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Catholic Life News

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Inter-faith Visit

In the Year 8 assembly this week Oldham Inter-faith forum visited our school to talk about The Five Pillars of Islam and similarities in Christianity.

By  Fr. Phil Sumner and Molana Attiq. The event was an opportunity to celebrate and promote interfaith dialogue. @oldhaminterfaith

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Big Issue North

Last month Rebekah Cheshire, fundraising officer for Big Issue came to visit.  We invited her to talk to the students about Big Issue North, their vendors, and the work that they do to help people living in poverty.  Year 9 and year 10 students had an assembly presentation, while year 8 students participated in a workshop.

Please click here to read more.


Fast, Give & Pray.

This week the GIFT team visited Y7 forms to deliver a reflection on the meaning of Lent. Pupils were asked to set themselves Lenten promises linked to the theme FAST, GIVE & PRAY. It was a useful opportunity for the GIFT team to gain confidence leading prayer & worship.

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Castlerigg 2024

Y7 pupils and staff attended a retreat at Castlerigg youth centre in the Lake District. The residential included workshops and walks in the beautiful Keswick countryside. The school trip was an opportunity to step back/retreat from life and see the bigger picture. It gave both staff and pupils time out with God. Pupils also made new friends and new experiences. Click here to see more.

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Year 8 Charity
Mary’s Meals

Year 8 are supporting World Porridge Day and Mary’s Meals. Mary’s Meals serves children, in some of the poorest countries, steaming mugs of vitamin-enriched porridge, helping them to learn and grow. Mary’s Meals provides one good meal every school day for hungry children living in 18 of the world’s poorest countries. The promise of these meals attracts children to the classroom, where they can gain an education and grow up well-nourished and well-educated to become the men and women who will lift their communities out of poverty. #porriagecanchangelive

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Now recruiting!

St Damian's GIFT team are currently looking for new members .

Meeting Days – Lunchtime @ 1:45pm
Monday - Year 10 GIFT team & Mindful Prayer - Room 10A JYS
Tuesday – Year 8 GIFT team & Lectio Divina - Room 10A MGR
Wednesday - Year 9 GIFT team & Creative Prayer - Room 8 NBY
Thursday - Special Intention - All year groups (Selected Dates) CARITAS Ambassadors - Room 7 MGR (Breaktime)

Friday - Year 7 GIFT Hope in the Future
Room  7 EAD


The Feast Display

On Friday, the GIFT team created a display for the Chapel to celebrate The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

#GIFTTEAM#inomnibusfidelis #Sacredheartofjesus  

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Rabbi Cohen

Rabbi Cohen also brought in some items used in worship that the pupils could look at up close. Rabbi Cohen commented “Thanks for the warm welcome at you school today. Both classes were a real pleasure to speak to, and I was most impressed both by their knowledge as well as their level of engagement! They are a true credit to you and your department!”


Hindu Mandir Visit

Getting to know our local community and neighbours on ST Damian’s Day! What a treat to visit the Hindu Mandir on Lees Road - In the joy of others lays our own “ #Thestdamiansway #community


Year of Prayer

The Holy Father has decided that 2025 will be a year of Jubilee, something which happens every 25 years. The theme is “Pilgrims of Hope”. He has asked that 2024 be a 'Year of Prayer' to prepare for the Jubilee.

The Y7 GIFT team will be visiting each Y7 form group to talk about the ‘Year of Prayer’ and deliver a prayer reflection on the importance of praying the  Our Father prayer. Each pupil will also be given a prayer card to use during this year. #CAFOD #yearofprayer #Pilgrimsofhope


CAFOD Careers 

This week in KS3  RE lessons pupils are looking into a career working for CAFOD. Pupils were fascinated learning about the variety of roles paid or voluntary in the UK and worldwide. They were also involved in a Flood board game to see what happens at CAFOD in an emergency. #careers#CAFOD


Lent Jars

Today the GIFT team made prayer jars. The idea is that it gives pupils an opportunity to reflect on the power of prayer during Lent.

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Cooking up great homework

A Year 7 has been very creative in the kitchen with his Stewardship Homework, baking cookies using Fairtrade ingredients for his whole class to try! Mrs Gerschler said they were very yummy! We are currently learning about Stewardship and caring for our common home. The Homework will give pupils an opportunity to put their faith into action. Following the message from Pope Francis in Laudato Si, Joseph has managed to meet both of the Pope’s requests, one that cares for the environment and one that care for our society. We will be sharing more of these projects on our news feed soon!


Faith in Action Award

Today St Damian's launched the 'Faith in Action Award' to Y7. The award it an opportunity to recognise and reward the active faith and service of Y7 pupils in their school and parish/place of worship. For more information see school website 


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celebration mass

St Damian’s school parish link


All pupils and staff are invited to attend a mass on
Sunday 15th October 2023
at either
9am St Christopher’s catholic church - 5 St Christopher's Rd, Ashton-under-Lyne OL6 9DP
11am St Anne’s catholic church –
10 Burlington St, Ashton-under-Lyne

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Emmaus Mossley

Two groups of Y10 students had the opportunity to visit Emmaus – a charity in Mossley that aims to help homeless people change their lives for the better. The first Emmaus community was founded by Father Henri-Antoine Grouès, better known as Abbé Pierre.

Visiting Emmaus was a fantastic opportunity for students to see how Catholic Social Teachings work within the world and not just our school community. 


Exceptional Pupils

Great to see the Year 7 GIFT team receive their Purple ties and receive some training from Sister Roseline on items used in Mass and Mass preparations. We shared a meal together and got to know each other too. They have many ideas to use as part of Faith Formation at St Damian’s and will be working closely on Hope in the future. We are excited to see the team spread the message of Jesus in the hearts and minds of all.

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Caritas Award

Congratulations to 7JHL - They raised an extra £500 for our Caritas appeal at Christmas through their pastoral theme project 'Success'


Young Designers

Year 8 in their RE lessons have been designing a Catholic Church to express beliefs about Salvation. Students enjoyed the kinaesthetic learning on the topic of Religious Art in preparation for their upcoming exam #creativeRE.


Grill the Priest

Careers week in RE is underway with ‘Grill the Priest’. Students are asking questions and listening to Fr. Jude, our school Chaplin and Governor about his life in Nigeria, vocation to the priesthood and how his life has changed working in Ashton. Students have asked questions about Catholic faith and beliefs so they can deepen their understanding of what it means to live as a Christian in the world today. #vocations


St Damian's Day

Our traditional celebration of ‘St Damian’s Day’ took place on Friday 2nd February. Our theme this year was FEAST day, a chance to celebrate and enjoy everything that is ‘great’ about the St Damian’s community.  As usual, this was a day when students and staff had opportunities to reflect, engage in a range of formation activities, learn about other faiths and listen to external guests on pertinent issues, such as mental health. Click here to see more.

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Rosary Week 2023

This week in school we have taken the rosary on tour around the school. Staff and pupils have attended in large numbers to pray a decade of the rosary with special intentions.


Hope in the Future - Schools Celebration

Mrs Allmand was accompanied by Isabella, Lola and Ethan, all in Year 7. As Ambassadors for Christ, they were able to reflect on what it means to be part of the faith and building those bridges and connections with our parish and the worldwide Church. The visit included workshops, exhibits, inspiring speakers, and live music. The conference was organised by the Diocese of Salford and many of the primary and secondary schools were represented. We are excited to reach out and make new partnerships and links with the charities and communities that we have met today.  We would like to thank Bishop John and the whole team at Salford Diocese for such a memorable day.

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Thinking like a theologian

Pupils can borrow the books & magazines to provide our aspirational students an opportunity to widen their world view and deepen their faith @The_Tablet 



A Jewish Partnership

Rabbi Chaim Cohen was invited into our school community to work with our fantastic Year 11 pupils and get them ready for their Judaism unit for RE GCSE. We are proud to be working alongside our Jewish partners to build strong interfaith relationships and hear from the voices of that faith tradition directly. Pupils studied ideas about the Messiah, traditional marriage rituals and worship in the Synagogue. 

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Caritas Ambassadors

Fantastic training delivered from @CaritasSalford for our Caritas Ambassadors. We would like to thank Kathryn Ansley, Formation Co Ordinator, for her inspirational advice that will take our group from strength to strength. Our aim is to put our faith into action and take the message of hope and love to all we meet.

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