We were blessed with a glorious sunny day for our outdoor, whole school Mass to mark the end of the Mission. There was so much work put into the preparations by so many people the John Fisher School was living out it’s life as a Christian community in the way it worked together.
The Mission team were in bright and early to start preparing. Staging was put up, cones laid out, benches put in place and the sound system erected. All around the school boys worked like ants, they came from all directions with chairs, the musicians practiced and staff oversaw with their usual efficiency.
Also on the day we were joined by the whole of Year Six from St Elphege’s and Regina Coeli. They were coming for a retreat day but would be joining us at 11.10 for Mass which was celebrated by none other than Archbishop Peter Smith himself.
There were other eminent guests joining us, such as Mr Scully’s parish priest, Fr Chris Keen, The head teachers of St Philomena’s, St Mary’s High, Coloma, Bishop Thomas Grant, Margaret Roper and Thomas Becket but most importantly, our most special guest was Mrs Scully.
The Mission team lead us in our opening hymn, Shine Jesus Shine which the primary school children enjoyed singing. In his homily Archbishop Peter reminded us of Pope Benedict’s words to young people when he was in England in 2010, we were called to be holy as this is God’s plan for us all.
After Communion the Team did a post Communion mime which was just as beautiful as the ones we had seen during the week in assembly. Just before the final blessing Mr Scully presented the Mission team with individual Thank You gifts on behalf of the whole school, and Archbishop Peter presented to Mr Scully, again on behalf of the whole school an Apostolic Blessing on the occasion of our 85th anniversary.
Mass finished with us singing Be Thou My Vision, which the Mission Team had been teaching us all week.
Prayer4U could only be attended if you had been given a slip with a time on it. It happened during period six. Boys would bring their slip to the chapel where they were ushered to their prayer partners. Some of the prayer partners were boys in Year Ten.
Sitting between your prayer partners some single lines from scripture were read. If one of them spoke to you in your heart you were to nod, where upon the line would be read once more. This was a very personal time and what was shared with prayer partners was not repeated by anyone. However, Prayer4U was very popular as boys wanted to come back again and again.
. This photo of Prayer4U was taken at a discrete distance
On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday two different forms of prayer happened in the school.
At lunchtime anyone who wanted could come to Lighfever. In the chapel the Blessed Sacrament was on the altar and incense burned behind the monstrance. Trays of sand were placed on the sanctuary and a basket with paper and pens were nearby. Boys came into the chapel and with one of the team playing and singing gently on the guitar, were escorted to the sanctuary by members of the team who then knelt with them and prayed in the True Presence of Jesus Christ.
after which the boys were invited to take a piece of paper with a line from scripture written on it and to write a prayer
. writing prayers
The boys were welcome to stay in the chapel as long as they liked (or until lunch was over)
Here’s is a very small clip, giving a flavour of Lightfever
Everyone who wanted to come to The Main Event was invited. This was in the school hall at 8pm. It was nice to see every aspect of school life represented in the audience, students, teachers, support staff, SLT members, a governor, parents and family all came. It was particularly nice seeing so many host families there too.
The team introduced themselves and told us their favourite types of ice cream, they then treated us to the sort of mime the boys have seen all week, it was powerful and well received by the audience. They also showed their notable musical talent.
We entered a time of prayer, one of the team played the guitar and sang while we cam forward with prayers we had written and placed them on a cross, we also put our thumb print into a clay heart, recognising that while we have unique individuality, as Christians we share in the one love of Jesus.
After this we had a opportunity to pray with the time as they do at Prayer4U, following a closing prayer we had a short break with a chance to buy refreshments, books and CDs.
Th second half of The Main Event gave John Fisher a chance to show of our talented musicians. Firstly Fifth Season sang their own composition Always Running
after which the four lads from Upper Hand got up and told the audience what sort of experience Mission Week had been for them, they then treated us to their composition Brooklyn Streets
(The piano player was off stage, roughly about……………………………………………here)
The team gave every one present a YouCat, donated to them by Aid To The Church In Need. We all went home feeling enriched.
Life to the Max!
Well we certainly didn’t see that coming! Today’s assemblies were about the Holy Spirit. A time of prayer, where we asked the Holy Spirit to enter into our lives found the hall in absolute silence at each assembly.
After this a drama depicting the messenger of the Holy Spirit imparting people with patience, goodness, trustfulness and self control was acted by the team. Perhaps we should have seen t coming when the gifts of the Holy Spirit were depicted as water, but suddenly we were getting wet, and we loved it!
. . .
The final workshops for Years Ten and twelve took place in the afternoon, which left us with The Main Event to look forward to
He will rock you
The theme for Wednesday was God the Son, Jesus Christ. The drama depicting the crucifixion was very powerful
The boys were transfixed
The boys were encouraged to go to Reconciliation and slips to attend were given out after assembly. Three canons and a Bishop were very generous with their time in hearing confessions.
The afternoon workshops included one on love, sex and relationships. The boys that attended said they learned new things and were able to view chastity in a more positive light than had been presented to them in the past. They were shocked to learn that in some parts of California you can hire a wedding ring for the duration of your marriage but were grateful to understand the bond of love and how pure it can be.
After school twenty something boys attended the Alpha Launch Party, which involved chat and pizza.
Who’s ya daddy?
The theme of today is our relationship with God the Father, Matt got to play God today in a beautiful mime about God the creator.
. Esther was very happy to be given life
Hannah explained the immensity of God’s love for us all by comparing it to an overflowing glass of water, water went all over one part of the stage, but then, God’s love gets everywhere!.
In the afternoon the workshops happened for Years Seven and Eight. There was lots of fun to be had.
At lunchtime Lightfever happened in the chapel, over 60 boys came and in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and with the help of team members boys read scripture, write prayer intentions and lit candles, it was beautiful and prayerful.
So was Prayer4U during period six, 20 boys came, voluntarily and prayed with a member of the team. Tomorrow is the Alpha Launch party, lets see what happens!