The blessings in this Sunday’s Gospel, which are taken from Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain (or Mount), are Luke’s version of the ‘Beatitudes’. This is one of the most well-known passages in the Bible and has encouraged people throughout the ages to trust in God.
The Beatitudes also “…reveal the goal of human existence, the ultimate end of human acts” and as such are the objective ‘values’ given by Christ himself. According to Pope John Paul II at the Angelus address in October 2004, Gospel Values “…are a guarantee of peace and of collaboration among all citizens in the shared commitment to serving the common good.” Rooted in the teaching of Christ, these Gospel Values should constitute the targets and outcomes of the educational enterprise in every Catholic School (Christ at the Centre p.16).
These Gospel Values need to be explicitly named, their meaning unpacked and pupils helped to understand how they relate to their lives both at school, at home and in society.
Pope Francis is calling us to be Spirit-filled and joyful evangelisers. An evangeliser is one who has been sent to share, witness or testify to the Good News. The gospel is first and foremost a message of ‘Good News’ – this message, this initial proclamation, is called the kerygma. This Greek word literally means ‘to cry or proclaim as a herald.’ Pope Francis says this is the kerygma:
‘Jesus Christ loves you: he gave his life for you; and he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you.’
The Beatitudes remind us that, however bad things might look, those who serve and trust in God will have the reward of his everlasting love and blessings. It takes complete trust in God for us to live in this way. Trusting in God’s promises is not always easy – but it is always rewarding. No amount of worrying will increase our safety or comfort; it is through trusting in God that we will find security and hope. In the week ahead think how you can show your trust in God.
Earlier this week, ten of our Year 6 children attended a special media event as part of the Commonwealth Connections Project at Thorns Collegiate Academy. Our 'Change Makers' worked with two athlete mentors from the Youth Sport Trust. Tom and Liz, who are both former Commonwealth medalists, shared their stories of success and worked with the children on leadership and team-work skills. The Change Makers will support the children back in school with activities to support in the lead up to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. Two of our children also spoke to the distinguished guests, teachers and other students about the project and our plans for the future. The event was also covered by both BBC and ITV local news. Please click on the following link to the ITV news article: Birmingham 2022: Schools twinned with Commonwealth countries for special project | ITV News Central
Congratulations to the following children for being chosen for Good Work or for displaying the Catholic virtues (Curious and Active) this week. Well done to St. Mark's house for gaining the most points too.
|Class||Good Work||Catholic Virtues (Curious and Active)|
|Year 1||Seth and Zara||Bethan|
|Year 5||Oscar||Alyssa and Leila|
|Year 6||Hermione and Holly||Emilja and Harvey|
I am sure that you are aware of the Government's plan to reduce Covid restrictions further within education settings from Thursday 27th January, including the removal of wearing face coverings in communal areas.
However, further guidance from Dudley MBC has been published in association with the Local Public Health Protection Team, as follows:
The number of cases of Covid-19 remain high across the borough, with the largest number of cases in the 5-19 age group. This is leading to a number of outbreaks in education settings.
When necessary, local authorities can introduce local measures to reduce transmission in settings and help keep students and staff safe.
Therefore, in response to an outbreak in an education setting, Dudley Public Health advise that the following measures are maintained:
1. Facemasks are worn in communal areas where social distancing cannot be maintained (this only applies to staff and visitors in primary schools).
2. Any child identified as a close contact by NHS Test & Trace or Dudley Public Health (either within their education* setting or household), should undertake 7 days of Lateral Flow Device tests (LFD). If the result is positive, they should isolate for 10 full days, in line with the guidance. A child can end their isolation period before the end of 10 days by taking an LFD from 5 days after the day symptoms started (or the day the test was taken if the child did not have symptoms), and another LFD test on the following day. If both these test results are negative, and the child does not have a high temperature, the child may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result. *only applicable to those 5 years of age or over
Due to the increasing number of cases and outbreaks in certain classes, we will continue to advise parents on site to wear face coverings and for staff members to continue to do so in communal areas within school. Any visitors will also be asked to wear a face covering in communal areas too. Thank you for your continued cooperation with this matter.
The latest isolation guidance which came into force on Monday 17th January, is as follows:
From Monday 17th January, people who are self-isolating with COVID-19 will have the option to reduce their isolation period after 5 full days if they test negative with a lateral flow device (LFD) test on both day 5 and day 6 and they do not have a temperature. For example, if they test negative on the morning of day 5 and the morning of day 6, they can return to their education or childcare setting immediately on day 6.
If the result of either of their tests is positive, they should continue to self-isolate until they get negative results from two LFD tests on consecutive days or until they have completed 10 full days of self-isolation, whichever is earliest.
Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests or anyone who continues to have a temperature will need to complete the full 10 day period of self-isolation.
A positive test result is classed as Day 0.
Further information on self-isolation for those with COVID-19 is available.
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.
Make me poor in spirit, so I can receive the kingdom of heaven.
When I mourn, help me find comfort.
Make me meek, so that I may inherit the land.
Help me to hunger and thirst for righteousness, so I may be satisfied.
Make me merciful, so I may obtain your mercy.
Make me pure of heart, so I may see you.
Help me to make peace, so I may be called your child.
When I am persecuted for righteousness’ sake, show me your kingdom.
Children at St. Joseph's are growing to be curious about everything; and active in
their engagement with the world, changing what they can for the better.
For religious sisters and consecrated women
We pray for religious sisters and consecrated women; thanking them for their mission and their courage; may they continue to find new responses to the challenges of our times.