“Young people, do not bury your talents!”Thursday 16th July 2020
Pope Francis once spoke directly to young people: “Dear young people, do not bury your talents, the gifts that God has given you. Do not be afraid to dream of great things.”
In Catholic schools around our diocese, young people have been doing just this: dreaming of great things and showing the power that young people can have on our wider communities.
Below are just three school communities whose big ideas are making waves and changing lives as we move through the coronavirus pandemic.
Committed Students’ 8,000 Hours Make the World a Brighter Place
The Coronavirus lockdown has been an interesting time for us all and an especially exhausting time for schools and their students. St. Joseph’s RC High School in Horwich, Bolton, has shown a great spirit of resilience and ability to push forward despite these difficult times and were delighted to receive the “Teach Well School Gold Award: Corona Virus Pandemic” award.
It was encouraging to celebrate St Joseph’s young people along with other Bolton schools as young people across Bolton had volunteered a total of 7917 hours in community service as part of their Duke of Edinburgh’s award. The young people also took part in the Caritas “Sleep-in” on the 10th July. This was a great opportunity to raise money for and remember those who are homeless during this time.
St. Joseph’s Headteacher Tony McCabe commented, “In a world where young people often get bad press it is so encouraging to hear them talk about their passion to promote human rights, gender and race equality and recognise our responsibility as global citizens. The Coronavirus pandemic shows how quickly a destructive force can rip through global communities.
“Our work as part of the UNESCO schools network now allows us to join forces with other positive agents across the world so that our work at a local level living, out our mission to ‘value, nurture and respect’ everyone can have a positive global impact.”
Sadie Scoops National Award for Kindness
A young person attending Saint John Vianney SEND school was recently commended for her efforts by a national charity for their work in promoting the common good in our local community.
Twelve-year-old Sadie Gandy from St John Vianney SEND school has been assisting her local COVID-19 group, while her school has been in partial closure. Sadie has played a key role in the group by delivering kindness packs to those in her community (specifically adults and young families) who are struggling at this time. The packs include quizzes, baking recipes and relaxation items, the hope is that these items will help people take their mind of things even for a short while.
Mrs Garfin who nominated Sadie and is leader of the schools chaplaincy / CARITAS team, said “I am so proud of Sadie in such a difficult time she has found a way to help and support others.
“Sadie is a kind and helpful individual. She joined our chaplaincy team to help others. Sadie has at times had many challenges and this recognition for her work has meant the world of difference to her.”
Sadie received the Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati award for her efforts from national Catholic youth charity, Million Minutes.
Sacred Heart’s Art Sends a Strong Message: “Don’t Turn a Blind Eye”
In celebration of UN World Youth Skills Day Year Six pupils at Sacred Heart RC Primary School in Westhoughton have been working on a project linked with the UN Global Goals and climate change.
The astronaut and explorer Richard Garriott inspired the pupils when he spoke to them during a series of Zoom chats, about climate change, his time in space and forthcoming mission to the deepest point in the ocean the Marianas Trench.
Canon and the Ideas Foundation have also worked with the pupils via Zoom to teach them about photography and Canon very kindly supplied the children with SLR cameras.
The pupils have been totally engaged in this project and their photographs are exceptional, an amazing experience for the pupils amid the chaos of Covid.
Their photographs will form part of an exhibition on Climate Change at the bottom of the Marianas Trench when Richard completes his mission.
Praying the Rosary at St Catherine’s, Didsbury
Each Friday in May and October, we pray the Rosary with our school community and this is usually very well-attended. As the school couldn’t gather together during May, the school’s staff, children and families worked together to create a weekly virtual Rosary service.
The first Rosary service from May can be found above.
Deputy Headteacher, Jessica Quiligotti, said: “The Catholic life of our school is the core of everything we do and it’s definitely been an interesting task to keep this alive as much as possible, if not even more than usual in these difficult times.”