St. Mary's Chaplaincy

CAFOD Brighten Up the Harvest Week

Harvest Week Events

St Mary’s Academy was a sea of colour last week as staff and students came together to “brighten up” for CAFOD Harvest Fast Day.

On Monday and Tuesday, we had a bright coloured sweet shop at break times in the Deli Bar, selling Sherbet, Skittles and other brightly coloured sweets.

On Wednesday, some brave (or should that be foolish?) teachers put themselves in the firing line, as students paid to throw brightly coloured water balloons at them. A HUGE thank you to Mr. Allen, Mr. Webb, Mr. Ip, Mr. Thornton, Mr. Faulkner, PCSO Lizzie and Miss Smith who braved the cold and got absolutely soaked for this great cause.

Friday saw the whole school brighten up for CAFOD. Students came to school with neon or glitter makeup and accessories. The CAFOD team opened a “salon” at break and lunch, covering as many students as possible with neon face paint, nail varnish and glitter. It was fantastic to see so many students getting involved and raising as much money as possible for CAFOD.

The money is still being counted, so we don’t have a final total yet, but once it is all in, we will send it to the DEC for the relief effort in Indonesia following the terrible earthquake and tsunami that has devastated so many communities. A huge thank you to all who got involved, especially our CAFOD team who worked hard to organise the events and activities that took place throughout the week.

 

Snowdrops for Donna

Rainbows group planting snowdrops.

Last week we took a selection from our Rainbows group to plant snowdrops in Stanley Park.  This was the second year in succession that we have joined other schools from the Blackpool area as part of our local work with the charity Donna's Dream House on Chapel St, in the centre of Blackpool, planting these wonderful blooms.  They should begin to grow in about three weeks time and flower mid-January onwards.
Thanks to all at Stanley Park and Len (and all his team at the Dream House).

Adoremus National Youth Congress

Adoremus National Youth Congress

On Saturday 8th September, an enthusiastic group of students set out on an adventure to Liverpool to take part in the Adoremus National Youth Congress. Nearly 1,000 young people gathered in the Echo convention centre for a day of music, drama, talks and workshops on the theme of “Eucharist.” Guest speakers included Archbishop Vincent Nicholls and Katie Prejean (who came all the way from America) and testimonies from young adults who talked about their faith. We even heard a special letter that had been written to us on behalf of the Pope! To top it all off, the whole event was recorded for BBC Radio 4 and broadcast on Sunday morning. The day was part of a wider programme that ran across Liverpool for the whole weekend and finished with a huge procession through Liverpool. This was an event unlike anything seen in the UK for a long time: the last National Eucharistic Congress took place in 1908. It was a pleasure and a privilege to be part of such a historic event, and our student representatives did us very proud!

 

Year 3 Mass at Christ The King

Year 3 Mass at Christ The King
On Thursday of last week, our students prepared themselves to celebrate our annual Y3 Mass. As with every year, the choir were ready to sing and our Y9 volunteers prepared to guide and look after our visitors, but this year was different: we had a special guest. 

The Blackpool Family of Catholic Schools were proud to welcome Bishop Paul Swarbrick to celebrate this very special Mass, along with many other Priests of the Deanery. Fresh from their first holy communion, around 280 Y3 children gathered together for this very special occasion, the first time the Bishop had come to visit us since he was consecrated Bishop just after Easter. 

During his Homily, Bishop Paul spoke to us about the importance of getting along with each other. He told us that little things can very easily become big things. As it was the first anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, Bishop Paul used the analogy of a fire to demonstrate this: just as how it only takes a spark to create a fire, a nasty word or a small argument can grow beyond all control. He also spoke to the children about the Mass - he encouraged them to remember that the Mass is important to us because the Mass was important to Jesus. 

Every school played a vital part in the Mass, taking on responsibility for things like the readings and the prayers, and of course there was lots of fantastic singing. It really was a very wonderful and special occasion for all gathered. 
After the Mass, we all shared a picnic lunch together, including Bishop Paul, before heading back to our schools and Churches. Everyone gathered was given a prayer card to keep as a reminder of this special occasion. A fantastic day for all.