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St Francis Xavier

Collective Worship & British Values

Get Ready For Our ‘Virtual Lourdes Pilgrimage’

With the finishing line in sight on our 16-day Walk of Hope, it’s time to get ready for our “Virtual Pilgrimage” during the week we would have been in Lourdes.

Bishop Terry and priests throughout the diocese will lead a full programme of online services from Saturday May 23 to Thursday May 28, at around the times our liturgies would have been taking place.

“In normal times we would currently finalising preparations to travel on pilgrimage to Lourdes,” said pilgrimage director Keith Tillotson.

“Unfortunately, the world we find ourselves in today is anything but normal. Despite that, it’s been wonderful to see hundreds of people enjoying travelling with us on our virtual journey to Lourdes, where I believe Heaven and Earth are closest.”

Hundreds of people have been taking part in our Facebook walk from Middlesbrough to Lourdes, travelling around 65 miles together each day through England and France by each adding anything from 100 yards up to a few miles to our running total.

Our journey has also included daily prayers, nostalgic photos of the previous 66 pilgrimages, personal testimonials about the impact Lourdes has had on people’s lives and live-streamed recitations of the Rosary every evening.

We have used the 2020 Lourdes theme of “I am the Immaculate Conception”, echoing Mary’s words to Bernadette, with each day focusing on a different apparition.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to all who were involved in the preparation and journey,” said Keith. “It was a truly amazing experience, a real sign of Lourdes being lived right here at home among our wonderful Lourdes family.

 

“We are now ready to begin our Virtual Pilgrimage, so I hope you all continue following us each day as we share in a spiritual way with our supported pilgrims who are unable to take part in the pilgrimage in the way we had all hoped.

“Let’s continue to make this a very special experience where we continue to support one another and pray alongside one another as we look forward to the day when we can be together in Lourdes once again.”

The week-long programme, which begins with the opening Mass at 4pm on Saturday May 23, includes services streamed from Hull, Redcar, Whitby and York, as well as two shared services with the Archdiocese of Birmingham, who are usually in Lourdes at the same time.

We will also use technology to recreate the famous Torchlight Marian Procession, which usually takes place each evening, and party night, when musicians and entertainers will take turns to stream live from their homes.

After the Virtual Pilgrimage Bishop Terry will celebrate a national Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral in Middlesbrough for NHS and key workers, which will be live-streamed across the country at 7pm on Thursday May 28.

Send your Lourdes testimonies and reflections to communications@rcdmidd.org.uk.

To join our torchlight procession, send a photo of yourself with a candle, or a video of you saying the Hail Mary with a candle, to patrickharrison000@gmail.com by May 21.

To send prayer intentions to be remembered during our Virtual Pilgrimage, email middlesbroughlourdespetitions@gmail.com

We will place all the petitions on the altar for our opening Mass and then send them to Lourdes sanctuary vice rector Monsignor Xavier, who will take them to the Grotto.

Virtual Lourdes Pilgrimage 2020

 Prayers can be found on the Cafod website

Faith at Home

It is the religious nature of our school that makes us truly distinctive from other good and outstanding schools.

At St. Francis Xavier, our Christian values and heritage form the foundations of all that we do.

In our day-to-day lives in school, the command to ‘love God’ and ‘’love neighbour’ are lived out in our striving to be the very best that we can, whilst always remembering and caring for others.  A number of acts of Collective Worship take place each week, some of which are whole school, some for individual year groups, and others that are purely voluntary. It is very much the policy of the school, to actively encourage all our pupils to be open to the spiritual aspect of life here at St. Francis Xavier School.

The joint faith nature of the school is a feature of which we are very proud, and our community is supported by two denominational chaplains. In addition to the weekly schedule of class and school assemblies, full Christian acts of worship take place throughout the year.

All pupils take part in at least two Eucharistic services annually, one Catholic and one Anglican, when all children receive either communion or a blessing in line with the respective church traditions. Christmas, Easter and the end of the school year are celebrated with whole school liturgies involving many of the pupils in the delivery of readings and prayers. A voluntary Eucharistic service is held each week and is well attended.

Our philosophy is that coming together at these times helps us grow personally and develop a love of our neighbour that we can take from school into our homes and the wider community. Children of other faith backgrounds are very welcome within our school, and this sharing of common beliefs and recognition of differences is a quality we hope will develop in our pupils into tolerance, understanding and respect for all.

Mini Holy week retreat

Reading for use with Holy week

Easter at home

Holy week resources

 

British Values

At St. Francis Xavier, our Christian values sit comfortably with British Values. In our day-to-day lives in school, the command to ‘love God’ and ‘’love neighbour’ are lived out in our striving to be the very best that we can, whilst always remembering and caring for others.  

This simple but powerful ethos embraces:

Democracy - lived out through the democratic voting system we use for election to student council and the selection process for Head Boy and Head Girl.

Tolerance - education is key to tolerance. Educating students to understand and celebrate differences encourages tolerance.

Mutual Respect - as a small school we soon get to know one another and the mutual respect feeds through all aspects of our daily lives from collective worship to  simple acts of kindness.

Individual Liberty - the freedom of free speech is an important part of our society and one we nurture in school.

The Rule of Law - the rules we have in school are designed to ensure that each person has guidance so that they can uphold the school ethos.

The joint faith nature of the school is a feature of which we are very proud, and is further evidence of the mutual respect in school. Our philosophy is that coming together in school helps us grow personally and develop a better understanding of British Values that we can take from school into our homes and the wider community.