Our Catholic Ethos and Chaplaincy
“Caelum Dives Ingredi” means to “Enter Heaven Enriched” and can be found on our school badge. Being part of a faith school community certainly enriches all students and we are in turn enriched by the presence and the giftedness of both our students and staff. Students realise that being part of a Catholic School Community is fun. Students at all year levels and from different religious backgrounds learn to be comfortable in sharing aspects of their faith.
The three ‘R’s of our Spiritual life are: Refreshing, Reflecting and Rejoicing.
The ‘Refreshing’ element is about helping students to learn more about and appreciate the faith, this includes: Year 7 retreat, Year 8 retreat, Year 10 retreat/reflection and a staff retreat. A ‘retreat’ is when we have time away from the school day to stop, reflect and refresh. Spiritual input is included in a reflective and fun way. Students who are part of the Chaplaincy also have times for training and input which enables them to listen to other students and take active roles within the various liturgies and community activities that take place in school. Year 9 have a ‘Vocation Morning’, where a variety of people e.g., priest, sister, married couple, street pastors, police man etc., come into school and share about their life choices.
Our school has a spiritual badge system. There is a set of criteria drawn up for each year group. This criteria ranges from being involved in tutor prayer and masses, various school liturgies, fund raising and local community involvement. Fairtrade and The Saint Vincent De Paul group provide various activities for the students to be involved in. Fund raising for various charities both local and overseas are very much part of making students aware of others. Our school is actively involved in the 'Romero Award' which promotes awareness and activities in the areas of Justice and Peace.
The ‘Reflecting’ aspect includes our daily tutor prayer. Each year group write their own prayer and each tutor group compose their own prayer. These prayers are then put into a booklet for daily use. Assemblies give students and staff extra time to reflect and to participate in sharing how we can be a good community. Tutor masses enable students to learn about the history, symbolism and the various parts of the mass. Students then fully participate through reading, singing, dancing serving and praying together. Reconciliation is part of all our lives and during Lent and Advent staff and students attend a service which is put together by the Chaplain and students in order to reflect and prepare for Easter and Christmas. The Rosary is said in the chapel every Tuesday and the Angelus is said every Thursday as well as a weekly mass during Friday lunchtime. Students who are from other faiths use the chapel for prayer and their beliefs are respected and incorporated into the spirituality of the school.
The ‘Rejoicing’ part is experienced through our Christmas pantomime, our Carol Service, our Celebration Evening with primary schools, St Edmund’s Feast Day, Easter services, year 11 Leavers Mass, Education Sunday and our assemblies.
The refreshing, reflecting and rejoicing elements, all come together to make up our spirituality within St Edmund’s school.
The vibrant diagram (below) depicts the spirituality with in our school at St Edmund’s. The Eucharist and Catholic Ethos are central elements which permeate our school life.
“I can do all things with the help of God who strengthens me.”
Our Chapel is a place of welcome and hospitality is offered to everyone. As school Chaplain I am involved in many areas such as: seeing students individually who may need to talk or want some help or guidance, support for staff, working with Heads of Learning, planning liturgies, assemblies, retreats, reconciliation services, working with other faith communities, providing daily prayers for the school, being involved in outside school events, organising tutor masses and whole school masses. Each year we offer a First Communion Program. Each term the whole school gets involved in supporting and raising money for charity. I have visited primary schools with some of our Chaplaincy Team to present assemblies. I have also led workshops for staff.
I see my main focus as being available for students, staff, parents and anyone who is associated with St Edmund’s School Community. I try to empower staff and students in their faith and enthusiastically encourage everyone to be involved in various areas of Chaplaincy.
Our Chapel is a haven; a place for all to come and rest awhile. We have a very good Chaplaincy Team; dependable and willing to be of service to their fellow students. The Chaplaincy Team is taken from all year groups. We have two year 11 Chaplaincy Captains who nourish, provide and lead various activities within the Chaplaincy. With each new year 7 intake, more and more join the team and shadow the older students and they learn how to: altar serve, how to welcome and usher at various services, public speaking and reading, dance and drama as well as being a team who are involved in fund raising, Fairtrade and St Vincent De Paul Group and being a daily presence in the Chapel at break and lunchtimes.
Vibrant, welcoming, friendly, community minded, willing, continually growing in numbers, gifted and generous are words that come to mind when I think of Our Chaplaincy Team.
All are welcome!
Lunchtime - The St Vincent De Paul Group
|Tuesday||Lunchtime Rosary in the Chapel.
A time for Prayer. This will include prayer groups, adoration and a time to pray for any prayer request given by students, staff or parents as well as the needs of our school and wider community.
Midday - The Angelus will be said by a group of Year 9 students each week on behalf of the school community.
Lunchtime Mass in the Chapel.