At the start of May, Pope Francis encouraged Catholics to pray the Rosary for peace, around the same time Mission Together, the Holy Father’s official children’s charity for overseas mission, paid a timely visit to St Mary’s Primary School (Batley) to deliver a special assembly. St Mary’s has a long tradition of reciting the Rosary with its pupils in May, a practice fondly remembered by ex-pupil and Mission Together education team member, Claire Colleran.
Claire was delighted to have been invited into her old school at the start of Lent to speak to pupils about Mission Together and how, as children helping children through prayer and giving, they can share in the mission of the Church and deliver God’s love to all people, everywhere, just as Jesus taught us.
Following that assembly, St Mary’s had adopted Mission Together as their Lenten charity and helped raise funds by selling the charity’s Mission Rosaries. Although Mission Together was just one of a number of the school’s Lenten charities, St Mary’s still managed to raise a wonderful £350 to help children living in poverty overseas.
Claire was invited back in to St Mary’s to collect the cheque and to lead a Marian inspired Mission Rosary assembly. Parish priest Fr Eamonn Hegarty came along to bless the children for their efforts to share God’s love with others through their support of Mission Together.
RE Coordinator, Mrs Jennie Blanchfield, said of the visit; ‘The children fully embraced Mission Together and its concept of children helping children. They could see through their prayers and giving that they can make a small change to children's lives all around the world."
Mission Together would like to extend special thanks to the pupils, parents and staff at St Simon’s Catholic Primary School, Stockport, for their generous Lenten donation of £786.68.
Such a significant amount required the support of the whole school community and duly the whole community readily engaged in many fun activities. Year six organised an afternoon tea, Year five held a Mad Hatters’ tea party, Years four and three performed an Easter play, Years two and one undertook a sponsored spell, and Early Years Foundation Stage held a sponsored nursery rhyme sing-a-long.
Deputy Head teacher, Mrs Jayne Clarke, said of the school’s efforts, ‘It’s been lovely and parents were involved with lots of the activities.’ Thanks to St Simon’s community, Mission Together can continue to support the emotional, practical, and spiritual needs of children living in poverty overseas.
The image shows pupils presenting a cheque to Mission Together volunteer, Mary Dearden. If you’ve been inspired by St Simon’s efforts and would also like to encourage children to help children, contact Mission Together to arrange for one of our volunteers to deliver an assembly in your school, or download our user friendly assemblies and other resources from our website.
On Monday 28 November, children from the Barnsley Deanery joined together in a beautiful Mass at Holy Rood Church in celebration of Mission Together. As the event took place in the first week of Advent, readings and prayers focused on the theme of hope. This was most apt as the support provided by the Barnsley Deanery schools over the last year is doing just that, bringing hope to thousands of children overseas. Children like Eunice, who through the help of Mission Together and the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi, receives free meals at her Kenyan village school, ensuring she and others like her are able to obtain the education, nutrition, and care they need to flourish and ‘live life to the full’ Jn 10:10.
One of Hallam’s Mission Together volunteers, Ann Barry, attended the event and said: ‘Mass for me was, as always, a really good way to both bring the school children together under the common theme of Mission Together, and a great way to start Advent. As the children I have visited in school grow up, they become much more aware of the difficulties that children in other parts of the world experience; this was clear for all to see in their contributions.’
Thanks goes to Bishop Ralph Heskett of Hallam Diocese who presided at Mass alongside priests of the Barnsley Deanery. Special thanks go to Derek Walton who helped organise the celebration alongside the staff of Holy Rood Catholic Primary School.
A big thank you also go to Hallam’s Mission Together volunteers and the staff and children of Barnsley Deanery Schools, who each year learn about, pray, fundraise, and bring hope to thousands of children living in poverty across the world.
Over nine hundred children from twenty schools in the Archdiocese of Southwark gathered in May 2016 for the Good Shepherd Service in Aylesford Priory, Kent. They were joined by Bishop John Hine and Fr Anthony Chantry, Missio's National Director, to celebrate the work of Mission Together.
Schools were invited to carry red, yellow, green, white and blue balloons to reflect the colours of the Mission Rosary -– which symbolise the five continents of the world. The children were also asked to write and attach a prayer to their balloons to exchange with one another. In this way they were sharing faith - children themselves being missionaries!
The day included singing, dancing, music and prayer. During the service, gifts were presented by the children. These donations will be used by Mission Together to provide food, shelter, healthcare, education and spiritual formation for children across the world. The celebration is a great reminder to us that we belong to a universal Church and affirms the difference we can make, whatever our age, by praying and sharing with our brothers and sisters around the world.