"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." - Matthew 25:40
An essential part of the Catholic faith, the key values of Catholic Social Teaching are found at the core of the Gospel. The key themes of Catholic Social Teaching are:
- Human Dignity
- Community & Participation
- Care for Creation
- Dignity in Work
- Option for the Poor
- Solidarity & Peace
The Common Good (as described by Pope John XXIII) is the, “Sum total of social conditions, which allow people, either as groups or as individuals to reach their full fulfilment”.
The Common Good, can only be truly achieved when we work together to improve the wellbeing of people in our society and the wider world. As Catholics, our faith calls on us to love God and to love our neighbours in very situation, especially our sisters and brothers living in poverty.
At St Mary’s, we teach our pupils to follow in the footsteps of Christ, giving them the opportunity to show justice, love and the peace of God in our unjust and sometimes broken world. We offer our pupils ownership of this through giving them roles of leadership and responsibility: The GIFT (Growing In Faith Together) Team, House Captains, Eco-Warriors and school councillors. Through these roles, pupils actively engage in charitable outreach projects, which benefit not only those in need but our pupils by developing their own understanding of social responsibility.
St Joseph's and Our Lady of Grace
This year marks 150 years since the consecration of St Paul’s Church in Grove Park in 1872. The church was funded by the Duke of Devonshire, and its arrival established Grove Park as its own distinct parish, with many of the buildings in the area also dating from this time. In celebration of this sesquicentennial anniversary and the wonderful Grove Park community, St Paul’s ran a Flower Festival where the flower team volunteers from both St Joseph’s and Our Lady of Grace joined up with students from St Marys - Year 3 (Class of 2021 – 2022) and Year 5 (class of 2021 -2022) - to present a wonderful floral exhibition on ‘Summertime is time in our Peace Garden’.
Harvest within our work
As a school, we learned and celebrated Harvest through our RE work and within English too! We learned about the festival of Harvest and charity work, supporting those in need. From this, we created poetry and prayers thank God for Harvest and expressing how we must help others too.
As part of poetry week, children across KS2 created circle poems based on giving and helping, supporting out Charity work and Catholic Ethos. We chose to create circle poems to represent God’s never-ending love for us.
Miss Scannell and a volunteer from CAFOD led us in our Harvest Collective worship where we thought about what Harvest means to us and to our community. We shared a poem, a song, had a go at a Harvest quiz and prayed together with a prayer which was especially written for the worship.
During Harvest, and any time of the year, it’s important to support local and international charities. As a school, we supported both CAFOD, an international charity by raising funds for the charity.
The incredible generosity of the families and staff at St Marys meant that we could send a few carloads of food to Hounslow Community Food Box. This will make such a difference to the community at this particularly challenging time
CAFOD's mission is to work alongside the world’s poorest people. They work without prejudice, they don’t preach, and they pride themselves on their diversity. They believe the Catholic values are best shown through love for others, and by working for justice and an end to poverty.
CAFOD’s vision, mission and values draw directly from Catholic Social Teaching (CST), Scripture, Liturgy, the Gospel and the tradition of the Church. At St Mary’s school we frequently promote CAFOD as a Catholic charity and often have speakers come in to do assemblies and workshops with the children. We take part in their family fast days and run fundraisers through the year. We often use their high-quality resources to support our teaching of RE and class worship.
More information about liturgies, charitable work and worship can be found on their website.
Recently, we have had a volunteer come into St Marys where she led assemblies from Nursery through to Year 6 telling us about the amazing work CAFOD do and how we can show the Catholic Social Teachings of Stewardship and Common Good by supporting charities such as CAFOD.
As a school, we took part in family fast day and raised money to support the works of CAFOD.
Hounslow Community Food Box
Hounslow Community FoodBox provides emergency food, support and advice to people living in the London Borough of Hounslow.
As a school, we wanted to support this special charity. Therefore, the children wore their own clothes in exchange for bringing in non-perishable goods to support this local charity.
With the help of the children, parents and staff we were able to collect a phenomenal amount of food which will support lots of families in the local area.
Metropolitan Police Service Christmas Tree Campaign 2022
The Metropolitan Police Service are planning a Christmas Tree Campaign, delivering Christmas presents to young people across London who may not otherwise received a gift.
This year the campaign will be ever more important as families navigate the cost of living crisis.
This year, each of the local senior policing teams will choose a poster designed by a local primary school child, which will be used to advertise the campaign to the public. The Commissioner will then choose an overall winner which will be used to promote the London-wide MPS campaign.
St Mary’s school was invited to participate in the designing of this poster.
We heard back from PC Andrew Pidding on receiving our designs who expressed his “heartfelt thanks to the students of St Mary’s as they are all winners to me!”
What is All Saints Day?
All Saints’ Day is a Christian festival which falls each year on 1st November. It is a time when Christians remember all the saints who have died and the wonderful things they have done.
In 835 AD, the Roman Catholic Church made November 1st a church holiday to honour the saints. This was when this day started to be called All Saints’ Day.
What is a Saint?
Saints are persons in heaven (officially canonized or not), who lived heroically virtuous lives, offered their life for others, or were martyred for the faith, and who are worthy of imitation.
What is All Souls Day?
All Soul’s Day is a special day in the Catholicism religion. It is an important day for other Christian faiths too.
All Soul’s Day takes place each year on 2nd November and is celebrated in countries all around the world.
This day is also sometimes referred to as Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, Feast of All Souls or Day of the Dead.
What happens on All Souls Day?
On this day, those who have died are remembered and prayers for the souls of the dead are shared.
Like many special religious days, the way different people mark this occasion varies from culture to culture. For some people, the 2nd November is a sombre time, remembering loved ones who have passed away. For others, it is a time to celebrate the lives of the deceased and remember all the good times.
Many people visit the place where loved ones are buried and they take flowers and candles to decorate the graves.
In some places, such as Ireland, people mark All Souls’ Day by having a picnic at the graveyard. They leave food out for their dead relatives who they believe are on their journey to heaven.
In Lithuania, some people say a special prayer for the souls of the dead and a feast is prepared in the home to which the deceased are invited.
In some places, All Souls’ Day is called Day of the Dead. In Mexico, Day of the Dead is called Día de los Muertos. Some people dress up and take to the streets. It is a vibrant, colourful festival, where young and old celebrate together. Also, certain symbols and objects are linked to the festival, such as skeletons and skulls.
At St Mary’s, we attended Church where all children were reverent, respectful and prayerful as Year 4 led the Mass. As a school, we have offered our prayers to the Saints and remembered those who are now with God.
We also learned about Saints, including our House Saints.