Fr Gerry Devlin, Chaplain
On Tuesday 3 March Year 11 students enjoyed a Day of Reflection at Aylesford Priory in Kent, facilitated by the Southwark Youth Services Team. It was one of the last occasions where the whole year group would be together and it provided a wonderful opportunity for the students to be still, spend time in prayer and reflect on who they are as individuals.
The day was centred on our Sacred Heart Goal of Social Awareness. This challenges us as individuals to look at who we are and how we can use our unique gifts and talents to be a 'changemaker' in the world, by our words and our actions. Together we considered the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). First a priest and then a Levite came upon an injured man, but both avoided him. Finally, a Samaritan, who was despised by the Jews, came along and helped the man. The question is 'Who is my neighbour?' We know that we are called to 'love one another' but we also know that it is not an easy thing to do. The challenge is put before us by Jesus in the Gospel by to follow the example of the Good Samaritan as Jesus tells us 'go and do the same'. St Madeleine Sophie Barat, the founder of Sacred Heart education, also challenges us as individuals when she said, 'your example, even more than your words, will be an eloquent lesson to the world'. Students were given time to reflect and think of the example they give each day and the influence they have on others.
The students took time to reflect in pairs and in groups. They shared in an Emmaus Walk, looking at who is important in their lives, who inspires them, what they would like to be in the future, the impact they would like to make in the world and what they could do to help make changes now. As St Madeleine Sophie once said have 'courage and confidence' and you will make a difference. Pope Francis challenges young people today by saying that they 'must be able to have a movement of heart, then we will want to make a difference'.
The students prepared the celebration of Mass and they participated fully as readers and as a cantor at the liturgy, bringing forwards a Romeo Cross which they made together at the offertory of the Mass. It was a joyful and uplifting day and the students returned knowing that they can all make a difference in our school community and in the world. For as Gandhi once said, 'you must be the change you wish to see in the world'.