Mass in Celebration of the St Clare Catholic MAT
In September 2022, our school joined with other schools to become part of a brand new family, called St Clare Catholic Multi Academy Trust. The schools in this new family work to help one another.
Yesterday, students and teachers from those schools gathered together for Mass in St. Marie’s Cathedral to thank God for our new family and to pray for each other. We were blessed to have Bishop Ralph as the main Mass celebrant with Fr. Chris presiding and saying the homily. We too, thank the many guests for joining us for Mass; School governors, Directors, Schools’ Dept, Diocesan Trustees and all guests from in and around the Diocese.
Some of our students writing about the Mass:
It was lovely to represent Notre Dame School and be part of the congregation at the St. Clare Mass. It was so nice that the schools could gather together to worship and praise God. The atmosphere felt welcoming and peaceful and the hymns were beautiful. I felt that all the different primary schools and secondary schools coming together is a right response to the words of Jesus; “Let the little children come to me.” (Matthew 19:14)
The Mass was so nice and so peaceful. There were so many people there from the primary schools and also some local parishioners. What I really liked the most were the hymns that the little children sang and I really enjoyed Fr Chris’ sermon. Me and my friend, Matilda carried the banner and I felt really proud to be part of Notre Dame School and the St. Clare MAT.
It was meant to be a bleak Thursday morning, deep into October and Autumn. Grey, cold and windswept, rather dull in many ways. Yet despite this most certainty, the day delivered something else when I joined my Notre Dame peers and staff at St Marie’s Cathedral in the city Centre. We were joined by many other Catholic schools from across the city, all there with one joint cause; to celebrate the Mass.
They were from various parts of the city and beyond, different backgrounds, different schools and different life experiences. Yet we joined as one Catholic community, the sense of which felt very real and alive. I in turn was encouraged and motivated by the faith shared and that demonstrated by others. It was reassuring to see the faith demonstrated by primary school aged children and gave me a sense of wanting to do more in my faith.
The homily spoke truth to message behind the Mass, this was about St Clare, our MAT patron. Again, it gave feeling of wanting to do more in the faith, to live it out daily like St Clare.
Everyone was respectful in the Mass, knowing they were in the presence of the Lord. All played their part, which gave a real sense of an inclusive and uplifting celebration. There were many children that were tasked with being ushers, readers, and altar servers and all did a terrific job; making us feel very welcome every step of the way. Notably, the children from St Marie’s Primary School did a beautiful job at leading the hymns, and are a real credit to their school, and if I may say, the mentorship Notre Dame students have given to many of them in reading, shone outwards.
At the end of the Mass, we were enriched by the children representing the primary schools, in the way of them presenting their banners, artworks, and other crafts they had made. A very colorful and vibrant addition to the joyful experience we had that morning.
It was also a chance to meet some old faces and say hello to new ones also. I am grateful that Notre Dame allows us to participate in this wider Mass, it is refreshing to live out our faith in such a beautiful and proactive way, and to feel actively part of the wider Catholic community.
As we left the Cathedral and journeyed towards school, it seemed as if the wind calmed, the rain lessened, and the clouds broke apart and the sun reached down towards us on that Thursday morning in the deepest of October.