Faith, hope, and charity at heart of school life this half termThursday 20th October 2022
Faith, hope, and charity were front and centre for our schools this half-term with a packed programme of different activities.
This academic year has got off to a memorable start as schools made time in their busy schedules to mark historic occasions, such as the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the visit of the relics of St Bernadette to our diocese.
Underpinning it all was a clear sense of faith, mission, and community, placing prayer at the heart of all learning and building in activities to care for community and common home.
The month of October is dedicated to The Rosary and schools across the diocese have been working hard to share this most wonderful prayer with their students. From Rosary clubs, to outdoor prayer groups, The Rosary has been a real focal point of school life this half term.
Meanwhile, primary and secondary schools across the diocese have been incorporating regular Masses, liturgies, and other forms of worship into their daily calendar, while St Joseph’s and St Bede’s in Bury taught their nursery class more about baptism.
Schools also joined the nation in mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II by holding a number of activities, from learning more about her life and the role of monarch, to holding special prayer services or making their own prayerful tributes.
Finally, around 1000 schoolchildren from across the diocese visited Salford Cathedral in September as the relics of St Bernadette visited our diocese. Taking part in dedicated prayer and activity sessions organised by our diocesan education and youth teams, pupils got the opportunity to write their own petitions before the relics, to spend time in prayer, and to learn more about St Bernadette, Lourdes, and the importance of relics to our Catholic faith.
Caring for our common home and our brothers and sisters around the world is undoubtedly a key priority for all of our schools, providing us all with so much hope for the future.
This half-term, schools have been demonstrating this through a range of different activities and studies, encouraging students to examine the world around us a little more closely, the history that has led us to the world we live in today, and to consider the future that God is calling us to build.
With this in mind, schools across the diocese have been embracing Black History Month, to discover more about some of the most inspiring people in history, the lessons they teach, and how to use these lessons to build a better, fairer world.
The building of community is also a strong focus for our schools, as they continuously seek to nurture links with other schools, charities, community groups, and religious centres in the local area. This half-term, St Teresa’s RC Primary School in Irlam welcomed visitors from their local mosque to teach students more about Islam.
As always, our young people are leading the charge to care for our common home and this half-term has been no exception! Schools across the diocese have been busily forming and working in eco or Laudato Si’ groups, to learn more about the planet, our impact on it, and have been taking practical action to keep our local communities clean and tidy and to help nurture nature in school grounds.
St Joseph’s RC Primary School in Shaw even got a special shout out from Oldham council!
We’re so proud of all of our schools for their tireless efforts in supporting various charities and organisations.
This half-term, Xaverian College in Manchester and Holy Cross College in Bury hosted our diocesan charity Caritas Diocese of Salford for their annual Big Sleep Out event. This popular event raises thousands of pounds to help the charity in their efforts to provide key support to people facing homelessness, making a real difference to people right across the diocese.
Schools have also been continuing to nurture a special relationship with CAFOD (Catholic Agency For Overseas Development) to learn more the lives and challenges of our brothers and sisters around the world and to offer support through prayer and fundraising.
As we head into autumn, schools have been making the most of harvest festivals, bringing in food and raising money to support key charities such as Caritas Salford and CAFOD.
In addition, St Mary’s RC Primary in Levenshulme joined schools, churches, and organisations across the country in holding an Macmillan Coffee morning, raising funds to help the charity provide specialist care and support for people fighting cancer.
Happy half term!
As the final few days of this half term draws to a close, we’d like to say a huge thank you to teachers and staff in our schools for your tireless work. We wish all staff, teachers, students, and parents a well deserved rest!