be put upon! Each class had decorated their door to represent their chosen fairy tale and then had to write a new version of the story. This added to the atmosphere of excitement that accompanied the Bishop throughout the school. The day was extra special, as it was Bishop Ralph’s birthday! The school presented him with a beautiful card, illustrated with the St Joseph’s Lily and the children’s fingerprints. The Chair of Governors even made him a birthday cake and everyone sang Happy Birthday. After joining the children, staff, governors and Fr Mark for a whole school assembly, Bishop Ralph was escorted to lunch by the school prefects. Everyone agreed it was a truly memorable end to a fantastic week.
During Lent a weekly Mass was celebrated in the medieval Chapel on the Bridge in Rotherham town centre. Each Thursday a priest visited the Chapel to say Mass. The congregation, made up of parishioners from Immaculate Conception, Herringthorpe, St Bede’s, Masbrough, St Gerard’s, Thrybergh and Blessed Trinity, Wickersley, was delighted to welcome Bishop Ralph on 16 March to say his first Mass at the Chapel. He will certainly have been one of the first Catholic Bishops to celebrate Mass in the Chapel since the 1550s. In medieval times it was relatively common to find a small chapel built on a bridge over a river on the main road into the centre of a town. Most were destroyed centuries ago and only four survive today, one of which is on Chantry Bridge in Rotherham. The construction of the Chapel can be dated to 1483 and it is thought that Thomas Rotherham, Archbishop of York, may have donated most of the money needed for building the Chapel. The interior was richly furnished and contained a skilfully decorated gold statue of the Virgin and Child. In the 1560s the Chapel was converted into an Almshouse and then in 1778 was converted again into the town jail. Features of the jail can still be seen in the crypt today. Early in the 19th century the Chapel’s use changed again and it became a dwelling house, before ending the century as a tobacconist’s shop. In the 20th century the purpose of the building was restored to a Chapel prompted by financial support from Sir Charles Stoddart, several times Mayor of Rotherham and the first person to be granted the Freedom of the Town. Bishop Ralph was delighted to be able to say Mass in such an old Chapel with its roots firmly in Catholic times before the Reformation.
St Mary Magdalene’s, Maltby, Over 60s met in the Parish Room on Wednesday, 29 March to make Easter bonnets and enjoy the afternoon together. Pictured above, the members and their bonnets are shown in their full glory. The winner was Beryl Whitehead, pictured right. After the bonnets were judged, the group paraded round the room wearing their creations and singing ‘In your Easter bonnet’.
Members of the ‘Rainbows Family’ – Rainbows Bereavement Support GB – from all over Great Britain gathered in the Convent of Mercy in Oldham on 21 March to mark the twenty fifth year of service to children and young people grieving a significant and often devastating loss in their lives. From its initial beginnings in 1992, ‘Rainbows’ has become a greatly respected national charity, supporting children and young people in over 1,260 schools, in addition to offering high quality training in bereavement and loss to all schools throughout the country. This particular celebration focussed on the support the charity has received for all of its 25 years from so many individual people, religious communities and charity funding bodies. In thanking so many, many people for their support and generous donations over the years, Frank McDermott, the current Chair of Trustees, acknowledged the unique contribution made by members of The Institute of Our Lady of Mercy, better known as the Mercy Sisters. Part of the day of celebration included a sung Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated by Bishop Ralph. Bishop Ralph is also Chairman of Rainbows South Yorkshire, where 127 schools operate the Rainbows programmes, including most of the fifty five Catholic schools in the region. Frank and Sue McDermott have been involved with Rainbows since 1992. They are delighted with the growth of the charity both in South Yorkshire and across Great Britain. After seven years as National Director of Rainbows, Sue remains very actively involved as Non-Executive Director and Trustee. She is delighted that Rainbows South Yorkshire continues to support so many grieving children and young people in so many different schools and commented, “Both Sandra and Sadia, our two Development Workers, offer tremendous support across the whole region and, through their work, enable many children and young people to be better able to cope with significant loss in their lives. They are both highly thought of in schools and give much practical support and advice.” Many words of thanks and encouragement have been received from all over the country marking the Silver Jubilee. Cardinal Vincent Nichols, leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, sent the following words of affirmation, “It is a huge achievement to have completed twenty five years’ service to grieving children and young people. The support you offer matters so much and makes a real difference. As you gather today, I offer you my sincere congratulations, good wishes and prayers.” “I thank all those who have contributed to the ministry of Rainbows over the years: trustees, managers, staff and volunteers all over the country. Without them, and without others who have worked behind the scenes, especially members of ‘The Institute of Our Lady of Mercy’, it is unlikely that this silver jubilee would have been reached. Cardinal Vincent Nichols concluded, “May God bless you all. And may the ministry of Rainbows continue to thrive, bringing those who grieve to a deeper awareness of the merciful, gentle compassion of God.” Further information about Rainbows GB and how to donate to the charity may be found on the website: http//:www.rainbowsgb.org. To contact Sandra and Sadia at Rainbows South Yorkshire please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Sunday, 5 March, Holy Trinity Catholic and Church of England School, Barnsley hosted a Catenian Public Speaking Competition. This was the fourth time that the school has hosted the competition which is organised by local Catenians for Years 11 and 12 pupils in Catholic Schools in their Province, which includes Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire. The photograph below shows the contestants along with Tony Deighton, Director of Province 3 and Chairman of the organising committee, on the far left, and on the right David Rowley, National President of the Catenian Association and Anna Dickson, Acting Headteacher of the school. Each contestant has to speak for 4 minutes on a topic which they have chosen from a given list of 15. The competition, which was won last year by Notre Dame in Sheffield, was won by Eve Rooney (in the centre behind the trophies) who attends Notre Dame Catholic 6th Form College in Leeds. Her chosen topic was ”The voting age for young persons, in the UK, should be 16 years of age”. She now goes forward to the Finals at Manchester in September. Eve was presented with a cheque for £100 and the Mary Neal Trophy, which was donated by the late Dr Frank Neal in memory of his wife, Dr Mary Neal.
Monica and Jonathan Mason relate their experience of a valuable and meaningful Bible Course. We recently had the opportunity to take part in a Bible Study Course called the ‘Great Adventure’ of which we did part 1, namely ‘The Bible Timeline’ by Jeff Cavins. It was run at The Annunciation parish in Chesterfield. We found the course to be insightful and spiritually enriching, giving us a much deeper understanding of both the Bible and our faith. The Bible Study was so exciting that from day one we thought it couldn’t get any better, but it just kept delivering. It was an absolute pleasure to attend these presentations and it left us hungry and thirsty to know even more about the ‘Word of God’. We find ourselves delving deeper into the Bible which, in all truth, we did not understand very well before this course (we thought we did). This course truly does open up the scriptures and salvation history, showing how the Old Testament is fulfilled in New. Should you get an opportunity to go on this course it comes highly recommended, especially for those seeking a better understanding of both the Bible and the faith.
At St Vincent’s, Crookes on 11 March, time was spent exploring the Easter Triduum liturgies with Fr Peter McGuire who started by asking for experiences and impressions of the Triduum. He then explained something of its gradual development. A weekly celebration of Easter only turned into an annual event after quite some time. The Council of Nicaea (AD 325) chose Sunday rather than Good Friday for this and gradually the preceding days were also included. The word “Paschal” as used for Easter probably comes from the Hebrew for “transition”, marking Christ’s passing over from death to life, rather than from the Greek work for “suffering”. The Triduum, the high point of the Church’s year, is one celebration in three parts. All our liturgies should be celebrated with “noble simplicity” but the Triduum should also find us at our very best. Careful consideration should be given to where and how we celebrate the Triduum and there is encouragement for smaller Eucharistic congregations to come together to form one community. Using different churches for each part of the Triduum can detract from the unity of the experience. The Gloria opens celebrations at Holy Thursday’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper which includes the washing of the feet of a diverse group, including men, women, young, old etc. The instruction about including such variety is now, thanks to Pope Francis, official. We are not being asked merely to copy, but to make our own Christ’s humble example. Communion under both kinds is universally obligatory at this Mass, but our bishops have asked that it should be offered at all Masses so that the symbolism is more apparent. The Good Friday liturgy is beautifully simple and gentle. “Silence speaks!” And it is not so much a sorrowful occasion but a celebration of Christ’s victory. The vestments are red, not funeral purple. The reading of the Passion according to John and the Solemn bidding prayer precede the veneration of the cross. The cross is the instrument which Christ used for our redemption and so we venerate it. This veneration can take different forms – a kiss, a bow, a genuflection, a touch – especially if the cross is large. Only one cross should be used and if individual veneration would take too long, the cross can be held high for everyone to venerate at the same time. In doing this, some people may miss their individual veneration but the symbol of the one cross is so powerful that it should not be lost. The Solemn Easter Vigil really must go well! The Paschal candle is lit in darkness, hopefully from a decent fire, so that its symbolism of Christ as the light is effective. In many parishes only a selection of the Readings may be wise and, as they are proclaimed, it is the new light of Christ that helps us to make sense of our history. This is the time for the baptism of adults and the whole community joins in renewing their own baptismal commitment. Easter, of course, cannot be contained by a day or a week, and so our Easter celebrations will go on for weeks, right through to Pentecost. Fr Peter ended with a few general points asking that priests and people take a good look at the Missal as we now have it. There have been a number of subtle changes which may not yet have been noticed. The frequent preference for singing rather than saying certain parts of the Mass is certainly there and can be found throughout the Missal. An edited recording of the talk, along with PowerPoint presentation, will be available on the diocesan website. Francesca Flynn
Congratulations to St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Herringthorpe on achieving Level 1 of the UNICEF Rights Respecting School Award, following a rigorous assessment process. During the assessment day a newly built, sustainable garden was opened by Mrs Hand, a long serving former teacher at the school. The materials for the garden have been donated or supplied at cost by Buildbase, Arnold Laver, Guilthwaite Nurseries and Kniveton Skips. Representatives from the companies were present at the opening. The garden was built by volunteer parents and staff. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is embedded within the Catholic ethos of the school. Pupils see themselves as rights respecting global citizens and advocates for fairness and children’s rights locally and globally. This award celebrates the school’s Catholic ethos and mission to live the faith as global citizens. St Mary’s is one of only five schools in Rotherham to have achieved this award and the achievement reflects the hard work of children, staff, parents and governors in working towards this.