The Liturgical group school have been commissioned by the Bishop of Salford to enhance and develop the liturgical life of the school. The group has many responsibilities – such as charity and Justice and Peace as well as leading in the prayer life of the school meet the judging criteria by putting others first. They have raised money and awareness by taking a lead in campaigning for charities such as bright for sight, hospices, breast cancer, the homeless and terminally ill.
They are a group of approximately 25 students who spend many dinner times and own time leading the liturgical and charitable life of the school. Mr O'Loughlin who oversees the Liturgical Group said 'As always the behaviour and respect shown by our pupils is exemplary. The pupils at St Damian’s create a very reverent, prayerful and respectful environment during Mass and Liturgy. It is such a pleasure to be part of it. Our Pupil Chaplains again set-up for and led the Mass – they are phenomenal.'
The Liturgical group says ‘We do what we do because we all care greatly about the liturgical life of the school and we want the school to be known as the OUTSTANDING CATHOLIC SCHOOL it is!’
They have started to recruit new members from lower down the school by going to Year Assemblies as well. The group has many responsibilities – such as charity and Justice and Peace as well as leading in the prayer life of the school. We are very proud of their achievements.
At the moment they are leading Rosary Club each Tuesday break time and researching about Prisoners of Conscience and thinking ahead in preparation for our Christmas Carol Service in December.’
Mr Logue, Headteacher , said that the Liturgical group was a great vehicle to ensure the spiritual and moral development of St Damian’s pupils. This group has gone from ‘strength to strength’ over a relatively short period of time, including many of its members being commissioned by the Bishop of Salford, Bishop Terence Brain. The group have special ‘purple’ ties and it is great to see them feeling proud and showing off their ties.
A letter from Fr Simon:
'Dear all, a belated mail just to reiterate how marvellous our staff and students were at Tuesday's party. I'd like to congratulate all those who put on such wonderful entertainment and especially those who attended to the needs of our guests. The cross-generational contact really does make a tremendous difference to our older friends and I'm quite sure benefits the younger members of our community. Students enjoy themselves as much as the guests! When leaving all the comments were positive and we also look forward to welcoming everyone back next year. One guest said: ‘We have had a lovely time! You have made us feel very welcome and it is good to get out of the house and meet friends. Everyone in school is so lovely and you should be really proud of your children.’ Special mention should go to Gail Wright. To keep the food and drink flowing in such a calm, gentle, kindly and efficient manner ensured that a good time was had by all. Such behind the scenes effort might sometimes go applauded but without it no party would be so successful as this. She did us proud. At the risk of descending into gushing self-congratulation our school showed itself at it's very best and we should be duly pleased at the pivotal place it has at the heart of the wider community. Gods blessings on you all for the upcoming days of rejoicing. Fr. Simon.
Active Campaigners Diana Award
The Diana Award believe that young people should be: encouraged for their contributions to society, empowered to reach their full potential and they should be engaged in social action as early in life as possible. Mr Logue said 'we at St Damian’s RC Science College are extremely proud of The Liturgy Group, The Diana Award will encouraged them to continue their fantastic campaigning and will hopefully inspire others to take a stand against bullying. The group are delighted to receive an award in recognition for their active role in the community'.St Damian’s RC Science College is delighted to announce that our Liturgy Group have been honoured with the Diana Award. The Diana Award, set up in memory of Princess Diana’s belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better, has Prime Minister David Cameron as Patron and the support of the HRH Duke of Cambridge and HRH Prince Harry. Since 1999, the Diana Award has recognised over 42,000 young people who have made a positive difference to the lives of others and their communities.
Finalists for the MEN Schools Awards 2015
We are delighted to announce that The St Damian's Liturgy Group were finalists for the Active Community Award Manchester Evening News Schools Awards and achieved an impressive 'Highly Commended'. This category is for a group in school who play an active role in their local community; raising money for local charities and getting involved in the local community.
The St Damian's Liturgy group spend many dinner times and own time leading the liturgical and charitable life of the school. They have been excellent role models in the faith and are an inspiration to others. Their selflessness is most obvious evidenced in raising thousands of pounds for many different charities. This has the added advantage of raising awareness of the suffering of others who are not as fortunate. They are proactive in the liturgical life
of the school further developing their confidence and leadership skills that are fundamental skills for their futures. This includes assisting in the preparation of every school Mass. They truly are shining ambassadors for the school.
Cornerstone ‘Big Sleep Out’
Some of the group joined the Bishop of Salford and people from across Salford Diocese at St Christopher's Church in this year's 'Cornerstone Big Sleep-Out' April 2015 in support of the thousands of people who have to endure
sleeping rough on our streets. They learnt first hand, the value of solidarity with the most vulnerable members of our society; to treat others with respect and to realise the equality of all regardless of social status
Thanks to the massive efforts and generosity of our school community we are delighted to announce that St Damian's are sending over 40 backpacks in support of Mary's Meals and their 'Backpack Project'. Mary's Meals is a global movement that sets up school feeding projects in some of the world's poorest communities, where hunger and poverty prevent children from gaining an education. We wish to sincerely thank everyone who sent stationary and backpacks into school in order that we could, in some small way, help chronically poor children by giving them the essential tools they need so they can learn and receive an education that can, in the future, be their ladder out of poverty.
Retreat to Castlerigg
Each year Mr O’Loughlin and staff take Year 9 students on a retreat to Castlerigg in the Lake District. This is a chance for our students to step back and take a look at their lives to see what was important and to gain a closer relationship to God.
Activities include preparing their own Mass, looking around the picturesque location, discos and games. Students are also impeccably behaved and the staff at Castlerigg hope we return as they too get so much out of it as the pupils do.
Senior Citizens Christmas Party
Each year St. Damian’s invite senior citizens from our community to our traditional Christmas party. This has always been a fantastic event. Fr Simon joins our celebrations and party food &wine all enjoyed by all - there is always a real atmosphere of laughter and fun.
Our young people spend time chatting to our visitors and making sure that their plates and glasses are full and that they are enjoying themselves. Entertainment is also provided by our wonderful students: we have traditional and modern dance acts, singing, and comedy. Daniel Hayes, our budding magician, entertains everyone at their tables with some special tricks which certainly impressed everyone.
Bishops Visit and Blessing
11th July 2013 saw a visit from Right Reverend Terence Brain, Bishop of Salford who celebrated St Damian's Golden Jubilee. Bishop Brain and Fr Simon are pictured below with our Liturgy Group
Torch Relay of Prayer
St Damian's pupils took the relay of prayer torch to Holy Family and presented their theme country India. The relay of prayer torch symbolised the famous Olympic torches, and helped symbolised the Olympic values of respect, excellence, friendship, courage, determination, inspiration and equality.
Every year pupils at St Damian's take part in share day which is a fund raising event where everyone dresses up in every weird and wonderful outfit you can imagine to raise money for chosen charities.
Lent is a time of prayer and refection and Catholics are supposed to give something up or do something extra to help others who are less fortunate than us. This is known as alms giving. Children at St Damian's raised money for chosen charities by carrying out various sales and activities and they raised a huge amount to give to these charities.
Jubilee Year of Mercy
The 8th December is the start of the Jubilee Year of Mercy established by Pope Francis. It runs from the 8th of December 2015 to the 20th November 2016.
It is an invitation to ‘start again’ on your faith journey. Maybe you have not always been the best person you could have been, so the Pope is helping us get close to God again by inviting us to say sorry and start again
What should we do?
~We should look at what we have done wrong and try to put things right again.
~We should go to reconciliation – we offer this in school during Lent.
~We should pray to God to help us renew our faith in him.
~We should act on the Pope’s message and show Mercy to the people around us and give to those in need.
Pope Francis has told priests and Bishops all over the world to open their Cathedral doors and some church doors. We are invited to take a pilgrimage to our local Cathedral and walk through the ‘Holy Door’. This is a symbol of our want and need to change and be better Christians. Christ himself identified himself as ‘The Door’ so through Jesus we can get to God.