Sadly, due to poverty and injustice, this harvest will not be bright for millions of children and young people around the world who will miss out on food, clean water and even on going to school.
But your support is helping to change this! Last year, schools around England and Wales joined us to
Brighten Up and help make the world a brighter place for communities living in extreme poverty. Your fundraising has been enabling CAFOD partners to work alongside the poorest communities as they find ways to overcome their many challenges. Thank you!
St Edmund’s will ‘ Brighten Up’ on the Annual Fast Day this Friday 5 October. We will be continuing to collect loose change in our ‘Cafod Pyramid Boxes’, and on Friday we are asking students and staff to either donate the amount of something they normally treat themselves to like a chocolate bar, doughnut etc or to give up their normal lunch instead choose Leek and Potato soup with a roll for £1 cash in the canteen, which will be served by the Lay Chaplain and staff. All the money will be donated to Cafod. A special thanks go’s to our catering staff for making the soup provided.
During this week, some of our students have had assemblies, highlighting the work Cafod does and our prayer theme for the school for this week is Cafod.
The good news is that the number of hungry people in our world is falling, but with 793 million of our sisters and brothers still undernourished, we cannot give up.*
We can all be part of helping to eradicate global poverty and building a brighter world. Whatever you do to Brighten Up, thank you.
Make a difference!
£1 buys seeds for a family to grow beans
£7 buys a treated mosquito net that keeps children safe from malaria
£33 supplies one family with safe, clean water in their home
£300 buys a mobile health team for remote communities that don’t have hospitals
Starting tomorrow lunchtime, Thursday 4th October 2018.
The whole community of St Edmund’s Catholic Academy is invited to come to the Chapel in their lunchtime to take 5 minutes out of their busy day, light a candle and sit in the Chapel. Taking time to either pray for someone or themselves or just take some time to be quiet and reflect on the day, while music is playing softly in the background. This is a great thing to do not only at school but for yourselves at home, it is great for your wellbeing, helping you to keep calm and relieve the stresses of the day- why not try it.
Everyone leaves with a very small gift and a positive quote like
‘Do Small things with great Love’
‘Happiness is not something ready made, it comes from your own actions’
Or one of my personal favourites ‘A smile Costs Nothing’.
October is Rosary Month
The students and staff at St Edmunds Catholic Academy are invited to the Chapel on a Tuesday evening, after school, to look at how to say the Rosary and learn more about this great ‘tool’ for prayers and meditation. The Rosary beads are provided. Why not come along…
October 7th is the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary and the month of October is traditionally the month of the rosary. Why did the Blessed Mother ask us to pray the rosary at many of her approved apparitions such as at Fatima? Why should we pray at all?
We know that God is perfect and perfectly happy, so he doesn’t need our prayers or affections… but he loves us and wants us to be happy. He wants to have a loving relationship with us both now and for eternity. God is potentially the greatest source of happiness we can possibly have, as God is the greatest, the most beautiful, most loving, all-powerful and all-knowledgeable being in existence
Prayer is a way to help us get in touch with God and to develop a relationship with him. In prayer we not only talk with God, but God communicates with us. As we continue to pray, our relationship with God grows, and we are transformed more into the people we are meant to be.
So why pray the rosary?
One reason the Blessed Mother asked us to pray the rosary might be because it can benefit anyone at any stage of the spiritual life from beginners to advanced. The rosary is a vocal prayer, a meditation and can lead to contemplation as Pope John Paul II mentioned in his encyclical Rosary of the Virgin Mary.
“A path of contemplation … But the most important reason for strongly encouraging the practice of the Rosary is that it represents a most effective means of fostering among the faithful that commitment to the contemplation of the Christian mystery which I have proposed in the Apostolic Letter Novo Millenio Ineuente as a genuine ‘training in holiness’: ‘What is needed is a Christian life distinguished above all in the art of prayer’. Inasmuch as contemporary culture, even amid so many indications to the contrary, has witnessed the flowering of a new call for spirituality, due also to the influence of other religions, it is more urgent than ever that our Christian communities should become ‘genuine schools of prayer’. The Rosary belongs among the finest and most praiseworthy traditions of Christian contemplation.”
Chaplaincy Commission Mass
On Thursday 20th September all the Chaplaincy Teams, Lay Chaplain, Chaplains, across the Birmingham Diocese along with 10 students from St Edmund’s Catholic Academy our Lay Chaplain Mrs Ferris and Mr White came together to celebrate Mass at St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham.
The Mass was presided by Bishop David McGough and music provided by members of the Kenelm Trust, the Alton and Soli Teams. We had been asked beforehand if we would provide two students to take the Offertory and 2 students to Alter Serve.
I was so proud of Abigail Caron and Georgia Luliano who were a credit to themselves and the school, serving for the Bishop is not easy especially in a different church in front of so many schools.
During the Mass the Lay Chaplains and the student Chaplaincy members were Commissoned and made their yearly promise to, ‘With the help of God be ready and willing to serve’. After our promise we were blessed with Holy Water.
Bishop David thanked everyone for everything they were doing in the schools and like Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gon and His Companions who’s feast day it was to continue Evangelising and to Love One Another.
Next week a group of students from years 9 and 10 will be on Retreat with Mrs Ferris and Mrs Badham. They will be travelling to the new Soli House in Staffordshire for 3 nights and 4 days of time to pray, rest, have fun and take time to reflect on themselves, the world and their faith.
The theme of the week will be Legends. Tommy Rowan, the new director of Soli, and his team have put together a great programme of events and activities such as Bin Bag Superheroes, Dragon’s Den, Emmaus Walk, My Hero, Bubble Football and Escape Room. There will also be more reflective time through group work, prayers and Mass.
The week will be shared with students from Bishop Challoner Catholic College so our students will have the opportunity to make new friends from across the city, ensuring a great time will be had my all.
Please keep those attending in your prayers, just as they will be praying for everyone in the St. Edmund’s and Bishop Cleary family.
This year sees the end of an era for Principal Maggie Hughes, who has been in the teaching profession for 38 years.
On Friday the 31st of August, Mrs Hughes will retire from her role of Principal and pass on the role to Vice Principal, Mrs Hazeldine.
After securing her degree at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Mrs Hughes taught Mathematics at many different schools in the Walsall region. In 1989 she was appointed her first lead role as Head of KS4 at St Thomas More Catholic School, which would be the start of an era of leadership roles at alternating schools.
Maggie Hughes joined the St Edmund’s community in September of 2007 as Deputy Headteacher. As St Edmund’s underwent its transformation from a school to an academy, Mrs Hughes was appointed by the Directors as Principal after the retirement of former Principal, Deirdre Finucane. Mrs Hughes has taken the academy from strength to strength, and has achieved much in her time here, such as a ‘Good’ from the Ofsted inspection of March 2016, and the Ubi Caritas Award from Archbishop Longley in recognition of her role in leading all that is exceptional in Catholic education.
The academy is now over-subscribed with approximately 630 children applying for the 200 places available in Year 7 in September 2018 and has a thriving Sixth Form. Clearly, Mrs Hughes has helped to form the school into the distinguished Academy it is today. She will be sorely missed.
Mrs Hughes retires this year
St Peters and St Pauls Mass
The Solemnity of St Peters and St Paul is this Friday 29th June, which is a Holy Day of Obligation. The whole school, students and staff, we will be walking to St Michael’s Catholic Church on Coalway Road, Penn to celebrate Mass with our Chaplain Monsignor Mark Crisp as the celebrant. This will be a true show of our faith, as a school and a joyous celebration.
St Peter and St Paul were two great Christian Martyrs, Christians who were prepared to stand by their faith in spite of persecution, or threats of death. Through them, the church first received our faith.
He was firstly a Jewish leader who saw Christianity as a direct threat to the Jewish way of life. He persecuted Jesus’ followers in a bid to wipe them out. He famously converted to Christianity on the road to Damascus, having had an apparition from the risen Lord.
He then set about preaching the Good News of Christ. He suffered tremendously for his newfound faith, he had several stints in prison and suffered a gruesome martyrdom in Rome AD 62
Was a humble fisherman who didn’t always agree with Jesus and occasionally rebuked him. He recognised the true nature of Jesus “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” but he also denied Jesus when his life was threatened. He saw the error of his ways, repented, wept for his sins and was forgiven by Jesus.
He was elected as the leader of the Jesus’ followers… “You are the rock on this rock I will build my Church.”
He became a fervent preacher and leader in the early Church. He went to Rome to preach the Good News. His faith, along with that of thousands of followers was challenged but he did not give up.
He was crucified for his faith in 64AD.
On Friday 25th May 2018, the staff turned the school purple by wearing purple clothes to raise funds for Pancreatic Cancer. ‘Wear it Purple’ day is normally in November but St Edmund’s Catholic Academy decided to have theirs near to the anniversary of the passing of their beloved colleague Mandy Whittaker who sadly died of Pancreatic Cancer a year ago.
The staff also purchased lapel pins and pens and the students held a cake sale during break and lunchtimes. Sam Hamilton one of our catering staff made many cakes with purple icing on and other members of staff donated cakes.
Thank you to all involved including the new appointed six form Chaplaincy team, who gave up their time or donated in any way. We raised £101.25 from the sale of the lapel pins and £98.75 from the sale of the cakes and from donations.
On Tuesday 5th June many primary schools in the diocese, along with schools from the Bishop Cleary MAC, including St Edmund’s Catholic Academy, gathered together at St Michael’s Catholic Church in Penn to celebrate ‘The Good Shepherd’ Mass.
The choir and a group of musicians from St. Edmund’s Catholic Academy provided the music and were led by Mr Bard. Students from the different schools in attendance read the scripture and bidding prayers, including two students from St Edmund’s. Four of our Altar Servers did us proud and were a credit to themselves and our school.
Students brought gifts during the offertory and offered donations they had helped to raise money for, for the Father Hudson Society. Some of the ‘Hope Community’ also joined us to celebrate Mass. The Hope Community Project is based in Wolverhampton and is one of the many causes that the Father Hudson Society supports.
Unfortunately, Bishop David couldn’t be with us but Monsignor Mark Crisp did a fabulous job of stepping in. He led us all in a prayer about being a ‘Good Shepherd’ to one another, one very important way that we can Love and Serve the Lord.
Tomorrow, Thursday 10th May we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of Lord ; as we celebrate this beautiful Feast, we remember the promise and invitation of the Lord, the promise is the Gift of the Holy Spirit, the invitation was to return to Jerusalem and await this promised gift. The Church invites us to wait and pray, may we do so with Pope John XXlll’s ‘lnvocation’ Prayer:
‘Renew Your wonders in this our day,
as by a new Pentecost.
Grant to Your Church that,
Being of one mind and steadfast in prayer with Mary,
the Mother of Jesus, and following the
lead of blessed Peter,
it may advance the reign of our Divine Saviour,
the reign of truth
and justice, the reign of love and peace.