Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic
Dear Parents and friends of our college, we have had another busy half term celebrating the Catholic Life of our school. The half term started in January with a staff inset day. We reflected on the Epiphany and were given an opportunity to spiritually prepare for the term ahead. We also had our school celebration of Blessed Edward Oldcorne’s feast day. A group a Year 8 pupils led a liturgy at Blessed Edward Oldcorne’s shrine on Red Hill. Our SVP group has some new members and during the half term the group began to think about how they can raise money for charity. We have also been fortunate enough to be able to celebrate Mass each Friday with our pupils and college chaplains, Father Andrew and Father Brian.
The Liturgical Year January - The season of Christmas finished on Sunday 13th January with the feast of the Baptism of Jesus. This is when we remember the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan by John the Baptist, his cousin. After Jesus was baptised he spent 40 days and 40 nights in the desert, an event we remember during Lent. This marked the start of his teaching ministry. 14th January - 5th March - Following the Christmas season we move into Ordinary Time. This is where we remember events such as Jesus’ teaching the parables and sending the disciples out. It is a time to remember Jesus’ teaching ministry and reflect on how we can follow this. 6th March –18th April –Lent begins on the 6th March. This is marked with a service on Ash Wednesday with ashes from last years palm leaves from Palm Sunday on our foreheads in the sign on the cross. During Lent we remember the 40 days and 40 nights Jesus was in the desert resisting temptation. We are called to give something up so that we too can resist temptation.
Key Dates Tuesday 5th March—Shrove Tuesday Wednesday 6th March—Ash Wednesday Sunday 10th March—First Sunday of Lent Monday 25th March—St Margaret Clitherow Feast Day Sunday 7th April—Death of Blessed Edward Oldcorne Friday 12th April—Easter services Sunday 14th April—Palm Sunday Thursday 18th April—Maundy Thursday Friday 19th April—Good Friday Sunday 21st April—Easter Day (The Resurrection of our Lord) Tuesday 23rd April—St George’s Feast Day
Blessed Edward Oldcorne Feast Day Blessed Edward Oldcorne’s feast day is on January 27th. This year we celebrated his feast day as a college on Friday 25th January. We spent the week preparing for the feast day. This was an opportunity to reflect on the lives of the Saints and Martyrs that our form groups are named after. For example, we reflected on Blessed Ralph Ashley and St Margaret Clitherow who were killed for their faith as Catholics. Saint John Jones’ execution was delayed for an hour and he used this time to pray and address the crowd. We remember the courage and strength that the Saints and Martyrs showed in standing up for their faith. Blessed Edward Oldcorne studied to be a doctor. He left England to study in France and also went to college in Rome to train to be a Priest. In 1588 he risked his life by returning to England with a small group of other priests. They spent their first night hiding in a wood. In 1589 Edward was sent to the home of the Abington family who lived at Hindlip Hall—3 miles outside of Worcester. He risked his life many times by venturing out from his hiding places to speak to people and bring them back to the Catholic faith. In the years that followed the persecution of Catholics got even worse. In 1591 Queen Elizabeth said that all priests should be driven from the land as they were all spies for the King of Spain! In 1606 the Sheriff of Worcester went to Hindlip Hall with over 100 armed men to search it—they soon found the hiding places for the items used in the Mass BUT it took a further 2 weeks before Edward Oldcorne and Fr Garnet were forced to emerge from their hiding place. Edward Oldcorne was charged with treason, accused of being involved in the Gunpowder Plot. He was tortured on the rack for 5 days and was eventually executed by handing at Red Hill on April 7th 1606. On Thursday 24th January 8B1 led a liturgy at Blessed Edward Oldcorne’s Shrine at Red Hill. Pupils from the class explained who Blessed Edward Oldcorne was and we listened the readings of the day. Pupils from St Joseph’s Primary School, Warndon celebrated the liturgy with us. They read a prayer for us and then we all joined in with the school prayer. Written by Freya, Claude and Caitlin 8B1 It is important to remember the faith that Blessed Edward Oldcorne had in God. He never gave up hope even in the face of persecution. We too should have a strong faith in God and trust in God even when things get difficult. Written by and Daniel
Patrick, Toby 8B1
Prayer by St Joseph’s Primary School Pupils: Dear Lord, As it is the time of year when we remember Blessed Edward Olcorne, please help us to have the same strength he had in his faith in our faith. Guide us to be like him and follow in his footsteps whenever we encounter troubles and to stand by our convictions. Help us to remember all that he suffered so that we learn from his suffering and that we should treat others with love and kindness just like he did. Give us the courage to proclaim our faith as he did. Lead us in helping others to understand and support us in our faith as he supported others in his role as a Jesuit priest.
Blessed Edward Oldcorne Feast Day On Friday 25th January Key Stage 3 and 4 celebrated Mass to remember the sacrifice of Blessed Edward Oldcorne. Father Andrew celebrated both Masses and encouraged us to think about what is important to us and what we would be prepared to give up. Blessed Edward Oldcorne was prepared to give up his life for what was important to him—his faith. The choir led the music in the Mass which helped us to reflect on the importance of sacrifice and the importance of faith in our lives.
During the week in the lead up to Blessed Edward Oldcorne’s feast day pupils reflected on his life during assembly. There is a relic of Blessed Edward Oldcorne, his eye, which is kept in Stonyhurst College. Mr McCormack explained that the relic was brought to school and he actually held in in Mr McClarey’s office!
The 27th January is also Holocaust Memorial Day. As a school we said a prayer that was scratched on the wall of a prison cell in Cologne by a Jewish prisoner during the Second World War I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining. I believe in love, Even when I cannot feel it. I believe in God, Even when he is silent. Amen
Last half term we celebrated the achievements of pupils in RE. Pupils from each class in Year 7, 8 , and 10. Teachers chose pupils who have been putting in 100% effort to RE and who have shown a real commitment to their learning. Well done to all pupils who received an RE award.
Year 8 visit to a synagogue On Friday 11th January 8B2 visited the Cheltenham Orthodox Synagogue. Jessica Shapiro who is a Jew explained to the students about the history of the synagogue, Jewish beliefs and practices. The students were able to compare Judaism with other world faiths like Christianity and Islam. The students took part in a question and answer session. The students were brilliant and good ambassadors of our College. Mr Ndungu
Mrs Thomas led an assembly with the help of some of our Key Stage 4 pupils. The assembly was reminding us all about how Jesus taught us to pray.
On Monday 4th February our college had a monitoring visit from the Diocese. Maureen O’Leary who is the Senior Advisor for Catholic Education at the Diocesan Education Service spent the morning in school meeting with staff and pupils and observing tutor time and lessons. She was very impressed with the Catholic Life of the school and gave us some recommendations about how to enhance the Catholic Life of the school further. We are very grateful to Mr McCormack for all of the spiritual opportunities he provides for our college community.
This term the SVP group has been working with Mrs Ball. We had a visit from Dr Lynne Long the Young Vincentian Development Officer for the Diocese of Birmingham at the end of January. She explained the roles in SVP and gave us some ideas on how to get our group going. Following on from the meeting with Dr Lynne Long , in our February meeting members put themselves forward for roles they were interested in and we held an online vote for the role of president. We now have a president, vice president, communications officer, finance officer and secretary. We meet on the first Thursday of each month to discuss upcoming events or issues we would like to help with. In February we held a donut sale and raised £60. The group now has a challenge to use this money to make more money for charity! Mrs Ball
Mr McCormack asked all form groups to choose a saint. Each room now has the information about the forms chosen saint outside of the classroom. Each form had a different reason for choosing their saint. 9L chose St Vincent De Paul because Mr Tota, who was 9Ls form tutor in Year 7 and 8, led the SVP group in school. 9S chose St Julian who is the patron saint of hospitality because Mr Xia is a language teacher. 8P chose St Ferdinand III because Mr Gallagher was an engineer for 30 years. We also have saints near offices and by the staff room. It is a reminder that the saints are always praying with us and for us. We can also think about how we can become saints—the mission given to Catholic schools by Pope Benedict XVI.