Introduction from Archbishop Bernard Longley from this year's Advent 'Walk with Me' booklet. A copy of this is available from your local parish church.
Advent is charged with a sense of excitement and anticipation, of warm memories and rich traditions, all of which create within us a sense that this is a special and blessed time of year.
In this season we can be hopeful and open to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth, a man like us in all things but sin. No one is excluded from this invitation but it does involve some risk. in trust we step out to meet him. We will be richly rewarded. We will realise that the Father is actually rushing out to meet us, that Jesus is already there to embrace us, and that the Holy Spirit guides us towards the Light that shines in the darkness.
Every meaningful encounter involves humility and honesty. As we prepare to encounter Jesus, the Eternal Word, we pray from our heart: 'Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more. to renew my covenant with you. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into your redeeming embrace.'
Our goal is to grow in faith and deepen our understanding. In the fullness of time, God, in a plan of sheer goodness, to become man, that we could become children of the Father and share in his divine life. God draws close, God calls us to seek him. to know him, to encounter him and to love him with all our heart, soul and strength.
As Christmas Day draws near our focus will be on God's coming as a small child, the baby in a manger. The astonishing humility of God evokes in us a wholehearted response. We bow low in adoration and lift up our hearts in praise and worship.
May the Lord bless us all this Advent. May his Word be born afresh within us. May we receive an anointing of grace so that his light may shine more brightly within us and in our world today.
This year, we will continue to support our brothers and sisters within our local community (Sanctuary in Birmingham and Stourbridge Food Bank) through the Reverse Advent initiative. Please bring the item which is applicable to your child's class listed below. All donations are greatly received, thank you.
Reception - Toothbrush and toothpaste
Year 1 - Shampoo and Shower Gel
Year 2 - Chocolate and sweets
Year 3 - Hats / gloves / scarves
Year 4 - Cartons of fruit juice and long life milk
Year 5 - Tins of food - potatoes, rice pudding, fruit, meat, custard etc.
Year 6 - Deodorant / small bottles of washing up liquid
Thank you to the parents who have supported the school by wearing face coverings at drop-off and pick up and also for maintaining social distancing when moving around the school site. These measures will be in place until the end of term. Let us continue to work in communion together to keep all members of our school community safe so that we can all enjoy the season of Advent and Christmas.
The following guidance from the Local Public Health Protection Team regarding the end of isolation periods due to a positive Covid case:
Unless parents have informed NHS Test and Trace of an earlier date for onset of symptoms or a positive LFT then the isolation guidance is for ten full days from the date of the PCR test (test date is Day 0).
This includes the following:
If you are notified by NHS Test and Trace of a positive test result you must complete your full isolation period, except for certain situations where you had an assisted LFD test which was followed up by a negative PCR test. Your isolation period starts immediately from when your symptoms started, or, if you do not have any symptoms, from when your test was taken. Your isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day your test was taken if you do not have symptoms), and the next 10 full days. This means that if, for example, your symptoms started at any time on the 15th of the month (or if you did not have symptoms but your first positive COVID-19 test was taken on the 15th), your isolation period ends at 23:59hrs on the 25th.
We ask that parents inform the school of any information given by NHS Test and Trace regarding the start of isolation dates and to contact 119 to double check the return date to school.
Dudley Public Health also announced last week that only children displaying one of the 3 classic symptoms will be required to isolate whilst waiting for a PCR test result. A letter from the Director of Public Health and Wellbeing has also been sent out to parents confirming this information also last week.
Click on the following link to the NHS website for information on what to do if you or your child/ren show the main symptoms of Coronavirus. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms
Congratulations to the following children for being chosen by their class teachers for either Good Work or displaying our School Virtues (Eloquent and Truthful) this week. Well done also to St. Luke's for gaining the most house points. Unfortunately, Time with Ted has been postponed at the moment, but we hope to reintroduce this reward time next term.
The children can post Christmas Cards for their friends in the classroom post boxes next week, Monday 6th to Friday 10th December.
All cards received will be distributed during the last week of term. Last day for posting cards is Friday 10th December to enable us to quarantine the cards over the weekend.
During the pandemic, public worship was suspended for a time and there have been restrictions on parish life. As a result, people have been exploring other ways to practice their faith, including Spiritual Communion via live streaming.
As people begin returning to more regular patterns of parish life and following the first face to face meeting of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales in Leeds, the bishops have issued the following statement about the importance of honouring Sunday.
You are all welcome to join us at Our Lady's & All Saints Church.
Sunday 8.30am and 11am
We have all experienced challenges and difficulties during this pandemic, but sometimes we may need support from someone else or know of someone who may need additional help. Dudley MBC have created a 'Support for Families' leaflet which signposts local services to parents. We have also included an updated list of support for parents via a range of local and national agencies. These documents can be found within the Covid 19 tab on the school website home page.
The Wednesday Word can be accessed via following link: The Wednesday Word Primary School Resource | Catholic Church. Please go through this with leaflet with your child so that they become more familiar and understand the focus of the Gospel each week.
Lord God, our light and our salvation,
we praise you for your gifts of life and faith.
We thank you for the desire
that you have planted in our hearts,
our yearning to see your face.
Help us to meet you in prayer,
to walk in your ways,
and to speak to others of our joy
and consolation in your presence.
Give us faithfulness in this present life
so that we may come to know
and praise your beauty,
with all our brothers and sisters,
in the life to come.
We make this prayer through
Christ our Lord.
Children at St. Joseph's are growing to be Learned, finding God in all things; and wise in the ways they use their learning for the common good.
Let us pray for the catechists, summoned to announce the Word of God: may they be its witnesses, with courage and creativity and in the power of the Holy Spirit.