Unfortunately it has been necessary to cancel the Batley Torchlight Procession this year. St. Mary’s Church has being undergoing extensive repairs to the roof and in planning the work it was hoped that the scaffolding would be removed and the work completed before the Torchlight was due to take place on Monday 2nd October. Following discussions with Bishop Marcus it was agreed in the interests of safety that the procession be cancelled for this year only.
Our new Year 7 students took part in Rainbow Days last week. A series of days to allow them to explore and learn more about the Catholic life of our school. We had fun missions, a photography project on finding evidence of Christ in our School – who is everywhere! – singing practice and a teaching Mass. Next Thursday the Year 7 induction will end with our Rainbow Mass when all come together to celebrate becoming part of the St. John Fisher Family.
Congratulations to all of the young people of our deanery who received the Sacrament of Confirmation on Tuesday evening at St. Patrick’s Church, Birstall. It was a wonderful occasion and a great witness of the Holy Spirit at work in our community.
On Thursday 16th March Year 9 walked down to Our Lady & St. Paulinus church in Dewsbury for our Year Group Mass.
Fr. Patrick Mungovin celebrated the Mass for us and in his homily he spoke about our solar system on how all the planets orbit the sun, and that is how it should be in our relationship with God. He should be a centre of everything that we do. As we are in the season of Lent, Fr. Patrick pointed out that the readings we heard, read by Olivia Brennan and Frances Newman-Burke, were perfect instructions on how we should live during lent through prayer, fasting and almsgiving (acts of charity).
After Mass we carried our school banners with pride back to school through Dewsbury Park – it is good to let our local community know who we are and leave them with a good impression.
Once again St. John Fisher Catholic Voluntary Academy students have excelled, bringing donations and filling shoeboxes with gifts and treats for the Samaritans Purse Charity Operation Christmas Child Appeal.
A group of Year 10 students gave up their break and lunchtimes to fill and wrap boxes and our Year 7 students helped to load them up ready for collection.
85 boxes and £70.00 to help with postage costs were handed over to help make a difference to less fortunate children throughout the world.
Students are bowled over to be having a visit and coaching session from the Vatican’s own cricket team.
Members of St Peter’s XI, accompanied by members of Batley’s Mount Cricket Club, joined in the brief visit.
The sporting highlights of the Vatican XI’s Yorkshire tour will be playing a Twenty20 match with a multi-faith community XI from Batley at the town’s PKWA Centre on the afternoon of Sunday, 18th September, and the following evening facing top Mid-Yorkshire Sunday League club, Mount CC, in a Twenty20 match on the ‘hallowed ground’ of Headingley.
With interfaith issues firmly on their agenda, both teams are hoping to illustrate to the area’s young people that they can be true to their own faiths, yet at the same time cherish diversity. The tour was arranged to show that a love of cricket can unite and empower people regardless of nationality or faith. Their intentions are: ‘To be ambassadors for our respective religions and correct misunderstandings, continuing to build on the fellowship and the generosity of spirit that we have experienced on and off the field, and extending this to the wider community.’
The touring Vatican XI is made up of an international team of Catholic priests and seminarians. Two are English, 8 are from India and 1 from Pakistan. They are all studying for the priesthood at the Venerable English College in Rome. One of the team members is West Yorkshire-born Rev. Elliott Wright, who played for Yorkshire Schools’ teams before training for the priesthood. Off-spin bowler Elliott knew he wanted to be a priest from the age of 14 and is being ordained in Leeds Cathedral next July. This will give food for thought to the young men in Year 10 at St John Fisher Catholic Academy, as they welcome Elliott and his fellow trainee priests to their school for a special ‘Vocations’ school assembly!
The generosity of our school community was, once again, amazing. During our December food drive we were inundated with tins and dried food, chocolates and small gifts for those less fortunate than ourselves. These donations were split between Catholic Care and Batley Food Bank. Pictured below are some of our students loading up the school minibus with food to deliver.
Sixth Form students continued the Fisher tradition this morning to stage the Live Crib in this period of advent. Mary was played by Chloe Flynn and Joseph by Luke Norris with a guest appearance of baby Edie Hartley who played the beautiful baby Jesus. Over £55 was raised by those who gathered to watch the annual event which will help fund the pilgrimage to Lourdes.
PRAYER FOR THE YEAR OF MERCY, Diocese of Leeds
O God, Father most merciful, you created the world in wisdom and in love, and you walk with your children on the journey of life, pardoning and welcoming them always. Your Beloved Son, the visible face of your mercy, is present in our midst. He loves us with a heart full of merciful love, and teaches us to be merciful and to love one another.
Grant to us your children, as we celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy, an outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the Consoler, that our hearts may be open to our brothers and sisters who hunger and thirst for mercy, and the Good News of your merciful love may be always and everywhere proclaimed. Through Christ our Lord.