We had a lovely afternoon at our Community Cafe. Children from our Mini Vinnies and Faith in Action group hosted an afternoon tea for grandparents and members of our local community. Our guests were served refreshments and entertained by our children's singing and dance. A lovely occasion for all concerned.
We have started to think about how we prepare ourselves during Advent, to celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day.
Once again we were happy to join in St Gemma's Light up a Life service. The children sang beautifully and happily entertained staff and patients on the wards afterwards. A lovely start to our Advent preparations.
The Mass for Mini Vinnies with commissioning and re-commissioning, was celebrated at Leeds Cathedral by Bishop Marcus. We were lucky enough to be able to send four representatives on this special occasion. The Bishop reminded the children that their role is to help others
by following the work of St Vincent de Paul. The Mass was celebrated on the feast of The Exultation of the Cross.
St. Paul's Mini Vinnies working on a collaborative project with other Leeds schools.
End of the Year of Mercy
The Mini Vinnies led a lovely assembly to the mark the end of the Year of Mercy. St Paul's pupils were asked about the meaning of the word 'Mercy' and how we can show mercy to others. We heard how Jesus taught us to be Forgiving, Helpful, Kind, Generous and Welcoming and that our continued mission together is 'Children helping Children' by living as Jesus asked us to.
The Lampedusa Cross
Our KS2 children sent 120 individual messages of hope to those children arriving alone in our country every day, this was prompted by the Lampedusa Cross appeal run by Cafod. We were then fortunate enough to be able to have a Lampedusa Cross, made from the wood washed up from shipwrecked refugee boats, in our KS2 assembly before it goes on its tour of the Diocese. As it is October we dedicated a decade of the Holy Rosary to all those refugee children who need our prayers.
Some of our new Mini-Vinnies attended a Mass celebrated by Bishop Marcus at St.Anne's Cathedral to recognise the commitment of the junior SVP members during this jubilee year of mercy. The children joined with Mini-Vinnies from across the diocese whilst a number of our chamber choir helped to provide some wonderful singing.
Two of our Mini-Vinnies joined with other MV's from our Catholic School Partnership to find out more about the fantastic efforts of the SVP and the causes our collections and fundraising supports. Natalie led a very informative tour of the new centre and the great services its volunteers provide. Olivia and Niamh will now present this information to the rest of St.Paul's pupils.
As part of our Year of Mercy programme of events Year 1 and the Mini-Vinnie team ran a wonderful cafe (all free of charge of course!) reaching out to the more senior members of our local community. A fantastic time was had by all with our visitors really enjoying their time with the younger members of their community.
Year of Mercy Pilgrimage to St. Anne's Cathedral
Year 5 & Year 6 have both visited the Cathedral in a series of KS2 visits to mark the Year of Mercy, they passed through the Holy Door, participated in Mass and had a very informative tour of the Cathedral to find out all about it's history. Many thanks to Robert Finnegan our very knowledgable guide.
Wonderful displays and work have appeared all over St.Paul's capturing the fabulous work the children completed on this theme.
Year of Mercy Up-date
Individual and class "Doors of Mercy" have appeared all over school, many containing wonderful writing expressing the children's thoughts on what a world full of mercy would look and feel like to them. A reflective afternoon with a "Focus on Forgiveness" was also held to coincide with the whole church's weekend of prayer focusing on reconciliation.
The Holy Year of Mercy at St.Paul's
Mrs Barrass was ably assisted by the Mini-Vinnies in launching the Year of Mercy at St.Paul's. Following the assembly, there was a day of focus on the parables and scripture from Luke's Gospel. Each year group has used artwork and writing to represent their own parable in beautiful displays throughout the school. In addition each class has written their own class prayer for the Year of Mercy for use throughout the year. This is just the start of a series of planned events at St.Paul's to mark the extraordinary jubilee year, announced by Pope Francis, with it's focus on mercy, forgiveness and reconciliation.
A recent Learning Walk demonstrated the breadth of RE work that is taking place at St.Paul's. Pupil interviews revealed that our pupils really enjoy RE as can be seen from the quotes below.
"It's like learning about your Father"
"You learn things about Jesus because He is the son of God"
"It's part of my spirituality, it's fun"
"I like drawing God's animals"
"It gives you a chance to say and discuss what you actually feel about God"
"I like that there is not always a right or wrong answer, it's what you think"
"We can use it as a focus for prayers when others need help"
"It expands our knowledge of other countries and how they worship"
St. Paul's Mini-Vinnies
Our Mini-Vinnie group is now up and running. They have set up a display in school and asked all the other children, as well as staff, to place nominations in the Good Samaritan box whenever they see acts of kindness. Two of our Mini-Vinnies, Emily & Jessica, also completed the recent SVP walk andhelped raise funds for the SVP. THe MV's meeting regularly and have lots more ideas to "See, Think, Do" in our parish & school community.