Welcome to our Whole School Catholic Life page for 2022/2023 – 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), individual Class Catholic Life pages and other pages in this section of the website, as they are filled with more active faith at OLOL.
Memorial of the Guardian Angels October 2022
On 2nd October we memorialise the Guardian Angels. At Mass on Thursday, Father Séan reminded us about the Archangels Michael (Strength of God), Gabriel (Messenger of God) and Raphael (Healer from God) and we talked about our Guardian Angels also. We all have a guardian angel who, sent by God, watches over us from birth to death and then presents us to our Heavenly Father when the time comes. We cannot see them and we do not know their names, we do not need to, and they are there to care for us, protect us and guide us along the right path through our lives. Remember to say the Prayer to our Guardian Angel
Angel of God, my guardian dear
To whom God’s love commits me here
Ever this day be at my side
To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen
“Beside each believer stands an Angel as protector and shepherd, leading him to life”. St. Basil the Great
”Our Guardian Angels are our most faithful friends, because they are with us day and night, always and everywhere. We ought often to invoke them.” St. John Vianney
Macmillan Coffee Morning at OLOL September 2022
St Pio of Pietrelcina/Our Lady of Walsingham September 2022
This week’s Mrs D RE Challenge was to think about the life of St Pio of Pietrelcina (affectionately remembered as Padre Pio for us older generations) and also to remember Our Lady of Walsingham. As always the work of the children has been superb and will take pride of place in our Celebration of Catholic Life album. You will find the new RE Challenge in each week’s newsletter and this year we will focus in using our artistic talents to represent the lives of the Saints.
St Vincent de Paul Assembly - led by the Mini Vinnies Team (SVP)
our Mini Vinnie Team led a lovely assembly this week discussing the life and work of St Vincent de Paul. St Vincent worked with the rich and the poor but it was his work with the poor as a priest that led him to his greatest understanding of what God wanted him to do. He focussed on the poor and marginalised, striving to provide and educate so that their lives could be better and more equal with others. Our Mini Vinnies follow the path of the Vincentian’s, those who belong to the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP), an organisation who do good for the poor in very practical ways. Our Mini Vinnies frequently raise money or collect items to help others in our community. We have an SVP shop very close to our school so perhaps families could donate 1 thing and buy 1 thing to support the running of these vital community shops. The SVP website for donations is here https://www.svp.org.uk/donate-now
Be like a Mini Vinnie: SEE - THINK - DO
“Deal with the most urgent needs. Organise charity so that it is more efficient…teach reading and writing, educate with the aim of giving each the means of self-support. Intervene with authorities to obtain reforms in structure… there is no charity without justice.” St Vincent de Paul
St Thérèse of Lisieux - Little Way Week 2022
26th September - Feast 1st October
This week we celebrate Little Way Week, a week inspired by St Thérèse of Lisieux and her devotion to the work of missionaries. A week which we hope will inspire us to follow her “little way” in our own faith lives. She showed us the importance of small acts of kindness and a willingness to share God with others. When her poor health prevented her becoming a missionary herself, she became a nun instead and during her time in the convent write her ideas for being kind and doing good for others (the Little Way). St Thérèse was a member of Mission Together (it had a different name when she was born, can you find out what that was OLOL?) and our school supports the work of Missio today. St Thérèse died when she was only 24 years old so she did not have many tears to share her gifts but she left us a lasting message about how to do small things with care and love for others and the world, as God wants us too.
Challenge - Can you find out who St Thérèse’s parents were?
Challenge - Why is St Thérèse called the Little Flower?
Blessing OLOL Classrooms
Thank you to Deacon Tim who visited us to bless the learning and playing spaces of the children for the start of our new school year.
Ss Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Ha-sang and Companions September 2022
In this week’s newsletter, I set my first Mrs D RE Challenge (#MrsDREChallenge). The focus was the Korean lay Saints Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Ha-sang and the other Korean martyrs whose Feast we celebrate on 20th September. When Christianity came to Korea, the laity rather than clergy spread it. These lay missionaries became very learned using materials from other countries and kept the faith alive in very difficult circumstances. As Catholicism developed and became more popular in the 19th Century, these faithful were persecuted for studying and worshipping. This week I have asked children to create portraits of these Saints to start a new album of pupil’s religious creative work.
Evangelli Gaudium Sunday Sept 2022
On Sunday 18th September we celebrate Evangelli Gaudium Sunday, a time to consider the joy that the Word of God as shared through the Gospels brings to us all. Pope Francis wants us to celebrate the beauty of our faith and also find ways to bear witness to that faith. There is much beauty in our Catholic Church from the Eucharist, to the buildings and structures where we gather, to the people that are witness what it means to live with Christ. This is the day to remember that and contemplate how we can share this beauty with others…
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. Evangelli Gaudium, 14
In Memorium: Junior Bubala Sept 2020
Today (17th Sept) is the 2nd anniversary of the death of Junior. Many of our current staff and a few older pupils will remember this young man with great affection and our school community continues to mourn his 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. “One thing only I ask you, that you remember me at the altar of the Lord.” St Monica
CAFOD Assembly Sept 2022
We are great fans of the CAFOD National Assemblies at OLOL and the “Brighten Up” assembly this week was no exception. In our current global cost of living crisis, coupled with the impact of relentless climate change, this assembly provided us with the opportunity to think about harvest and hunger. During the Season of Advent we will complete our usual almsgiving for CAFOD in support of our brothers and sisters across the globe, including our own country, who do not have enough to eat.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Matthew 25
Exaltation of the Holy Cross Sept 2022
Our whole school attended Mass today (14th Sept) to celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. On this date we think about the finding if the cross on which Jesus died by St Helena in the 4th Century, in Jerusalem. 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 shared their commitment to their vocation with the whole school community, as we do at the start of each school year.
"We should glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, for he is our salvation, our life and our resurrection: through him we are saved and made free."
Compassionate & Loving Sept 2022
Today, each class thought about our Jesuit Virtue focus for the half term in detail. We prayed for the life of Queen Elizabeth II, we shared the story of the Prodigal Son to consider what compassion, love can look like, and how important it is to demonstrate these two virtues in our life. What are the characteristics of compassion and love? 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.
Education Sunday Sept 2022
On Sunday 11th September we celebrate Education Sunday. We talked about this very special day in our Assembly this week and I encourage all of our families to attend Mass on Sunday to give thanks for the gift of education, a gift for “enlightening the mind” – the theme of this years celebration!
On this day let us give thanks for the availability of free, quality, Catholic education for the children at OLOL (but the education received by all in our country in whatever format it comes). We give thanks for equality in education; that our children can learn together no matter their gender, religion, social status – a gift not afforded to all in our world. We give thanks for our teachers, support staff and school leaders who work incessantly for the good of the children in their care.
“On this Education Sunday, let us give thanks in prayer for all the staff in our Catholic schools, colleges and universities, and pray that our lives will be enlightened always by the truth which comes from the Eternal Word of God."
Rt Rev Marcus Stock
Bishop of Leeds/Chair of the Catholic Education Service
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II RIP
21st April 1926 - 8th September 2022
Today we received the sad announcement that our Queen has died at the age of 96. She died peacefully with many members of her family around her, in a place she loved. Our nation will mourn over the coming weeks, the loss of this wonderful person. Our hearts will be full though as we remember the legacy of her life of duty, integrity, service and faith…a life filled with active evidence of her commitment to her Christian faith which she allowed to guide her towards the deep understanding that her role was to be the head of state, the head of the Church of England and to be the figurehead for our United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. Queen Elizabeth, our longest reigning monarch represented something special in our country but before all else we must remember that she was a daughter, sister, mum, granny and great granny who was loved by her family and our school community prays for them in their grief at this difficult time. We will give thanks for her devoted and often selfless regard for her subjects, in this country and beyond. We will pray for the life and work of her son and heir, King Charles III that he serves his country with the dedication and faithfulness of his mother. We pray for the repose of her soul, that she returns to the loving and merciful arms of our Heavenly Father. Eternal rest, grant unto her O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen
Relics of St Bernadette - Oct 2022
This October, the relics of St Bernadette will go on a pilgrimage tour of the UK, visiting the Archdiocese of Birmingham on the weekend of 7th Oct (till 10th). This is a fabulous opportunity for our families to experience pilgrimage close at hand, and as a Parish community dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes, it would be fantastic for our school and parish to take part in this experience. You can find more information and registration for the churches in the Archdiocese where veneration and Masses will take place at this website https://stbernadette.org.uk/
God has a plan for each of us,
and His plan is wonderful! Sept 2022
Today we gathered as a school family for our first liturgical assembly of the year. The children have remembered how to be reverent in prayer and sharing the Word, and in this assembly, we thought about the plan that God has for each one of 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 sang with superb voice to glorify and thank the Father to end this special time together as a community. We will keep reminding our OLOL family (child or adult) 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…
Jesuit Virtues: Compassionate/Loving
September – October 2022
We start our new term together thinking about our new Jesuit Virtue pair. At OLOL, we are Compassionate and we are Loving. When we think about others, share their suffering, listen, support and empathise, we are showing our compassion. When we show mercy, loyalty and love to all, we are being loving. This half term we will look at how to develop these virtues in ourselves and share them with others. Try to find ways at home to encourage your children (and yourselves) to show compassion and love to all. Father Sean and I will award certificates to 2 pupils in each class who impress their teachers this half term with their demonstration of these virtues
The Season of Creation at OLOL
At our school, we continue to give great attention through prayer and practical action to the Papal Encyclical, Laudato Si. Our commitment to our common home is clearly evidenced in our pupil voice groups for Eco School’s, gardening, school council etc. Our geography and science curriculum that explicitly reference care for our planet, alongside a deep commitment to Forest Education and Outdoor Learning. Our affirmative actions in recycling, reusing, reducing within the school. Our awards including Live Simply (we were the first primary school in our Archdiocese to be awarded this by CAFOD), our 2x Green Flag status (most recently with distinction) and our current engagement with Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC). OLOL is a community that cares for and takes action on the welfare of our planet!
In this annual Season of Creation (1st Sept – 4th Oct) we are given additional opportunities to think globally and act locally for our planet – we know that starting with the small things will join our activity in union with others to create larger impact. Imagine if every Christian celebrating this season took practical action alongside prayer and reflection, what could be achieved….let us ‘Listen to the voice of Creation’ this year!
Our newsletter will keep you informed over the weeks about how we are actioning our commitment further. Year 1 have St Francis as their class saint and so will celebrate the patron of ecology as the Season of Creation ends on 4th October.
Welcome back to School OLOL!
How wonderful to have our school family back together again for another year of faith and learning the OLOL way! The children have returned looking healthy, happy, smartly dressed and eager to start learning again! We pray that this year will bring us many graces and blessings as we continue the important work as staff and parents of forming these children into who God intends them to be, with plenty of fun and adventure on that journey!