School Prayers

Prayer: At the beginning of the day.

Father; as we begin another day at school,
we ask you to protect and guide us.
We offer you our work and pray that today we will be happy.
Help us to co-operate with each other, and with our teachers,
so that we may grow together as one inspired by the Holy Spirit
and united in our Lord, Jesus Christ.

St Richard Gwyn

Pray for us.
Amen

Prayer: During the day.

Father your Son, Jesus Christ has taught us that our talents are on
trust from you.
Help us to use these talents to the full.

St Richard Gwyn

Pray for us.
Amen

Prayer: At the end of the day.

Lord, thank you for giving us this day
in which we have tried to do our best for you.
May we be filled with your Holy Spirit.

St Richard Gwyn

Pray for us.
Amen


Catholic Prayers

The “Our Father”

Our Father who art in heaven
hallowed be your name
your kingdom come
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.

Amen

The “Hail Mary”

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you,
blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your
womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners, now and at
the hour of our death.

Amen

The “Glory Be”

Glory be to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit
as it was in the beginning
is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Amen

The “Eternal Rest”

Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.

Amen


Focus Week

Angel Days

Gorillaz - Demon Days

Father,
We thank you for
Angel Days
When we join with your
angels
To become messengers of
The Good News
to everyone we meet…
…In our school
…In our homes
…With our friends.
Help us to listen to your word
Spoken to us this week.

Amen


Holocaust Remembered

Holocaust

The school took a lead with this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day. With its theme of ‘one person can make a difference’ we focussed on how even small actions made a difference to the persecuted.

Through a series of short readings and reflections, internal and external communication, weekly prayers, assemblies and classwork, pupils were invited to think about what it means to be part of humanity and to reflect upon the depths to which humanity can fall.

Then, through a variety of powerpoint slides depicting Holocaust heroes – including images of Jane Haining, a Scottish missionary who died in Auschwitz because she had remained in Budapest after Nazi occupation to care for Jewish children, and Nicholas Winton, an English stockbroker who saved the lives of 669 children from Nazi death camps – we found that the courage of those who had made a difference inspired us to look at our attitudes toward those we think are ‘weaker’ than us.

Pupils were then given the opportunity to place stones before the lit menorah and the altar, as a sign of remembrance, and prayed the Memorial Day Pledge, authored by Gwyneth Lewis, National Poet of Wales:

The fight for justice starts and ends with me.
Truth is the sound of what I may say
I can only be well when others are free
And right has a price I’m prepared to pay.
I refuse to be afraid
Of force or hatred.
I will pull their lies like weeds
Plant gardens of more generous seeds.
If I turn my back and walk away
Who’ll ask for others what I want for me?
I can only be well when others are free
And right has a price I’m prepared to pay.
Yahweh God, help us trust that one person can make a difference, even if that one person is us.
Help us remember that real heroes are ordinary people who did something.

Amen

Visit the National Holocaust Memorial Day website at www.hmd.org.uk


A Christmas Reflection

Christmas is all about us becoming God

Gorillaz - Jesus Come

The Christmas story is about salvation – the manger cannot be separated from the cross. Jesus was born for us so that he could die for us and rise again for us. And all this so that we might become that which we truly are: God. Everyday we belittle ourselves – we say and think and act along the lines ‘but I am only human’. No, we are more, much more, because in our humanity lies our divinity. Christmas is actually about God becoming human so that we might become divine.

Listen to these ancient saints:

‘For he was made Man that we might be made God’

(St Athanasius)

‘The greatness of God was not cast off, but the slightness of human nature was put on’

(St Thomas Aquinas)

‘Jesus Christ, on account of His great love for us became what we are in order to make us what He Himself is’

(St Irenaeus)

This Christmas, let us become as fully human as we can possibly be – loving, compassionate, selfless, sensitive – so that we might find God in us and become the love of God for others.

Amen


Advent

Gorillaz - Demon Days

Advent comes from the Latin word for an "arrival" or a "coming".
Advent means that the Lord is coming. Jesus Christ, our brother in our humanity and our God in His divinity is about to arrive.

Why is Advent Important

Preparation for Christmas is an important theme for Advent, but more is involved. Advent gives us a vision of our lives as Christians and shows us the possibilities of life.

Advent is our time to become more involved, more caught up in the meaning and the possibilities of life as a Christian community. Thus we are preparing not only for Christmas but also for Christ's Second Coming. This means that when he comes again, we will be awake and watchful.

O Wisdom, O Sacred Lord, O Flower, O Key of David, O Radient Dawn, O Emmanuel. So begin each of the 'O Antiphons' which herald this wonderful time of year. Advent is, firstly, a time to prepare - we prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ, again, into our lives. It is also a time of penitence, reminding us of the Lenten preparation for Easter. There can be no Easter without Christmas and Christmas makes no sense without Easter. Jesus was born to save us by dying on a cross and rising again.

Advent cannot simply be a nostalgic looking back to that first Christmas. Nor can it be only a longful reaching forward for Christ's coming again. It is both - in fact - the word Advent means 'coming' and 'arrival'. We must wait in the present moment for Christ to come to us afresh so that with Christ's light in our heart and Christ's peace on our lips we can witness to his presence now in the world.

O Emmanuel means O God with us. Let's celebrate that belief this Advent as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ - into the world 2000 years ago and into our lives in each moment.

Advent in our School

We have been preparing well for Christmas in school. Combined with good works like collecting for shoe-boxes and hampers and carol-singing within the local community there has been an emphasis on prayer and spiritual preparation.

We will be celebrating our carol service and reflection in the last week of term, but before that we will have had assemblies on the link between Christmas and Easter from the '[Inkeepers Wife Testimony' and a reflection on the Advent Wreath. In addition, the school student body will have been offered the opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation with one of deanery priests.

Our focus this Lent will be light. To what extent do we welcome Christ's light into our lives and so shine in our world, our schoo, our neighbourhood, our families?

As we lit the candles on our Advent Wreath for the second Sunday in Advent we recalled the words of the Prophet Isaiah: 'The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light, on those who lived in the land as dark as death a light has dawned. You have increased their joy and given them gladness'.

God, we remember your promise.
May the Light of Christ brighten our way and guide us in the truth.
May it bring life to the dark corners of our world.

Amen

A Prayer for Advent

God with us,
thank you for your love for us and for all you have given us - life,
and eternal life through your Son.
Help us to see each other as you see us,
as Christ-bearers and filled with the Light of Christ

Mission Week

Tell Everyone

Last week we took part in Focus Week and renewed our faith. Now what do we do with it? Well, we can try and live the prayer of Focus Week:

“Wherever you go, I will go”.
That is ‘Mission’ – it is what we are all about as disciples of Jesus. May we go, wherever Jesus goes, with courage.

Amen


Focus Week

Wherever you go, I will go. (Ruth)

God, with us on the road. You are happy to walk with us and let us take the lead.
Even when we make bad turns and follow ways that aren’t great for us, you always stay close.
We are glad because only you can make the rough paths smooth and the crooked roads straight.
But help us, every now and then, to allow ourselves to be led by you; to hear your invitation and to respond; to echo Ruth’s prayer, “Wherever you go, I will go”.
We have no map we don’t know what lies ahead but we have you with us, so we walk with confidence and hope.

Amen


MAKE POVERTY HISTORY

Make Poverty History

Prayer to make poverty history

Christ our Lord,
your light shines into the shadows, and shows us
where the obstacles to change lie.
We know that often they are in our own hearts,
in the way we live, and in our daily choices and actions.
We pray that we may accept the light of your love
as a challenge to change ourselves and our world.

We pray that, each day, we make the choices and
take the actions that will bring an end to poverty and hunger,
and lead us all towards a fairer world.

Be with us, Lord, as we face your challenge
and learn how to live our lives in love.

Amen
© Linda Jones

St. Richard Gwyn Campaigners head to Edinburgh to help 'Make Poverty History'

Make Poverty HistoryCAFOD campaigners from St. Richard Gwyn Catholic High School headed to Edinburgh to call on leaders of the world’s richest countries to Make Poverty History.

They joined tens of thousands of people from all over the UK, Wales and globally, to take part in the rally on Saturday 2nd July. To demand trade justice, debt cancellation and more and better aid for the world’s poorest countries. They formed a human white band – the symbol of the campaign around the city.

The Make Poverty History campaign is being led by the largest ever coalition of charities ever assembled in the UK to fight global poverty. CAFOD supporters are at the forefront of the campaign, mobilising youth groups, school and churches.

The school chaplain and some pupils from the sixth form joined the local parish coach party organised by CAFOD. We have had excellent coverage of the campaign in the school and there is good awareness of the issues amongst the pupils. We know that we need to put this knowledge into action. This year is the best chance we have of convincing governments that with politics they can lift millions out of poverty, save lives and bring about justice.

Boys

The rally in Edinburgh delivered a powerful message to world leaders as they gather ahead of the G8 summit. That message was backed by millions of people supporting the Live 8 concerts around the world.

Each day 30, 000 children die of extreme poverty. That’s one child every three seconds. Those who travelled to Edinburgh called for and end to the man made factors that keep so many people around the world trapped in extreme poverty: unfair trade rules that sees produce from subsidised western countries ‘dumped’ in the developing world, debt repayments that result in governments paying more in debt than on health and education and insufficient aid that doesn’t go where it’s most needed.

The CAFOD regional organiser Katja Jewell has said “I’m delighted to receive the support from the school in joining this event. Experience shows that mass peaceful protests work. The last time the G8 Summit came to the UK in 1998, 70,000 campaigners gathered on the streets of Birmingham to highlight the tragedy of third world debt. A year later, world leaders agreed to cancel large amounts of poor countries debts. 2005 offers a unique opportunity to go one step further and bring an end to the scandal of global poverty.

http://www.makepovertyhistory.org


Pope John Paul II

1920 - 2005

Pope John Paul

O God, from whom the just receive an unfailing reward, grant that your servant John Paul, our Pope, whom you made vicar of Peter and shepherd of your Church, may rejoice for ever in the vision of your glory, for he was a faithful steward here on earth of the mysteries of your forgiveness and grace.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen

Eternal rest, grant unto him, O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace.

Amen.

Totally yours,
Immaculate Conception, Mary my Mother,
Live in me,
Act in me,
Speak in me and through me,
Think your thoughts in my mind,
Love through my heart,
Give me your dispositions and feelings,
Teach, lead me and guide me to Jesus,
Correct, enlighten and expand my thoughts and behaviour,
Posses my soul,
Take over my entire personality and life, replace it with Yourself,
Incline me to constant adoration,
Pray in me and through me,
Let me live in you and keep me in this union always.

The Holy Father

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful
departed, through the mercy of God rest in
peace.

Amen.

Pope JPII Coffin


Holy Week

Lent On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the first joy of the season, as we celebrate Our Lord's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by crowds worshiping him and laying down palm leaves before him. It also marks the beginning of Holy Week, with the greatest tragedy and sorrow of the year.

Jesus' triumphant return to Jerusalem is only one side of the story.

By now many of the Jews are filled with hate for Our Lord. They want to see him stoned, calling Him a blasphemer, especially after offering proof of His Divinity during a winter visit to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Dedication.

After this, Jesus went to Perea, where he was summoned to Bethany. There he raised Lazarus from the dead, a miracle which wins Him such renown among certain Pharisees that they decided finally to end His life.

Jesus took refuge at Ephrem returning six days before Passover to Bethany, triumphantly entering Jerusalem. That evening, He leaves Jerusalem and returns Monday. He spent time with Gentiles in the Temple, and on Wednesday left for the Mount of Olives. Here he foretold the apostles the events of the next several days, including His impending death.

He returned to Jerusalem on Thursday, to share the Last Supper with His apostles. He was subsequently arrested and tried. He was crucified at Calvary on Friday, outside the gates of Jerusalem.

He was buried the same day, and arose three days later, on Easter Sunday.

All of this is done by our Lord for forgiveness of our sins, and for life everlasting with Him.

God so loved us, that He sent His only begotten Son to die for us, so that our sins maybe forgiven.

Prayers of the Cross

A Salesian Way of the Cross

Based on the Writing of St. Francis de Sales Translated and somewhat amplified by The Most Rev. Lewis S. Fiorelli, O.S.F.S, Superior General of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales

The "Way of the Cross" of suffering and affliction is a sure way, one which leads to God and to the perfection of his love if we are faithful.

First Station -- Jesus Is Condemned To Death
The Cross is from God, but it is only "cross" if we do not join ourselves to it; for when we are strongly resolved to desire the cross which God gives to us then it is no longer a "cross" at all. If it is from God, why do we not desire it?

Second Station -- Jesus Is Given His Cross
The Cross has been sanctified because it was the instrument which Jesus used for our Redemption. All Christians who aspire to heaven must take up the cross of the Lord and follow him. This will mean walking in his steps, imitating his virtues and having but one purpose and goal: his.

Third Station -- Jesus Falls The First Time
Notice the infinite goodness of the Savior who wished to die the death of men and women so as to enable us to live according to the original expectation for Adam, that is, to live God's life. But to better grasp the humility of Our Lord, listen to what St. Paul writes: "Though he was God's Son, he emptied himself." (Phil. 2:6-7 freely) O, God, but it is wondrous that the Eternal Word should empty himself and set aside his proper glory for his creatures who measure up so poorly to his love!

Fourth Station -- Jesus Meets His Mother
The Mother of Christ seeks out her Son who is the life of her life. And why does she seek him out? To be ever near him, her Son and her God.

Fifth Station -- Simon Of Cyrene Helps Jesus
The evangelists do not name the majority of people who figure in the Passion. But they do recall the name of Simon who helps our Lord carry his cross. The cross is the royal gate by which we enter the temple of holiness. Love this altogether precious cross; look upon it with eyes of love.

Sixth Station -- Veronica Cleanses The Face of Jesus
I reflect upon the manner in which the Lord suffers. In his heart, he suffers willingly, with patience and love. The cross is a remedy capable of healing all our evils.

Seventh Station -- Jesus Falls The Second Time
He suffers in order to witness to his love for us. O, how great is his love! Lord, I do not know if I have any love at all, but if I do, it is so little that it is content to shed a single tear; and it believes itself perfected when it utters a few sighs. And yet, O Good God, how much I insist and protest that I want to love you and give you my entire heart!

Eighth Station -- Jesus Meets The Women Of Jerusalem
Christ has made it clear that he loves our tears when they are caused by love. If we have tears, let us cry them altogether simply, because we certainly could not have a more worthy subject over which to cry.

Ninth Station -- Jesus Falls The Third Time
My iniquity is indeed great. O, Lord, who will deliver me from this labyrinth if not you? We would have reason to fear if we relied on our own strength. For he is for us.

Tenth Station -- Jesus Is Stripped Of His Clothing
Christ stripped teaches us what we must do to please him: strip our hearts of all sorts of unworthy affections and pretenses, no longer loving them but desiring nothing other than him.

Eleventh Station -- Jesus Is Nailed To The Cross
The Son of God is nailed to the Cross. What puts him there? Certainly it is love. Well, since it is certain that he died for us the least we ought to do for him is to live from love. He who wants to kiss Christ must mount his cross and be wounded by the thorns of his crown.

Twelfth Station -- Jesus Dies On The Cross
Our Lord chose the death of the Cross to witness to his Love. There he offered himself in love, unto love, by love and of love.

Thirteenth Station -- Jesus Is Taken Down From The Cross
Love draws all the pains, torments, sufferings, sorrows, wounds, passion, Cross of our Lord into the heart of his holy Mother. The sword of death which cut through the body of this well-beloved Son also cut through the heart of this all loving Mother.

Fourteenth Station -- Jesus Is Placed In The Tomb
Love and death co-penetrate one another in the Savior's passion. We must die to every other love in order to live from Jesus' love, so that we may not die eternally.

Fifteenth Station -- The Resurrection Of Jesus
That we may live in your eternal love, O Savior of our souls, we sing eternally, "Live, Jesus! Jesus is the one I love! Live, Jesus, you whom I love. I love Jesus who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen."

Prayer before a Crucifix

Behold, O Kind and most sweet Jesus, before Thy face I humbly kneel, and with the most fervent desire of soul, I pray and beseech Thee to impress upon my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, true contrition for my sins and a firm purpose of amendment. With deep affection and grief of soul, I ponder within myself, mentally contemplating Thy five wounds, having before my eyes the words which David the Prophet spoke concerning Thee: "They have pierced my hands and my feet, they have numbered all my bones."

The Cross Is

The cross is the hope of Christians
the cross is the resurrection of the dead
the cross is the way of the lost
the cross is the savior of the lost
the cross is the staff of the lame
the cross is the guide of the blind
the cross is the strength of the weak
the cross is the doctor of the sick
the cross is the aim of the priests
the cross is the hope of the hopeless
the cross is the freedom of the slaves
the cross is the power of the kings
the cross is the water of the seeds
the cross is the consolation of the bondsmen
the cross is the source of those who seek water
the cross is the cloth of the naked.
We thank you, Father, for the cross.

Amen.


Light of the World

Thought For The Week

" I am the light of the world.
Anyone who follows me will not
be walking in darkness."
Lord of light, our world often
seems dark with violence, oppression,
racism, bullying, starvation
and ill health. It seems that in
spite of all our advances in technology,
trade, communications,
agriculture and medicine, the
darkness prevails.
Then there is You. Coming to us
as a powerless baby to show us
that true light is from you and that
where you are the darkness is
banished.