On 11 October, Abigail Mitchell was one of twelve finalists, out of over a thousand entries, to win the NASUWT “Arts and Minds” competition. Students from across the country were asked to send in pieces of writing, photographs or artwork with the key theme of cultural diversity and equality. Abigail’s submission, “Ghosts” was a brave poem, written from the point-of-view of someone who feels isolated and alone. Abigail, her family and her English teacher, Mrs Loveday, were treated to an overnight stay in a four-star hotel in Charing Cross, a trip on the London Eye and Abigail received an Amazon gift voucher for her efforts. The school also received a cheque to fund further writing projects. Mrs Loveday said, “I am very proud of Abigail. She has come such a long way with her writing since Year 7. Hopefully, this will give her confidence in her abilities as a writer.” Well done Abigail.
Archives for January 2017
The parish of St Francis of Assisi, Sheffield recently held a day devoted to Pray and Praying. Mike Campbell relates his experience of the day. The ideas that Deacon Stephen Parker explored included the notion that prayer is a conversation between ourselves and God and conversations are not one-sided. The Lord’s Prayer is one prayer that everyone knows but one where we do all the talking, and it is equally important to listen. However, listening can be difficult, distractions abound, and we need props to help us be still in the presence of God. Jacinta Campbell started looking at Art as an aid to prayer. She chose paintings from two traditions, Icons and Classical, and also from two periods in Jesus’ life, his childhood and his death. Jacinta has a particular interest in Icons, and she showed us three Icons of Mary and the child Jesus, known as the Theotokos or God-bearer. She pointed out the conventions that the Icons follow, for example the three stars to indicate Mary, the colours of the clothing have significance and they have narrow noses and small mouths. She then chose three classical pictures illustrating Jesus being taken down from the Cross by Giotto, Van der Weyden and Rubens. She pointed out the characters present in all three, in particular Jesus’ Mother, Mary Magdelene, St John and Joseph of Arimathea and how they could be recognised. She mentioned that the classical pictures were all commercial works of art and not holy in themselves, unlike the Icons whose painters were anonymous and the Icon itself is a source of reverence. An interesting aside was that the Van der Weyden was sponsored by crossbow men, and one could see that Christ’s body and the way the arms were curved, did indeed represent a crossbow. Stephen Spooner showed us how music can help us pray, in particular classical music. He felt that after silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible was music. Music can help remove trivial thoughts from our mind to help us listen for God. He shared with us some of his favourite pieces which aid prayer: Claire de Lune by Debussy, to still the mind; Pie Jesu from Fauré’s Requiem as an example of the exquisite heights religious music can reach; a cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten by Part and Beethoven’s string quartet no 15 in A minor, written as a prayer in thanksgiving. The Beethoven, in particular, was beautiful to listen to and could help one forget quotidian matters. Stephen also gave us a list of other music that had special meaning to him including Mozart’s Mass in C and John Tavener’s Protecting Veil. Deacon Stephen Parker told us about the Jesus Prayer. It is simply, “Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner”. It is repeated endlessly, and helps drives out all other thoughts. He told us a bit about its history and popularity, particularly in the East. He compared it to the Rosary, which again uses repetition to focus the mind on God. It can also be contrasted with meditation, which uses a repeated phrase, but is not necessarily religious. Overall, this was a lovely way to spend a Saturday, restful but thought provoking. I, for one, felt I had some new tools to help my prayer life.
Bishop Ralph recently presented certificates to the students who successfully completed the Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies. A special presentation evening was organised for the students to acknowledge all their hard work and commitment to the course. Congratulations all round!
Recently Fr Andrew Browne celebrated Mass at the Mother of God Church, Sheffield and four new members were received into the Third Order of Carmel. Stephen Marlow also made his final profession at the Mass.
Left to right, Simon, Jonathon, Monica and J…
On Saturday, 19 November, Duncan Scott and Stephen Brown were received and confirmed into the Catholic Church as members of the Ordinariate during High Mass at the Cathedral Church of Saint Marie by the Right Reverend Mgr Keith Newton.
The picture sho…
At St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, we had such an exciting year celebrating and reflecting on the Year of Mercy. We kicked-off with a CAFOD assembly, one for KS1 and one for KS2. These assemblies focussed on the corporal works of mercy, and how we could reflect on these in our school. Each class then created their own “Door of Mercy” by tracing their own hand and writing promises and prayers for the Year of Mercy. Then each class placed the hands around the outside of their classroom doors. The children were encouraged to think about these promises and prayers as they entered their classroom throughout the year. KS2 also had class workshops provided by CAFOD, which all linked to the Year of Mercy corporal works themes. The workshops focussed on people who did not have easy access to clean water, and refugees and what they experience. The class even got to write messages of hope to real refugees and CAFOD delivered the messages for the children. Year 5 children had the In Reality team from the Hallam Youth Ministry in for a whole day focussing on the Year of Mercy. As a school, we concentrated on themes during the Year of Mercy. During each theme, all classes were asked to reflect on a particular topic/subject. Then each class provided work that was made into whole-school displays during that topic. In one theme of “The Sick”, each class was asked to choose one of the following topics to concentrate on: Make Get well cards for those on the parish sick list or someone you know who is sick Find out about the work of St Vincent de Paul Find out about St Bernadette and Lourdes Research Blessed Mother Teresa Find out about the Hospice Movement Research images of Pope Francis greeting the sick In another topic of “The Thirsty”, each class was given a topic to concentrate on: Y5/Y6 to write about their experience from the CAFOD “Make a Splash” workshop Y4 to write/design the March Year of Mercy Prayer Y3 to write the scripture John 7:37–39 R, Y1 and Y2 – to create a water “droplet” prayer praying for those without clean water All children to reflect on writing a prayer or message of hope for all those people who do not have clean, safe water In another topic of “Our Community”, each class was given a list of names of people to be prayed for. These lists included not only all the students and staff, but also Fr Martin, dinner ladies and cleaners, friends, parents and governors. Each class prayed for their list of people during their daily prayers. Then, for the display, all names were written onto strips of paper that were woven together to represent the unity of our community. We finished off our celebrations and reflections in a few ways. The Year 5 class attended the closing ceremony Mass at the Cathedral with the bishop. In school, we had a whole-school assembly reflecting on what we had done over the year. We finished our assembly with a pilgrimage around the school by walking through all the “Doors of Mercy”. Report and Photographs: Mrs Jessica Lord
Anne White started working as a volunteer at St Vincent’s Furniture Store in Sheffield just after it opened back in the 1980’s. She has completed nearly 30 years of dedicated service. After suffering ill health at the beginning of the year Anne has decided to take a well-earned rest and therefore is hanging up her telephone headset and computer mouse. For several years she also sat on the Management Committees of both the Store and St Vincent’s Shop on Abbeydale Road in Sheffield. Anne attended the Store’s Annual meeting in November and entertained us all with a few hilarious stories on the early years of the Store. Kevin McCready, Management Committee Chair, and Lorraine Healy, Furniture Store Manager, thanked Anne for all she has done for the Store over the years and also mentioned how much she will be missed by everyone. A presentation of a statue of St Vincent de Paul was made to Anne, which Anne said she would treasure forever.
Saturday 25th February, 10am-4pm, Sheffield City Centre An exciting one-day ecumenical conference responding to Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si and exploring the issues of environmental justice, integral ecology and how we can respond at a local level. This is a day for everyone and embraces global issues, local action, a spirituality of care and living […]
The children of St Peter’s Catholic Primary School, Doncaster were privileged to be allowed to lay their wreath at the cenotaph in Doncaster with the civic party on 13 November. The pupils, having learnt about World Wars 1 and 2, were keen to honour the memory of those who had made a sacrifice for them. The group of sixteen children were joined by their teachers and Fr Darren Reid, parish priest of St Peter-in-Chains, Doncaster. The children all enjoyed the opportunity to take part in a large community event and to offer their thanks to the forces. As well as acknowledging the sacrifice of service men and women in both the world wars, the pupils were pleased to be able to celebrate the achievements and bravery of local veteran, Ben Parkinson, with the rest of the community.
There was special Mass on 18 November to mark the end of the Year of Mercy at St Alban’s Church, Denaby Main. The celebrants were Fr Desmond Edozie, Parish Priest, and Fr Maurice Chukwukere. They are pictured with a group of parishioners.