On Monday 3 February, Year 10 students, tutors and I travelled to Aylesford Priory in Kent for a Day of Reflection facilitated by the Southwark Youth Services Team.
The theme for the day was our Sacred Heart Goal of Social Awareness. The students were invited to reflect on how they are engaging with one another in their year group, taking time to appreciate their connection to others within our school community. They also considered their own life story, which enabled them to celebrate their own uniqueness and appreciate those in the year group whose life story is interconnected with theirs on a daily basis.
The students also spent time contemplating their God given gifts and talents, which can help them to make a difference. St Mother Teresa was a woman of few words, but her actions and care for others made a huge difference to the lives of many. Do our own words and actions make a difference in our community and beyond? Students wrote a letter of encouragement to other year group members affirming and celebrating all that they do. They then examined the work of CAFOD and the pledges it makes. This helped the students become more aware of the world and the vital role we can all play in being there for those who need us most.
The day concluded with the celebration of Mass, which was prepared by the students. We were all challenged by the words of St Matthew to help one another as ‘the harvest is rich but the labourers are so few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest’ (Mt 9:35-37).
It was an enjoyable day and the students returned to school more aware of, and thankful for, their own individual gifts and uniqueness and pledging to be more mindful of how we can live out the Sacred Heart Goal by making a difference in our words and actions.
Fr Gerry Devlin, Chaplain