Welcome to our Whole School Catholic Life page for 2023/2024 – Mrs David’s opportunity to share aspects of faith formation and 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), Class Catholic Life pages and other pages in this section of the website, as they are filled with more active faith at OLOL.
Evangelii Gaudium Sunday 2023
The third Sunday in September is always dedicated to the Holy Father’s encyclical, Evangelii Gaudium, the “Joy of the Gospel”, in which he asked us all to be mindful of the need for evangelisation and missionary discipleship in our ever changing world. This year we celebrated this on 17th September. We are asked to find and share the joy in the words contained within the Gospels. This year, Pope Francis recalls a verse from St Luke’s Gospel to remind us that we have a responsibility to take the word and be inspired by it, and then go forth as missionaries and act on the message we receive - “Hearts on fire, feet on the move.” What will we do this year OLOL to remember the words in Acts of the Apostles that “You shall be my witnesses.”
“We cannot forget that evangelisation is first and foremost about preaching the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus Christ or who have always rejected him. Many of these are quietly seeking God, led by a yearning to see his face… Christians have the duty to proclaim the Gospel without excluding anyone.” Pope Francis
Class Blessings 2023
Today, we were visited by Deacon Tim to bless our classrooms and shared spaces. In this annual blessing, Deacon Tim calls on our Father in heaven to come among us and protect us, insource us and be with is as we live, love and learn together. We asked for God’s continued gifts to help us become the people he intends us to be. We ask for God’s blessing on our hearts and minds so that we are filled with all of the skills and attitudes to have a successful year.
Lord God, we welcome you to this place and ask you to fill it with your glory. You are our Good Shepherd. We ask your blessings on our work, our play and our reflective time.
Lord Jesus, bless all who work here. Open their minds and hearts to receive the Gospel, and fill their hearts with your Holy Spirit.
Divine Teacher, bless our teachers with wisdom and patience. We thank you for their knowledge and care for us.
Heavenly Father, we dedicate our prayer table to you. Inspire us to pray always.
Loving God, bless all of our books and study materials. May they be a source of light for our minds and hearts.
We ask your blessings on our studies. We pray through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen
Our Lady of Sorrows Sept 2023
Our Lady of Sorrows feast is celebrated today (15th September) and this image of Mary is often instantly recognisable as it shows her with swords piercing her heart, each sword representing one of the seven sorrows of Mary. Can anyone find out what the Seven Sorrows of Mary are? This is a good day to think about the sorrow that we have experienced and to find compassion and empathy, alongside some inevitable sadness that sometimes marks the beginning of sorrow. Are you able to celebrate this feast day by giving comfort to someone experiencing sorrow?
Our mother of sorrows, with strength from above you stood by the cross, sharing in the sufferings of Jesus, and with tender care you bore Him in your arms, mourning and weeping.
We praise you for your faith, which accepted the life God planned for you. We praise you for your hope, which trusted that God would do great things in you. We praise you for your love in bearing with Jesus the sorrows of His passion.
Holy Mary, may we follow your example, and stand by all your children who need comfort and love.
Mother of God, stand by us in our trials and care for us in our many needs. Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
In Memorium: Junior Bubala
On 17th September we will remember the 3rd anniversary of the death of Junior. Many of our current staff remember this young man with great affection and our school community continues to mourn his tragic loss at such a young age. He was part of our OLOL family and we continue to honour his memory through prayer. We keep in our thoughts also Junior’s family including his sister who also attended OLOL. Mass will be said for Junior on 15th September at OLOL Church. “The more we are afflicted in this world, the greater is our assurance in the next; the more sorrow in the present, the greater will be our joy in the future.” St. Isidore of Seville
CAFOD National Assembly Sept 2023
The Season of Creation
Today (14th Sept), all OLOL pupils and their teachers took part in the CAFOD National Assembly as part of the Season of Creation. This joyful assembly reminded us of the absolute beauty of God’s creation on earth and opened with a quote from the Book of Amos:
“Let justice flow like a stream,
and goodness like a river that never runs dry.” Amos 5:24
and in the gathering prayer we were reminded that we need to build a brighter world so that everyone may live their life to the fullest - what an aspiration! It was interesting to hear the stories of our global neighbours and the struggles and challenges of climate change… I hope that the children of OLOL are part of the global attempts to build a better, safer world with creation protected for all future generations. What will we do this year OLOL to be part of the positive change the world needs?
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross Sept 2023
Staff celebrate Mass this year on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross...The cross had an early history very closely linked to the death of criminals who would be placed on crosses at city walls or outside the towns and they were a negative things to see during the Roman period - their preferred method of execution. On this date though we think about how the cross became an image of salvation. St Helena's finding of the cross on which Jesus died in the 4th Century, in Jerusalem during the building of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. We wear and display a cross or crucifix as a sign of our Christian faith and we remember the many early martyrs who came to their death by the cross. At this Mass, the staff of OLOL will share their commitment to their vocation with the whole school community, as we do at the start of each school year...
Exaltation of the Holy Cross Novena
Jesus, Who because of Your burning love for us willed to be crucified and to shed Your Most Precious Blood for the redemption and salvation of our souls, look down upon us and grant the petition we ask for... We trust completely in Your Mercy.
Cleanse us from sin by Your grace, sanctify our work, give us and all those who are dear to us our daily bread, lighten the burden of our sufferings, bless our families, and grant to the nations, so sorely afflicted, Your peace, which is the only true peace, so that by obeying Your commandments we may come at last to the glory of heaven.
Pray for Victims of Libyan Flooding Sept 2023
Following the bursting of 2 dams in the Libyan city of Derna, causing horrific flooding, we are hearing terrible stories of up to 11000 dead and possibly 20000 people missing, with little hope of being found. We pray for the souls of those who have died in this flooding, and the wellbeing of many 10's of thousands who have been displaced by the devastation. We pray for those waiting for news of missing fiends and loved ones that their wait for information will be short. God willing, the people of this region will find the strength to recover and rebuild from this tragedy.
Most Holy Name of Mary Sept 2023
Today (12th Sept) we celebrate the Most Holy Name of Mary, a time when we think about our reverence for Mary and her name. This has been a long tradition in the Church. Only Mary and Jesus have dedicated liturgical days to celebrate the time of their naming. When we pray the Litany of the Holy Name of Mary, we are reminded so clearly of many of the titles which honour her for being the mother of Jesus, mother of the Church and our mother...why not research some of the many titles for Mary and see how some of them came about.
Blessed be the Holy Name of Mary, now and forever...
At OLOL we are Grateful & Generous
Jesuit Virtues Sept 2023
Today (12th Sept) our school community gathered to think about the ways in which we could live grateful and generous lives, following the example of Christ and the Saints who have come before us. What are the characteristics of gratitude and generosity? What does it look like if we live in this way? Grateful people are always using their gifts and are grateful for them, and these wonderful gifts can then be used generously in the service of others. In our assembly we explored the meanings of the words Grateful and Generous and considered the Widow's Mite and asked ourselves, how did this woman show gratitude and generosity...?
We thought about St Ignatius of Loyola, the motto of the Jesuits, and how this motto really sums up why we do what we do at OLOL, for the greater glory of God!
Beatification of the Ulma Family Sept 2023
Today (10th Sept), the 9 members of the Ulma Family (including a new born baby) were beatified in Poland, the next step in their journey to Sainthood. This family gave shelter and comfort to Jewish families fleeing the Nazi persecution of WWII and Pope Francis called their heroism “a model to imitate in our efforts to do good and serve those who are in need.” Seven Cardinals and over 1000 priests attended the beatification Mass in Poland today. Let us remember this family, Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma and their 7 children, who made the choice to do right in the face of great danger to save the lives of the marginalised Jewish community in occupied Poland during the War. We all hope that we have the faith and strength to make such sacrifices should it ever be asked of us. We pray for the gift of this family and their sacrifice in doing God’s work, that we all may live a faith filled Christian life, full of God’s blessings and be ready to fight any evil that threatens humanity.
Pray for Marrakech 8th Sept 2023
On Friday, we learned that a 6.8 magnitude earthquake had hit an area approximately 70 km from Marrakech. More than 2000 people have died and many hundreds are injured or trapped in fallen buildings. The Archdiocese of Rabat has asked for prayers for the faithful and all communities, asking for the intentions of Our Lady of Morocco for all victims and their families. The Archdiocese has said:
“May God help us to draw positive consequences from this painful event, by transforming our hearts into hearts of mercy, solidarity and tenderness towards our brothers and sisters in distress.”
Education Sunday Sept 2023
This Sunday (10th September) we will celebrate an old day of prayer rooted in celebration and gratitude for the gift and blessing that is Catholic Education and Catholic Educators. Please try to be at Mass on Sunday to pray for continued vocations into the teaching profession at a time when recruitment is getting harder and harder. Pray for our Catholic school governors whose invaluable contribution to the strategic leadership of the almost 2200 Catholic Schools and universities in this country is immense. Pray for our parish school, that the staff and pupils continue to go from strength to strength in their witness and drive for academic standards.
"The mission of schools and teachers is to develop an understanding of all that is true, good and beautiful."
Our First Whole School Liturgy Sept 2023
Today we gathered (as an almost full school) to share prayer and reflect on being back together for another school year. We talked about how we can proactively be part of God's plan for us all in our prayer life, hard work, good choices and following the example of the Saints that came before us. We reminded ourselves that we are unique beings, made in His image and likeness and with that comes certain truths. God does not make mistakes so who we are is exactly who God intended us to be (and this means we are perfect as we are!). We talked about how cruelty, name calling, taunting is disrespectful to God’s creation and we must celebrate difference. We talked about our talents and how we must nurture and develop the gifts that God has given us, so that we can reach our potential, our hopes and dreams and fulfil God’s plan. We will keep reminding our OLOL family that God loves us in our uniqueness and our entirety even when we do not love Him as we should, and we forget to love ourselves…Our school is full of children with amazing aspirations and for those who haven't started thinking to grown up futures, we decided that it is ok to not be sure what God's plan for us is...until we are ready but that we can build skills, knowledge, wisdom while they wait and grow in understanding. New beginnings, new goals, new challenges and a school ready to do God's work! What a great start!
The Season of Creation 2023
The Season of Creation has begun (1st September) and is a special time when we think about stewardship and our obligations to develop our relationship with the creator, and to protect and care for creation, gifted to us by our heavenly Father to be our home and to be safely handed over to successive generations. Each year there is a theme for the celebration of this season, and this year the focus for over 2 billion Christians is "Let justice and peace flow". As a school we will think about what this justice and peace looks like in relation to climate and ecological awareness and action, alongside consideration for those communities affected by teh impact of man-made and natural ecological disasters. The future is endangered by humankinds use of resources and inability to separate personal need from global justice and we want our OLOL children to see that they will be the generation that has the power to make the greatest change. During this season, say the Prayer for the Season of Creation and the small things to make family change (all of our small actions put together then create greater change over time!).
To Protect and Heal God's Creation
We have come to renew our covenant with God and with one another in Christ Jesus, our Lord. We have come to help protect God's creation. We have come as followers of Jesus to commit ourselves anew to one another and to heal
injustice and poverty.
We have come to stand together against all threats to life.
We have come to discover some new beauty every day in God's creation: the sunrise and sunset, birds, flowers and trees, rainbows in the sky, the stars, the many forms of life in the forest.
We have come to listen to the "music of the universe"- water flowing over rocks, the wind, trees bending in the wind, raindrops pattering the roof.
We will remember always that God speaks to us through the beauty of his creation, and we will try our best to answer God's call to reverence all that he has created.
“Something good in the eyes of God has become something exploitable in human hands.”
Welcome Back OLOL!
It is so wonderful to welcome you all back to school, safe and sound, after the long summer holidays. I'm sure I saw some happy parents too yesterday after your busy summer's entertaining the family! The weather was definitely unpredictable but I really hope that all of our families shared happy times together and are raring to go for another busy year at OLOL. May God watch over the children, staff and families at OLOL for this coming school year as we embark on new adventures in faith and learning together. Help us to see the excitement that comes from new learning and to treat this as a fresh start. May we all share in the joy of witness, sharing of the Good News and living lives where all of our words and actions in play, in prayer, in work and in family life are considered, and lead us to proclaim God's glory in all things. Help us to speak truth to justice and give service in what ever way we can. Amen