Following a now well established tradition, parishioners of Our Lady and St James parish, Worsbrough, held their May Procession to honour Our Blessed Lady on Tuesday, 2 May at 7.30 pm. The event was well attended by parishioners from Our Lady and St James and also from other parishes. Refreshments were served afterwards in the parish hall and the evening was enjoyed by all. Prayer petitions presented were taken by a pilgrim to Medjugorje the following weekend.
John Gregson, retired headteacher of Holy Rood School in Barnsley, has been busy raising money for Barnsley Hospice. So far the total stands at over £1,500 and recently John spent 7 days on an organised trek on the Great Wall of China to raise more. He was accompanied by his wife and youngest daughter, and also Louise Mullany who was deputy head at Holy Rood School until she retired last year. They did 130,000 steps and over 1,300 flights of steps – so steep in places that they were using their hands to climb up! The wall itself is over 5,000 miles long and John visited three sections of it, staying in Chinese homesteads – very basic but with excellent Chinese food every night.
The children in St Patrick’s Catholic Voluntary Academy Key Stage 2 planned, created, wrote, narrated and sang through a moving interpretation of ‘Journey to the Cross’. The children are a credit to a warm, devoted school community that shared in this inspirational presentation. The parents, families and parishioners filled the church and were mesmerised by this rich presentation. The singing was powerful and ensured every child shone brightly. The maturity displayed by the children embraced their school, their community and their faith. Pope Francis, reflecting in the letter, ‘The Joy of Love,’ emphasised the importance of celebrating our faith as a family: “… the family, often called the “domestic Church”, remains a foundational part of society. Its health and vibrancy are vital for the health and vibrancy of the planet. Our Catholic teachings and traditions, if properly administered, can nourish the family and help it to be ready for whatever it faces.” Many Catholic schools offer the opportunity for adults to return to the Church and reflect on their own faith. This is one of many influential ways schools can have impact on individual lives and mindsets.
Paid in Full Josh Neal, RE Teacher at Notre Dame, explains, “As part of the Easter reflection this year at Notre Dame we have been focussing on how Jesus paid the debt for our sins by being crucified. To help us remember and reflect on this students have been sticking pennies onto a wooden cross to represent the price Jesus paid for our sins. These sins are our debt that Jesus paid in full, through him we are given a second chance and can start again with a clean slate. The questions for the reflection were: Jesus died to take away our sins – what have you done that needs to be taken away? Jesus died for you and me – what do you do for other people? How can you thank Jesus for paying our debt?” Easter Bake Off The Y8 students at Notre Dame finished the half term with an Easter themed Bake Off in RE. The results were delicious and looked amazing! The students were even graced with their very own Paul Hollywood (Mr Pender) and Mary Berry (Mrs Cleary) to do the judging. It was very close and all of the entries were amazing. The winner of the bake off (pictured above) was Hope Sefton with her Last Supper cake!
Fiona Rigby is one of more than seventy Headteachers to be appointed to the role of National Leader of Education in the latest recruitment round. She and staff at St Catherine’s Catholic Academy, Sheffield, have been selected for a top role supporting schools in challenging circumstances. National leaders of education, along with staff in their school – designated a National Support School – use their success and professionalism to provide additional leadership capability in other schools. National Leaders of Education are deployed to suit the needs of each school needing support. The type of support provided is flexible and can sometimes involve National Leaders of Education becoming Executive Headteachers. They also have responsibility for developing the next generation of National Leader of Education and National Support Schools. Fiona Rigby said, “St Catherine’s has a long history of supporting other schools both within the Diocese of Hallam and within Sheffield. Support involves members of staff at all levels. Our school community has grown from strength to strength as a result of the process of supporting others. In each situation we find that we learn something new and grow as a result. Staff are confident in supporting other schools and their expertise and passion for education ensures that the work they do is successful and rewarding.” Many National Leaders of Education/National Support Schools report improved outcomes at the schools they support. Roger Pope, Chair of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, said, “It’s fantastic that heads like Fiona Rigby have the passion and ambition to help improve the life chances of young people, not just in their own but in other schools as well. The aim of National Leaders of Education is to drive improvement in underperforming schools. We now have over 1,200 National Leaders of Education and we’re working to increase this number further to spread educational excellence everywhere.” Successful Heads have been invited to attend a formal induction and training event for the role in driving school improvement.
Six people from parishes and schools in the Diocese completed a training day in skills to run parenting programmes – pictured below with Laura Rendell (left) and Susan Tym (right). St Thomas More and St Patrick parishes in Sheffield sponsored volunteers, and St Mary’s High School, Chesterfield and Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in Doncaster sponsored staff to attend. The training was delivered by Laura Rendell and Susan Tym from Hallam Caring Services. Look out for details of parenting programmes in these schools and parishes.
Many congratulations to Roy and Kathleen Staniland on the occasion of their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. They were married on 10 June, 1957. The couple are parishioners of St Joseph Parish in Staveley. Kathleen is a past Diocesan President of the Hallam Union of Catholic Mothers.
Sixteen couples spent the weekend of 25-26 March at Hallam Pastoral Centre, Sheffield preparing for their forthcoming marriages. Most were from Hallam Diocese but one couple travelled from Hull and another from London. One participant from outside the Diocese commented, “My brother told me we must experience an ‘Engaged Encounter’ weekend and so we have booked to stay over”. The weekend was delivered by a team of skilled and dedicated volunteers – three couples and a priest – trained by Worldwide Marriage Encounter. The engaged couples were led through an intense programme of listening, reflection and practice which ended with the celebration of Mass. Photograph: Kathleen Baster.
May 2017 marked the end of the Civic year for Councillor Jim Anderson of St Joseph’s Church in Retford. Jim is a District Councillor and in May last year was elected to serve as Chairman of the whole of Bassetlaw District Council; a great honour and privilege last enjoyed by a St Joseph’s parishioner when Wendy Quigley served in 2007/8. Jim asked Fr John Nwadike CM, Parish Priest at St Joseph’s, to celebrate the Civic Service with a Mass, and a packed church saw St Joseph’s school children sing, Headteacher, Mr Richard Hilton read, and Fr Bill Bergin returned to beautifully sing the Credo and guide the service. Worksop Deanery Deacon Peter Hunt assisted, and the Deputy Lieutenants and Readers from other Christian denominations joined with the local Imam to make the service a truly Ecumenical event for the glory of God. It was a great day for St Joseph’s, the Churches in Retford and Bassetlaw. The local Air Training Corps squadron also sent a detachment to assist in the management of the day, and they are pictured below with Fr John, the Deputy Lieutenant and Councillor Jim.
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.