Welcome to our Whole School Catholic Life page for 2019/2020 – Mrs David’s opportunity to share aspects of faith formation and our OLOL experiences that have an impact on a child’s perception of what Catholic Life is all about. At OLOL, we ensure that Catholic Life infuses every aspect of our school day so that our work, our prayer, our curriculum and policies, our play is all rooted in personal faith development, and our school, parish and the wider life of the Church is greatly enhanced as a result.
It would be impossible to share everything we do at OLOL but these pages should be a sample of the Catholic Life we live daily. Please take a look at our Twitter feed (@ourladyoflourd1), individual Class Catholic Life pages and other pages on this section of the website too as they are filled with more active faith at OLOL. You can see Catholic life pages for last year on the main Catholic Life Pages.
Month of the Holy Souls
As we start the month of the Holy Souls, we remember family and friends who have dies. We pray for the souls in purgatory who are waiting to start their eternal life in heaven. We start the month with All Saints and All Souls Day’s and over the rest of this month as we get ready for Advent, we will gather intentions in our Prayer Areas in classes to bring to Church. We also think about the fallen men and women who have died in war and conflict as we get ready to commemorate their service and sacrifice on Remembrance Sunday. Please make an effort to go to Mass to pray for the souls of your dead relatives, friends and those who have no one to pray for them…
Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Prayer Life at OLOL…
Our lovely Conservatory Prayer Area has been undergoing a small refurbishment to make it more comfortable. The end result is lovely and we are really delighted with the hard work of Martin, Joe and Eamon Shalvey. Father Sean came to see how it looked this afternoon!
In October, Pope Francis is asking the What an amazing Harvest donation we have had this year! Thank you to all of our families for helping the vulnerable in our community through this gift of food and toiletries. The Mini Vinnies delivered the items to St Chad’s Sanctuary. It was a mammoth task! #CatholicLifeatOLOL
Assembly: Canonisation of St John Henry Newman - Oct 2019
My liturgical assembly this week was all about St John Henry Newman. It was great fun sharing the photos with the children and staff. Thank you to BDES for the PPt. ideas.
Canonisation of St John Henry Newman - October 2019
It has been an absolute privilege to attend the Canonisation of St John Henry Newman in Rome this weekend. One of many thousands of pilgrims, there was a wonderful atmosphere in Rome where not only St John Henry Newman but also four additional Blessed’s were added to the Canon of Saints on Sunday. A busy schedule of activities awaited all pilgrims but the culmination was the Mass in St Peter’s Square where the five were declared Saints by Pope Francis. Have a look at some photos of my adventure!
EMM 2019 - #OurMission
Continuing our life long journey of Missionary Discipleship, we spent some time recording our personal and collective Mission in class this week. Our children can articulate well, how they have a Mission and how they are trying to live lives with discipleship at the root…
Rosary with Archbishop Bernard
Today we had a very special whole school gathering to share the Joyful Mysteries with Archbishop Bernard and the other Catholic Primary Schools in our Archdiocese. It was prayerful and reflective and children and staff listened again to the scripture sharing joyous occasions in the life of Jesus and Mary. Please listen to the singing in our attached videos…
Altar Serving Session 3
Our newest Altar Servers are proving to be very dedicated to their service and very quick learners – today they thought about all of the jobs on the Sanctuary and practised how to do them efficiently to provide the most help to Father Sean during the Mass. We look forward to these children starting their ministry from this Sunday…
Liturgical Music at OLOL
At the start of the school year, we get our newest musicians ready to take on the mantle of playing their instruments to accompany the Mass. This is a very important ministry in our Church. Our hymns and songs, and the musicians that support that within the Mass bring a vital aspect to our worship together. Our singing and playing is prayer, reflection, acclamation, praise and at the end of the Mass, it becomes Mission to go forth into the world! Today we welcome the next group of children who will support us in the Mass in this way…
“One cannot find anything more religious and more joyful in sacred celebrations than a whole congregation expressing its faith and devotion in song” (Musicam Sacram)
Mr Larsson at OLOL
We have been enjoying having Mr Larsson, our visiting Swedish Head Teacher in school this week. Mr Larsson has been getting to know all about our Catholic Life at OLOL and joined us for Mass this morning. He is an excellent singer and quickly joined in with the hymns. Our Catholic Mass is very different to the Christian services that Mr Larsson attends in Västerås, Sweden. It has been fascinating sharing our traditions with him, while he shares his differing Christian traditions with us. Both Head Teachers agreeing that our faith helps us to shape the children we teach no matter what tradition we follow. In Sweden, the children do not have Church Schools and so there are no Catholic Schools. Mr Larsson has been very interested in our Jesuit Virtues.
Feast of the Holy Rosary
This morning we celebrated Mass for the Feast of the Holy Rosary. It was led by Year 2 who read beautifully. At the homily, Father Sean spoke to us about the four sets of mysteries – joyful, sorrowful, glorious and luminous. We remembered how they shape the story of Jesus and Mary from the Annunciation to the crowning of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth. Father used a set of our Mission Beads to talk about Rosary as we are in the midst of Extraordinary Mission Month and we are thinking about children from all over the world and keeping them in our prayers.
Prayer with Archbishop Bernard
We are looking forward to our Livestreaming Prayer with Archbishop Bernard and our sister Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese. It will take place at 2.00 pm on Wednesday 9th October. Here are some resources that you can use with your child to prepare them and a link to the Mission site.
Novena for Bl. John Henry Newman
Each class has already started saying the 9 day Novena as we get ready for the Canonisation of Bl. John Henry Newman. You can join us at home using the documents attached.
To Serve is to Reign!
Our new Altar Servers had their second training session this week. Now that they have mastered their clothing, they are learning about processing and what their behaviour must be like when they are on the Sanctuary. They are making us very proud!
OLOL Blessing Services
Deacon Tim came over today to bless our classrooms and office spaces. He blessed our new bibles in KS2. Deacon Tim walked through our building, sprinkling Holy Water on our working spaces and us. With prayers to bless our school community, our children and teachers and our religious artefacts we will work hard to build the Kingdom together in this school year so that we are a place of faith, love, charity, peace, truth and wisdom for all who enter. Thank you to Deacon Tim for taking time to be with us today.
We started this week with a lovely whole school assembly about Extraordinary Missionary Month 2019, the Canonisation of John Henry Newman, Little Way Week and the month of the Holy Rosary. October is set to be a really exciting and busy time in our Church. We talked about the Feast of St Jerome (30th Sept) as we look forward to the start of the Year of the Word. Children talked about how they can start to be missionaries and we are pleased to be raising money for Missio this month too. Have a look at some of our photos…
Extraordinary Missionary Month 2019
In October, Pope Francis is asking the Church to pray for this especially dedicated month to Missionary discipleship. The Pope has agreed 4 main themes for us to consider:
Below I have attached some materials from Missio for you to look at with your child but most important is the Activity Calendar. What action will you take along with prayer to show you are a Missionary Disciple? Tweet with #OLOL, #EMM, @ourladyoflourd1 and @MIssioUK when you do something from the list!
Macmillan Coffee Morning 2019
Yesterday we had our annual Macmillan Coffee Morning. As ever, the support from OLOL in our commitment to almsgiving was significant, from donations to attendance. Thank you to everyone for helping us to teach the children about our living and active faith, one where we do what we can for others at all times.
Feeling the inspiration of St Stephen
Our new Year 4 Altar Servers started their journey in the service of the Parish of OLOL in training with Deacon Tim. A joyful service of prayerfulness and reverence where they live an action filled support for the priest and parish community. Following the motto of the Guild of St Stephen, “To serve is to reign”, we know that the training received at OLOL will ensure that these young people will accept this ministry for the greater good of the Church, in full understanding of the role and responsibilities and always following the example of Jesus. Lesson 1, getting to grips with the alb and cincture. Over the year they will learn about the many roles an Altar server can have on the Sanctuary, from the person responsible for the thurible, to the server who bears candles or the one who carries the Processional Cross.
Staff Retreat September 2019
We had another wonderful retreat opportunity with Dan and Emily (One Life Music) this evening. We had the opportunity to think about the greatness of God’s love for us, a love without bounds. Our love for Him (and others, a love without expectations). In prayer, song, and silent reflection we had time to think of our God whose message is love…Staff wrote letters of love to special people as a real practical action from this retreat, I hope the recipients of these wonderful expressions of love send some back!
On my travels, I have been collecting crucifixes to share with the children, to show the variety of styles and meanings from different parts of the world. As I am getting ready to display the start of the collection, I wondered how many you would recognise… When you walk around school what crucifixes and iconography can you see?
Since this photo, we have had a delivery from Italy...have a look around school and see if you can spot our new additions (thank you again to Holy Art for their wonderful resources).
Benediction with St Teresa’s House
On Tuesday we had a busy day with House meetings in the morning – where the children in our 7 houses started thinking about the The 'God who Speaks' and how important it is to listen and respond, thinking about practical ways to apply this to our everyday lives. In the afternoon, St Teresa of Calcutta House went to church for Exposition and Benediction with Deacon Tim. It was a lovely opportunity to make connections between the work done in House Groups and to receive God’s blessing. The children were reverent and enjoyed listening to Deacon Tim and Mrs Anthony singing Tantum Ergo.
The God who Speaks – Year of the Word 2020
Scripture is at the centre of everything the Church does. The word of God shapes our prayer and worship. The Bible shows us how to understand the world, how we are called to live and relate to each other.
2020 is the 10th anniversary of Verbum Domini – Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Exhortation on ‘The Word of the Lord’ and the 1,600 anniversary of St Jerome’s death (St Jerome translated the Bible into Latin). The Church has dedicated 2020 as a year of focus on the Bible and ‘The God Who Speaks’.
This year in school, we will think about how we use scripture to hear God’s word and teachers will really emphasis the God who speaks in all RE lessons and collective worship.
Year 6 worked really hard over the summer holidays on their Confirmation Saint projects. Over the last few days Year 6 pupils have shared their work with me and talked eloquently about the reasons for choosing the Saints they have selected. The quality of research and presentation has been excellent. We will have quite a range of Saints providing support and inspiration to this cohort of Year 6. We look forward to sharing their joy when they receive the Sacrament and the wondrous gifts of the Holy Spirit in December…
Care for our Common Home
The school Eco Council have delivered recycling boxes to Father Sean today as part of our work as a wider Catholic Community to support the growing concerns about the condition of our Common Home. OLOL children are trying to help in as many ways as they can and will now work with the Parish to do even moe! Parishioners can drop off empty crisp packets and used dental care products to the back of the church. The packaging will be sent to Terracycle (www.terracycle.com) for recycling. A small amount of fundraising will be generated by our collections.
Welcome Back to OLOL!
Our First School Mass this year was wonderful. All staff made their annual Vocational Commitment to our school and parish community in front of the children and parish. Father Sean told the children how well the singing, signing and reading had been. A reverent occasion. Parishioners took time to comment to me after Mass on pupil behaviour, which should make us all proud!
In addition, this week, we have had our Welcome Back liturgical assembly with the whole school. We talked about God’s Plan for us; and our perfect uniqueness, made in the image and likeness of the creator. Listening to God and making good choices is part of fulfilling the plan God has for each and every one of us so we will try hard this year to reach our potential and use every talent and gift given to us by our heavenly Father…
It’s the #SeasonofCreation!
In keeping with the work we are doing for Laudato Si and care for our common home, we are aware of the Season of Creation. A time from now until October when we put our living faith to work and see what we can do to help our ailing planet. You can read some more on https://seasonofcreation.org/ or look for tweets with the #SeasonofCreation. This year we have updated our Geography curriculum so that each class has explicit Laudato Si sustainability links – have a look on our Curriculum Overview page!
St Philip Neri Fan at OLOL!
TM in Year 4 was so interested in the work he was doing on his class Saint, St Philip Neri, that he went home and did some more research. We love this faith-filled commitment at OLOL and are often really surprised with the additional work pupils do to learn more about their faith life. TM also was the first child to receive a Virtue Merit from me this year – excellent work!
Ordinary Time are two long periods each year between the great Church seasons of Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter. In the periods of Ordinary Time, we live our daily Catholic lives. The Liturgical colour changes back to green as a sign of new growth and hope. Readings during Ordinary Time tell us the stories of Jesus’ ministry and his adult life as he shared the Good News with those he encountered. During Ordinary Time at OLOL we think about prayer life and the different types of prayer we use in school. Our prayer tables and prayer area reflect the seasons as they change...
Have Faith, Will Travel!
This summer, we asked families to send us photos if their summer holiday adventures took them to new and interesting parishes to worship. I had a lovely summer exploring in Turkey and was delighted to attend Mass at two Catholic Churches in Istanbul, but also to revisit the Virgin Mary’s house near Ephesus (preaching ground of St Paul!). DMc and LMc visited St Paul’s Pillar Church in Cyprus, a very special place as their mum and dad got married there…No matter where we go our faith goes with us!