Spiritual Life of Our School
During the summer term all our Year 8 students visited Aylesford for a time of prayer and reflection. The day was led by the retreat team from St. Vincent's and they took part in a variety of different sessions. The workshops reminded them of their value and importance as young women created in the image of God. Students were involved in dance, art, reflection and prayer. Students expressed their appreciation of the day and now look forward to their residential retreat at Kintbury in Year 9.
During the summer term 200 Year 9 students visited St. Cassian’s Centre Kintbury for a residential retreat. The time at Kintbury is described as a time for faith, fun and friendship. Students have an opportunity to work with the young volunteers who live at Kintbury. These volunteers are an outstanding witness of faith and commitment. Our students participate in times of prayer, meditation, and a group Mass. They take responsibility for preparing different parts of the Mass and they always express their appreciation of their time at Kintbury.
We continue to enjoy a beautiful newly furbished chapel. This space enables students to express their faith and enjoy friendship and support. The chapel has provided a wonderful setting for the different activities that strengthen the spiritual life of our school.
During the last four years ninety upper school students have volunteered to become Prayer Leaders. Thirty three students from the current Year 10 applied this year. These students will now begin a time of preparation which will include: developing interpersonal skills, reflecting on scripture and having opportunities to pray with others. Year 7 students will be invited to come to the chapel and meet with Year 10 students for a time of intercessory prayer. Year 11 Prayer leaders are often asked to lead reflection and meditation during Year Group Assemblies. This is an excellent opportunity for students to witness to their faith and commitment.
At the start of the autumn term we invited our Year 7, Parents and Carers to join us for a Mass of Welcome. The Mass was a celebration of their arrival at St. Catherine’s and the scripture reading from Isaiah 43 proclaimed that God’s guidance is always with them. Before the Mass started the name of each student was displayed and we thanked God for her unique gifts.
The following week all our Year 7 students visited the chapel for a day of retreat. Their form leaders accompanied them and the day began with a liturgy of welcome led by our Year 9 students. Throughout the day Year 7 had opportunities to reflect upon their new school and their first weeks at St. Catherine's. This was an excellent opportunity to get to know their form leader and each other. The school chapel provided a wonderful setting for the day.
Throughout the academic year our school liturgies at Christmas, Lent, Easter and St. Catherine’s day are prepared by students and staff. Our Gospel Choir leads the music and students lead dance, prayer and reflection. Last academic year our liturgies reflected upon our call to serve each other. We considered Jesus self- forgetfulness and his humility. Our vocation as Christians continually inspire us to reach out to others and to follow the example of St. Catherine of Sienna who committed her life to the service of God’s people.