St John Fisher Primary, a Catholic Voluntary Academy, Hackenthorpe, Sheffield celebrated sixty years as a school community on 22 June, the Feast of St John Fisher. The celebrations began when the school chaplaincy team welcomed Bishop Ralph and Fr Paul O’Hara, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Lourdes, Hackenthorpe, to share a specially prepared lunch with the school community. Fr Paul O’Hara opens the celebratory garden party In the afternoon everyone came together in their church to celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving concelebrated by Bishop Ralph, Fr Paul and former Parish Priest, Fr Chris Posluszny. The Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Anne Murphy, was shown around the school and introduced to children, parents/carers, staff, governors, Parents, Teachers and Friends Association members and former staff. She was very interested in the school and wanted to meet as many people as possible. Liam McGurrin, former Headteacher of St John Fisher, with members of his staff Events started with a Jubilee Balloon Race
Archives for July 2017
The children of Holy Family Catholic Primary School, Worksop recently took part in a school pilgrimage as a devotion to Mary, in the month of May. The children were encouraged to look at the many ways she has revealed herself to us, the various interpretations of her through centuries of Catholic artwork and the significances of each. Each class had been given a different image of Mary to focus on and spectacular pieces of art were created. The children thoroughly enjoyed the pilgrimage around school exploring the different shrines and taking part in reflection and prayer.
Children and staff at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Primary School, Armthorpe, Doncaster have been celebrating 25 years of Rainbows GB. The children and staff all dressed up in as many different colours as possible to help raise money for this fantastic charity. It was a great day and over £100 was raised. Children spoke in assembly about how Rainbows has helped them through difficult times in their lives. Our Lady’s in Armthorpe was one of the first schools to introduce Rainbows and it continues to go from strength to strength.
In April a small group of young men from the Hallam Diocese joined together with other like-minded men from around the country to help form what is becoming known as ‘The Prodigal Sons Movement’. Here is one of their reflections. The Prodigal Sons Movement is a group of men, who meet to spend time in the outdoors, interspersing this time with some teaching on the Spiritual life. However, we believe that hidden within this structure is a theme that is broad enough to be inclusive, but specific enough for a Catholic man to build his life around. Our focus is an attempt to enable men to live out their graces bestowed upon them at their Baptism. Our first retreat, named ‘On the Mountain’, took place at Castlerigg Manor in Keswick, Cumbria. Drawing together approximately twenty-five men we took our first tentative steps into the subject of identity and sonship. During the weekend, we were able to set out time for a three-hour hike taking in some of the surrounding scenery before ending off with some abseiling; interspersing this time with prayer and talks. Our next retreat ‘Into the Wild’ built on our first as we delved deeper in the mystery of the sonship bestowed on us at our Baptism. Basing ourselves in a mountain club in Snowdonia, Wales we made exploration of the surrounding hills a big component of the retreat, but still left time for the more prosaic activities of a barbeque fish dinner on the Friday and some social time around the campfire on the Saturday. However, our main reason for coming together on both weekends was to spend time with the Father. This, we also accomplished. In Wales we made use of a disused Chapel allowing us to attend Mass courtesy of the two priests accompanying us, including a Palm Sunday procession through a sleepy Welsh village. Also, Confession was available throughout the weekend, along with Eucharistic Adoration and the opportunity to pray for and with each other. This simple format is what we hope to base all of our future retreats on. Looking forward, we are keen to discern the call to what exactly we are attempting to offer; this group is still very much in its infancy. When we started, we knew we had to do something and left the details to gradually evolve. This approach appears to be bearing much fruit. However, we are not simply adding another male spiritualty group to a clustered calendar of Catholic events. There is a focus. We believe that many men are hampered by an identity crisis. As old certainties pass away and as the foundations on which a man had previously staked his identity slowly crumble, the Catholic man is faced with a crossroads. Either he heeds to the world and allows its fashions and whims to dictate the most fundamental questions of his life, or he decides to step back into the arena and stakes his claim on the inheritance that was lost in the Garden but won back on the Cross. Our aim is to free men from the spiritual bondage that can prevent them the living out the fullness of the Christian life. We therefore focus on spiritual warfare, acknowledging there is an enemy and that one of the many strategies he employs is to blind us to the extraordinary power we have as adopted sons of God, partakers of the Divine nature and temples of the Holy Spirit (CCC 1265). To counter this attack, we concentrate on the five keys of repentance, faith, forgiveness, renunciation and taking authority in the name of Jesus. Through the building up of identity we hope to move on to tackle the big questions of life, helping men formulate a life vision that provides answers to the questions of what am I being called to do, where does my mission fit within the Church and how can I keep growing. By developing within a group of men, we hope to be able to hold each other accountable to this vision, encouraging and building each other up to produce fruit, fruit that will last. There is much work to be done. The fact that ever increasing numbers of men have shown up for our retreats indicates that there is a demand. The specific nature of what this group will grow to or how exactly it will serve the wider Church is something we do not have hold of at this time. At this moment, all we have is the palpable excitement to be at the birth of something that is, we hope, in some small way, bringing about the Kingdom on earth and advancing us, one step at time, home, into the life of the Father. We require joiners not followers. If you want to participate somehow in our group, attend our retreats, help us financially or logistically, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our website will hopefully be up soon, as will our new more developed social media presence but, for now, email communication is the best way to get in and stay in touch. Joseph Labre
St Pius X School, Wath-upon-Dearne, had a Race for Life Day in memory of Mrs Marie Beevers and raised an impressive £6,000.
Official Come and See website: www.comeandseere.co.uk
The sacrament of Confirmation was recently celebrated at St Alban’s, Denaby Main. Bishop Ralph, on his first pastoral visit to the parish, confirmed twenty-seven candidates from St Alban’s and English Martyrs parishes supported by Fr Desmond Edozie, Parish Priest, and Fr Pat O’Connor, based at English Martyrs Parish. The Mass was very well attended with families, community and sponsors supporting the candidates. Young people and adults had been prepared for Confirmation by the InReality Team based at Denaby Convent. At the end of Mass Bishop Ralph was presented with a spiritual bouquet from the parish. Fr Desmond, Parish Priest, congratulated, “the twenty seven candidates who had been confirmed. It was a very special and moving occasion. Everyone who played a part should be very proud of what we have achieved. It was a great example of team work. Many thanks to everyone who has helped those confirmed on their journey of faith so far. I wish our young people and adults many blessings as the Holy Spirit guides them in the years ahead.” Afterward there was a buffet in St Alban’s Catholic Club. Entertainment was provided by McRoibin School of Irish Dance.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Primary School raised approximately £305 for CAFOD’s ‘Big Fish Little Fish’. From Reception to Year 6 all pupils participated in ‘Big Fish Little Fish’. Children were asked to bring in any coin from 1p-£2. Mrs Hayes and some children helped draw fish with scales for the coins to be placed on. Every £4 would buy 26 thumb sized fish which would eventually become big fish. These big fish will be used to help other people around the world for different reasons; some would be eaten and others sold to earn money for the poorer parts of the world. Year 3, however, were raising money themselves by doing a Water Aid bake sale in the playground. They were selling buns and biscuits and raised around £52. All the money we raised went to CAFOD’s ‘Big Fish Little Fish’. It is good to raise money for others and to know that our money is going to a very good cause. By Anastasia Antoniw and Thomas Wynne
On Tuesday, 23 May, Lorraine Healy from St Vincent’s Furniture Store and Louise Finnigan from St Wilfrid’s Centre, Sheffield attended the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. It was a wonderful day and a tribute to all the staff, volunteers and supporters of both charities that Louise and Lorraine were invited to attend.
Jane and Charles Perryman continue their series about Marriage. When Pope Francis discusses the next characteristic of love that Paul highlights in 1 Cor 13: 4, he refers to 1 Cor 8:1 where Paul says that “love builds up”. Francis comments, “Some think that they are important because they are more knowledgeable than others; they want to lord it over them. Yet what really makes us important is a love that understands, shows concern, and embraces the weak”. (AL 97). No parents are perfect – even the best parents! As a result we grow into adolescence and adulthood with some emotional hurts. Those hurts may be soothed or added to in other relationships before we come to marriage. We all want to feel good about ourselves and we all want the approval of other people. These are two fundamental emotional needs. If a child is constantly being compared unfavourably to a brother or sister; if a child is never praised and only receives criticism, then they will grow up believing that they are never going to be good enough in someone else’s eyes; that they are unlikely ever to get the approval they desperately need. They are also unlikely to feel good about themselves because they will have come to see themselves as failures. In those circumstances, what people do is to try and cover up or deaden the pain. They often do this by trying desperately to promote themselves, sometimes exaggerating their achievements or by becoming overbearing. This is not very attractive but it is understandable. John Powell SJ, a well-known spiritual writer in the 1980s, asks in one of his books, “Did you ever have a toothache?” He is pointing out how difficult it is for someone who is hurting badly to be able to reach out to others. In one of his earliest homilies about marriage and family life Pope Francis spoke of the importance of “please”, “thank you” and “I’m sorry”. In the context of the comments of Paul saying love builds up, it is the “thank you” that is important and the one that we focus on here. In the inevitably busy lives that most married couples live today it is very easy to take each other for granted; to overlook the effort that our spouse has put into the work that they do day in and day out. For those who are unsure of how valued they are, the failure to find any appreciation hurts. On the other hand those who feel secure about their sense of self-worth need less appreciation. Because they don’t need the appreciation it is easy for them to overlook the needs of their spouse. In last month’s article, we referred to Gary Chapman’s book, “The Five Love languages” and we gave the example of how very often when we need to be loved in a particular way by our spouse we model that behaviour for them. A person who needs appreciation will often show their appreciation in the hope that their partner will notice. Relationships thrive on appreciation. Being appreciated confirms that we are important to our partner. Marriage provides a wonderful opportunity for healing. If, over the years, a person is constantly affirmed as lovable, desired and appreciated then it is possible that all of the doubts about themselves, all of the hurts of the past, can be transformed. Then the temptation to boast about oneself and to push oneself forward and become overbearing will diminish.