Our Parish Priest is Fr (Dr) Prem Fernando
St Thomas More Parish Church
Our church is situated at:
142 Oxford Road,
Tel: (01865) 377093
Fax: (01865) 842265
Summer Term 1- Grateful and Generous
Pupils and staff alike in school are growing to be grateful for their own gifts, for the gift of other people, and for the blessings of each day; and generous with their gifts, becoming men and women for others.
Gratitude is always Saint Ignatius’ starting point. Before we reflect or pray, discern or make a decision, begin a new day, or embark on anything important, he calls on us to remember everything that we have to be grateful for. His little daily spiritual exercise, the examen, begins with gratitude. “If the only prayer you said was ‘Thank you’, that would be enough.” Meister Eckhart OP (1260-1328)
If you are attentive to your own responses to what happens in your daily life, you will probably notice that a lot of it is down to a feeling of entitlement – a feeling that I am due certain things, courtesies, privileges, comforts, rewards, breaks. Ignatius wants us to think and feel in a different way. Instead of insisting on your entitlements, consider rather what has already been gifted to you: your health and family, shelter and security, enough to eat
People who lack generosity are often fearful that they will lose something by giving and be diminished. But those who have experienced the freedom of being generous discover that the opposite is true. The more you give, the more will be given you (Luke 6:38). Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, “Never measure your generosity by what you give, but rather by what you have left.” This is what it means to be big-hearted and truly generous. Gratitude and generosity are the virtues which underlie an attitude to life that is outward looking, regards other people as precious gifts, and encourages young people to grow to be men and women for others.
Ash Wednesday Mass
Please click on the link below to view the Ash Wednesday Mass led by Father Prem. The children attended Mass by zoom and then the ashes were administered after the Mass in school. It was a pleasure to be a part of the Mass with Father Prem, the children the Parish and school community.
Spring Term 2- Intentional & Prophetic
The children have written their intentions sharing what they mean to do to grow as a person. Their written messages of intent, are displayed in the school hall and their class learning journals/prayer tables.
|Understanding the Virtues: Intentional & Prophetic|
|An intentional person is someone who lives deliberately; someone who builds up their own worldview and then tries to live by it. To live intentionally is to march to the beat of a different drummer.
The busy-ness of life can sometimes feel overwhelming. It is no different for young people: demands made by schoolwork and examinations, the many activities to which their parents ferry them, peer pressure and social media, and just growing up and finding their place in an increasingly complex and fractured world. Of course there is excitement and often fulfilment in all this. But the pressure to conform and go along with what everyone else thinks and says and does is immense. The effect is to lose control – a feeling that this whirl of activity is not allowing me to be me.
Jesus Christ was a person who lived intentionally and is a model of a good human life. (CJE n.61) His words, actions and example reflect his values.
Intentional living is about the choices I make and the ethical code I live by. But this can have a positive impact on others if I share it.
Being prophetic is about being seen to do good and about speaking out for what is right. Good news is only good news if it is announced.
Being prophetic isn’t about telling the future; it is about living out God’s future for me today.
However much the values of the world, the assumptions and prejudices of those around us, seem to be unassailable, Christ calls us in a different direction to a life characterized by compassion, faith, hope and, above all, love. Trying to live in an intentional and prophetic way is what ultimately makes us human.
Spring Term 1 – Curious and Active
We have been investigating what the virtues Curious and Active mean to us and the impact it has on our lives.
Understanding the Virtues: Curious & Active
|Saint Ignatius had the great insight that not only were all things made by God and held in existence by God, but that God was working through all of creation for my benefit. This is often expressed as ‘finding God in all things’ and shapes the Jesuit approach to learning.
All things are worthy of our attention, curiosity and study because in each one of them there is the possibility of finding God; and not only God but God doing something for me. This is why Jesuit schools insist on the broadest possible curriculum (a magis or greater and deeper curriculum) and offer the widest variety of extra-curricular activities they can.
Curiosity is needed to sustain learning. It is what keeps us going through the difficult stuff; it is what opens up new horizons and allows the possibility of ‘finding God in all things.’ Curiosity is key to the Jesuit method of education.
In the Jesuit tradition, learning is something to be actively engaged in by probing, seeking, asking, challenging, and questioning until the truth is plain – it is to think for oneself and to become an independent and lifelong learner.
It is not often that schoolchildren get the opportunity to change the world but Jesuit schools challenge them to ‘think globally and act locally’, to get involved, changing what they can for the time being, using what they have learned to make small differences, so that they are ready for the day when they can make a big difference.
When, in 1540, he sent St Francis Xavier to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth, St Ignatius said, “Go, set the world ablaze!” This is what Jesuit schools hope for their pupils as they step out into adult life, active and curious.
Collective Worship Assemblies
Click on the links below to view some of our Collective Worship assemblies, some of which were planned and led by the children (our Catholic Ambassadors) for you to look at with your children: