Newsletter May 19 2023

19 May 2023

This Thursday was the Feast Day of the Ascension of our Lord. It commemorates Jesus being taken up into Heaven, leaving earth to enter into his full divine glory; a simple yet striking event. A particular part of the account in Acts of the Apostles that always resonates with me is the appearance of the two robed men as the crowd are still looking into the sky afterwards, straining their eyes trying to find Jesus in the Heavens. The men say “..why are you standing there staring into Heaven?”. It is a reminder to the gathered Apostles of how Jesus had comforted them before his arrest and crucifixion. In John’s Gospel Jesus comforts the Apostles by teaching them “Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” 

As the question from the mysterious robed men sinks in for the Apostles, I imagine it dawning on them what they had just witnessed and had been taught. As the divine glory of Christ was finally and publicly revealed in such a momentous way before he slipped from their sight, his words of comfort must have been ringing in their ears. The Apostles could not physically see Jesus himself anymore, though they could live in Jesus and find him in one another; they could find God in one another through keeping his commands; and through this they could then find God within themselves.The unlocking of this prophecy of Jesus, this mystery, on the day of the Ascension, when the Apostles learned that they too could become the greater Glory of God appears to be the very first green shoots of our Christian faith. In our Catholic faith tradition we are reminded of this through an aspect of Ignatian spirituality which, through the gift of the Society of Jesus, became our school motto, “Finding God in all things”. Through the celebration of the Ascension of Jesus to Heaven may we be reminded that we too can find him through following him in our words and in our actions, finding him in the words and in the actions of others and knowing we can find him in our own hearts; finding God in all things.

In veniens Deum in omnibus.

Dean Wearmouth

Progress at the site has been rapid within the last few weeks and is well and truly on track. The steel structure on the main teaching block is complete and the roof is around one third complete. The building of steel structure for the Hall, Chapel and Music areas has now commenced.

What does it mean to ‘Accompany’ somebody?

The term “accompaniment” refers to the pastoral approach of journeying alongside individuals or communities, providing support, guidance, and care in their spiritual growth and development. It emphasizes the importance of fostering relationships and walking together with others on their faith journey.

To ensure that accompaniment happens within our St Ignatius Catholic community, we have considered the following as key aspects of our ‘Curriculum Vision’: 

  1. Pastoral Leadership: Support leaders in caring for the community’s spiritual growth.
  2. Building Relationships: Encourage connections and friendships within the community.
  3. Active Listening: Listen attentively to understand others’ joys and struggles.
  4. Personalized Support: Tailor support to individual needs and challenges.
  5. Faith Formation: Offer educational programs for deeper understanding.
  6. Sacramental Life: Participate regularly in the sacraments for spiritual nourishment.
  7. Service and Outreach: Engage in acts of service and share God’s love with others.

These key aspects are expanded upon below and we are certain that they will allow each of our ākonga to pursue their own personal excellence and that they will be ready to serve others freely and with love and kindness.

At St Ignatius, the personal accompaniment of the learner is embedded in a deep compassion for every individual. This personalised care and attention sees the teacher as a companion and as a mentor. The companion can see clearly, way before the young person they accompany, what the next step is, but should encourage them to figure this out for themselves.

The formation of St Ignatius students focuses on the whole person (cura personalis) and a strong, responsive and caring team of pastoral staff will work alongside our teachers, ready to walk alongside our students and help them overcome the barriers they may face on their journey to adulthood.

This  shoulder-to-shoulder stance of walking together is a true reflection of the Gospel values embodied and practiced at our school.

Which House will you belong to?

Acutis House

Carlo Acutis was born in London in 1991 to Italian parents. Carlo moved to Milan with his parents shortly after his birth and attended a Jesuit School there. Carlo had a deep faith from an early age. He had pure devotion to the Eucharist, a love of praying the rosary and a routine of weekly confession. After celebrating his First Holy Communion, at the age of seven, he rarely missed an opportunity to receive the Eucharist at daily Mass. He said “By standing before the Eucharistic Christ, we become holy.”

He died from Leukaemia aged 15.  However, throughout his illness he put his computer and coding skills and talents to good use. He created a website which cataloged Eucharistic miracles recognised by the Church. He wanted more people to recognise how Jesus was truly present in the Eucharist, in fact he said “If we get in front of the sun, we get suntans… but when we get in front of Jesus in the Eucharist, we become saints.” 

He has been called the ‘Patron Saint of the Internet and Social Media’ and was beatified in 2020.

His motto was ‘be originals and not photocopies’.

To find out more about Carlo Acutis watch the short animation below:

Carlo Acutis Animation

Buses Update

Thank you for the feedback we received regarding the proposed bus routes.  We have discussed this with Broughams Buses.  They are moving their planning forward to the next stage which explores the finer details of each proposed route.  We acknowledge all requests made for a bus service through the application process and are working with the bus company to develop routes that are both practicable and viable.   

We will hope to update you in the coming weeks with more details of proposed routes.  Once these are finalised then the next stage will be to look at costings. 

Next week the Church in Aotearoa New Zealand begins a week of prayer for Christian Unity.  Prayers are said throughout the southern hemisphere next week as we celebrate the unity we find despite the diversity that exists between us all.

We invite you this coming week to reflect on the following prayer:

Together we come before you, a holy family, united in the beautiful diversity of your creation: some of us are Indigenous peoples, some of us are descendants of the enslaved, some of us are descendants of the enslavers, some of us are migrants, some of us are refugees, but all of us are part of the one Body of Christ.

We praise you that through the living waters of baptism our sins, red as scarlet, were washed away and we were healed, as we became part of the beloved community, the family of God. We offer our thanksgiving and praise to you, Creator God.

Together on this journey, we celebrate with our hearts and eyes open to understanding and growing in the sacred wisdom that is shared and passed amongst all people. Help us to embrace unity with each other and remind us that we are of one family gathered by your Holy Spirit, in the midst of your creation.


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