First Week of Advent

Posted: December 4, 2017 in Advent

candle1Happy New Year.  Advent is the start of the Liturgical year for us as Catholics.  Having celebrated the feast of Christ the King, we now start our preparations for the coming of Jesus. The word Advent, derives from the Latin word meaning “coming” so Advent is a great time to get our house in order.  Whilst Lent is traditionally a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we are encouraged to do similar acts during Advent.

According to the Catechism:

When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent  each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Saviours first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming. By celebrating John the Baptists birth and martyrdom, the Church unites herself to his desire: He must increase, but I must decrease (Catechism, no. 524).

At St James’ we will be participating in various time-honoured traditions, such as making Jesse trees and participating in Advent Services during the last week of term. Some of our staff will be going to Bethlehem this Christmas and will place your prayers and petitions at the place of Jesus birth.  The whole school will also be collecting for the Colindale Foodbank as part of our Advent almsgiving.

Have a look at the Chaplaincy News and get involved, so that this you are ready for December 25th.

God bless,

Miss Whelan

Mary’s Meals

Posted: October 9, 2017 in Uncategorized

This month we are joining forces with Blessed Dominic’s primary school and St Margaret Clitherow Parish to collect clothes for Mary’s Meals.  LAst year, between the three communities we collected enough clothes to feed 88 children for a year.

Mary’s Meals is a excellent charity based in Scotland.  The video below tells you all about the work of the charity and follows the story of several people whose lives have been transformed by their work.

To contribute to our clothes drive, bring in unwanted clothes and leave them in a bag at the collection point in the chapel.  The deadline for the collection is Friday 17th November 2017.

 

October – the Rosary

Posted: October 2, 2017 in Our Lady, Prayer

October is a month in the Catholic Church dedicated to praying the Rosary. The Rosary itself is an opportunity to meditate on the life of Jesus.  The Rosary is broken down into 4 Mysteries and then 5 decades for each Mystery:

On the large bead, meditate on the first mystery and pray the Our Father.

You pray mysteries for each of the five sections (decades) of the rosary according to the day of the week:

Mondays and Saturdays:

The Joyful Mysteries remind the faithful of Christ’s birth: The Annunciation (Luke 1:26–38); The Visitation (Luke 1:39–56); The Nativity (Luke 2:1–21); The Presentation (Luke 2:22–38); The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41–52)

Tuesdays and Fridays:

The Sorrowful Mysteries recall Jesus’ passion and death: The Agony of Jesus in the Garden (Matthew 26:36–56); The Scourging at the Pillar (Matthew 27:26); The Crowning with Thorns (Matthew 27:27–31); The Carrying of the Cross (Matthew 27:32); The Crucifixion (Matthew 27:33–56).

Wednesdays and Sundays:

The Glorious Mysteries focus on the resurrection of Jesus and the glories of heaven: The Resurrection (John 20:1–29); The Ascension (Luke 24:36–53); The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1–41); The Assumption of Mary, the Mother of God, into heaven; The Coronation of Mary in heaven.

Thursdays:

Pope John Paul II added The Mysteries of Light, also known as the Luminous Mysteries, in 2002: The Baptism in the River Jordan (Matthew 3:13–16); The Wedding Feast at Cana (John 2:1–11); The Preaching of the coming of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14–15); The Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1–8); The Institution of the Holy Eucharist (Matthew 26).

 

The Rosary

At St James’, we will be saying a mystery of the Rosary every lunch at 1:20.  Please do pop in and join us.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor

Posted: September 19, 2017 in Remembrance

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor lost his battle with cancer on September 1st.  Two Year 9 students represented the school at the funeral.  The procession took 20 minutes as over 350 deacons, priests, bishops and cardinals joined together to celebrate the life of a remarkable man.  The cardinal’s nephew talked with fondness about the whit and dry sense of humour portrayed by uncle Cormac  throughout his life.

Cardinal fineral

The singing was incredible and the liturgy beautiful in both action and word. Bishop George Stack expressed the loving pastoral care that the cardinal exhibited throughout his life in funeralan inspiring homily. Members of the Murphy-O’Connor family took part in the offertory as they remembered their uncle.

The service ended with the coffin being processed to the 10th Station of the Cross where his body will be laid to rest in the Cathedral.

Eternal rest grant to him, O Lord; and let light perpetual shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

 

Welcome Back

Posted: September 19, 2017 in Prayer

September is a month of new beginnings. On the first day of term Fr John helped us welcome our new Year 7 students with our first Mass of the year.  Through the parable of the sower and St Pauls analogy of the Church as the body, students were invited to reflect on the fact that they are an important part of our community. We will be supporting and walking along side one another through the ups and the downs.

Bishop John Sherrington joined the Year 8 students to welcome them back to school. After Mass he joined the Student Council members for lunch.

Bishop sherrington

Our VI form students started the year with a Mass celebrated by Fr Brian. Father is a great support to the school and will be joining us at least once a month for our Community Masses.

Other changes this year include class liturgies and the start of the Justice and Peace group. You will be able to follow the work of these groups in this blog.

Prayer for the start of the year:

Heavenly Father, unseen Companion of our life, give us faith and eager expectancy as we begin this fresh stage of our journey.

Take from us all fear of the unknown and teach us to wrest treasures from the darkness.

As the days come and go, may we find that each one is laden with many opportunities and enriching experiences; And when this year is ended

May our best hopes be more than ever fulfilled.

Amen.

Bridge over troubled waters

Posted: June 22, 2017 in Prayer

This week students are raising money for the Grenfell tower disaster. We are holding a none uniform day on Friday and have been collecting spare change throughout the week.

A charity single has just been released and could be used in forms as a reflection and prayer.  You can find the video via this link:

 

We pray for all who have suffered because of the dreadful Grenfell Tower fire.
We pray that those who have died and been taken from us are remembered and treasured.
We pray for healing and support for those who have survived, and for everyone affected by this tragedy.
We pray for physical healing for all those injured, especially those in hospital, the elderly, and infirm.
We pray for emotional healing, recognising the shock, trauma and grief to be lived through.
We pray for the revival of human spirit, with faith, hope and love surrounding each in peace.
We pray for justice to help us accept mistakes made and warnings ignored, for lessons to be learned.
We pray that all who suffer are granted the opportunity to cry out in their pain and be listened to.
When all is lost, all is lost, no words can ease the pain.
But we are carried through that pain by those who come around us, helping us back onto our feet, walking with us, listening to us, or just being there with us.
We see the presence of God’s love through them.
And so we give thanks and pray for all those who have offered healing, support and comfort:
For the emergency, medical and social services, working sacrificially and with courage
For those in authority, responsible for taking a lead in facing the challenges this fire has revealed;
For local residents, churches and charities, for the community itself, expressing such tangible love.

May

Posted: May 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

May - The month of Mary

This month is a month dedicated to Our Lady.  At St James we will be going on our annual pilgrimage to Walsingham with the Dominicans.  The pilgrimage takes place on 14th May.  For more information please contact our Chaplain.

May is also a month where we say goodbye to our Year 13 students.  Masses of thanksgiving take place towards the end of the month.  Let’s keep all those taking exams in our prayers:

Father,

Be with me as I take this exam.
Keep my mind alert and my memory sharp.
Calm my nerves and help me concentrate.
I know that you walk with me,
Guiding my path and inspiring my heart.
I pray that I would feel you with me,
And that your friendship would soften the pressure I feel.
I pray that I would pass this exam and go on to new things with you.
Thank you for your peace and your love in my life.
Thank you for your kindness and care for me.

Amen