Sunday Times Prep School of the Year 2013-14

Catholic Life

Pope Francis’ Monthly Intentions – November 2019

In his prayer intention for the month of November 2019, Pope Francis invites us to pray that "a spirit of dialogue, encounter, and reconciliation emerge in the Middle East."

It has become the custom of Pope Francis to release a video message detailing his prayer intention for each month.

The full text of his intention is below:

In the Middle East, concord and dialogue among the three monotheistic religions is based on spiritual and historic bonds.

The Good News of Jesus, risen out of love, came to us from these lands.

Today, many Christian communities, together with Jewish and Muslim communities, work here for peace, reconciliation, and forgiveness.

Let us pray that a spirit of dialogue, encounter, and reconciliation emerge in the Middle East.

Click here to watch Pope Francis’ video message.

   

 

The Rosary - Wednesday 16th October 2019

On Wednesday, Y5P led a special service that celebrated Mary, Our Mother, and the mysteries of the Rosary, which we especially remember during the month of October. The girls explained the meaning of the Rosary and how to use it. They also acted out a scene from the Bible, during which Mary was visited by the Angel Gabriel and said ‘Yes’ to God. Y5P reminded us to thank God for Mary and pray to her so that she will help us to say ‘Yes’ to God.

This week marks the 175th anniversary of the formation of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross (on 16th October, 1844 in Menzingen, Switzerland) by Mother Bernarda Heimgartner, Sister Feliciana Kramer and Sister Cornelia Mäde. On Wednesday, Sister Margaret, Sister Ursula and eight other Holy Cross Sisters went on a special pilgrimage to Canterbury, where they visited the first Franciscan church and shared a special Mass together to mark this momentous occasion. May God continue to bless and guide all the Holy Cross sisters around the world as they carry out their special mission. 

This week, we also celebrated the feast day of one of our special house saints, St Teresa of Avila (15th October). We can learn much from this determined, independent woman who followed God's way and who was later declared a Doctor of the Church - 'To have courage for whatever comes in life - everything lies in that.'

 

Pope Francis’ Monthly Intentions – October 2019

For a Missionary “Spring” in the Church:

Today, a new impulse to the Church’s missionary activity is needed to face the challenge of proclaiming Jesus and his death and resurrection.

Reaching the peripheries – the human, cultural, and religious settings still foreign to the Gospel: this is what we call the “missio ad gentes”.

We must also remember that the heart of the Church’s mission is prayer.

In this Extraordinary Missionary Month, let us pray that the Holy Spirit may engender a new missionary “spring” for all those baptized and sent by Christ’s Church.

Click here to watch Pope Francis’ video message.

 

Feast of Saint Francis – Friday 4th October 2019

Today marks the Feast of Saint Francis, who guides us on our school mission.

The girls have been learning more about Saint Francis in their class liturgies. Our Juniors have taken home a little prayer card from CAFOD of the Prayer to St. Francis and a copy of a special edition of ‘The Wednesday Word’, which explores this week’s gospel and ‘The Little Way Week’. It is inspired by the life of St. Thérèse of Lisieux - the girls enjoying learning about on her feast day (1st October), which focuses on the impact of doing little acts of kindness for others. this teaching supports Pope Francis' Extraordinary Month of Mission for October. 

‘Little things done out of love are those that delight the heart of Christ.’  St. Thérèse of Lisieux

 

Harvest Mass – Wednesday 2nd October 2019

On Wednesday we celebrated our special Harvest Mass, led by Y6P.

We were joined by many parents and members of our school community, as well as our special visitors from Zambia. It was wonderful to have our Zambian friends contribute to our Mass – the children wrote and read some Prayers of the Faithful, they brought some of their local produce up as part of the Offertory, and they sang a beautiful Offertory hymn in their own language.

At the end of Mass, we broke and shared the beautiful harvest loaf that Mrs Bouffe kindly made with the girls, and a representative from each different part of our school community took some bread back to their classrooms and offices to share together and give thanks. 

Thank you for all your generous donations to our CAFOD appeal, which will help 'Brighten Up' the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves.

 

CAFOD Assembly - Wednesday 25th September

During this year’s Harvest we will be collecting money for the charity, CAFOD.

A special guest speaker will be coming in to talk to the girls about the wonderful work that CAFOD do, and to inform them of the positive impact their Harvest donations will have on the lives of others.

 

Feast of the Holy Cross – Wednesday 18th September

This week, we continued to celebrate our ‘Faith Fortnight’, with the staff celebrating a special Mass with all the schools in our local Deanery, whilst the girls enjoyed learning all about their house saints and sharing what they are thankful for as part of our ‘Rainbow of Thanks’ display.

On Wednesday, we celebrated our special Feast Day - our whole school community, including many members of our Advisory Body and Trustees, joined together to share a very special Mass, led by girls from all of the classes across the school.

In class, the girls enjoyed exploring the history of the Sisters of the Holy Cross and the meaning of our school emblem, and had lots of fun creating their very own holy crosses. What a wonderful way to start the new academic year!

 

Pope Francis’ Monthly Intentions – September 2019

For protecting the oceans: 

  • Oceans contain the bulk of our planet’s water supply, and also most of the immense variety of living creatures, many of them are threatened for various reasons.
  • Creation is a project of love given by God to humanity.
  • Our solidarity with the “common home” is born from our faith.
  • Let us pray this month that politicians, scientists and economists work together to protect the world’s seas and oceans.

Click here to watch Pope Francis’ video message.

 

Faith Fortnight – September 2019 

To kick-start the new academic year, we are celebrating a 'Faith Fortnight' across the school, during which the girls will be enjoying a range of activities exploring different elements of their faith and the values of our school. 

In class, the girls have been gaining a better understanding of our mission statement and the Holy Cross Way, as well as writing prayers for a range of intentions and the start of the new year. As a school, we are focusing on being kind, and the girls and teachers have been busy nominating others to be celebrated on our Tree of Kindness. On Friday, the girls took part in a Day of Prayer and Reflection, during which they visited the Prayer Room to explore a range of different prayer stations and spend some quiet time reflecting on their lives in the presence of God.

  

 

The Beginning of Year Diocese Mass – Tuesday 10th September 2019

On Tuesday our new Faith Leaders attended a wonderful ‘Beginning of the Year’ Mass at St George’s Cathedral in Southwark. The Mass was led by The Most Rev. John Wilson Archbishop of Southwark - his first with the diocese since his installation.

As 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of Verbum Domini (The Word of the Lord), this year will focus on the Bible and ‘The God Who Speaks’. To commemorate this significant year, twenty Deanery candles were blessed during the Beginning of the Year Mass, which will be sent into school communities as a reminder that ‘the Word of God is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path’ (Psalm 119:105).

We look forward to one of the Deanery candles visiting our school later this year, to help us celebrate, live and share God’s Word.

 

Leavers’ Mass – Friday 5th July 2019

Led by Father Michael, the annual Leavers’ Mass was a beautiful celebration of our year 6 girls’ time at Holy Cross Prep.

It has been a joy to watch our year 6s grow over the years - from the tiny reception pupils who first walked through our doors seven years ago, to the independent young people we see today, with bright futures ahead of them. We wish them the very best as they embark on the next step of their journey. 

Year 5 Picnic and Praise – 25th June 2019

This year, ‘Picnic and Praise’ took place at St John Bosco College, Battersea.

Beginning with relay races inside the school gym, the girls worked up an appetite in time for lunch al fresco on the lawn.

After lunch, the group settled inside the beautiful Sacred Heart Catholic Church for hymn practice ahead of the Mass, which promoted the positive message of being ourselves and celebrating who we are.

 

Going Forth Mass – 25th June 2019

Today we celebrated our annual Going Forth Mass, an important rite of passage for our First Holy Communion girls, who wore special white dresses to mark the occasion. Our First Communicants led the school community in prayer and reflection, before receiving their blessing from Father Michael in front of their families and classmates. A beautiful and joyous celebration!

 

Wintershall – 19th June 2019

This week year 6 visited Wintershall to experience an open-air, moving and engaging re-enactment of ‘The Life of Christ’. 

Reflections from Alexandra in Y6: “It was extremely well shown and was funny and sad at times, especially when Jesus died on the cross.  I really understood what they were saying and the amazing drama kept me listening and engaged throughout it all.  My favourite part was when Jesus cured the little girl, Jairus’ daughter, because it was wonderful to see the gratitude of the girl’s parents and friends of Jesus.”

 

Holy Trinity – 19th June 2019

This week the church celebrated Trinity Sunday. ‘Trinity’ means ‘three-in-one’. God is three persons in one: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We remember that we are called to act like the Trinity - to love one another, no matter what. Some people think it’s hard to love people who are different to us. But we know that we are made in the image of God, so we are made to love one another, just like the three parts of God love one another.

This week also marks Refugee Week 2019. We should all be inspired to view all people, including those who are refugees, with love and generosity and to think of ways that we can welcome them, regardless of their differences or circumstances.

Everyone in the world is our brother or sister, regardless of their race, belief, appearance, age, ability or disability. We are all one in Jesus and called to love and welcome one another. Even when our future seems uncertain, as it is for refugees, we can take comfort in knowing that we don’t have to face it alone; God is with us through His Holy Spirit, as Jesus told the disciples at the Last Supper.

 

Liturgy – 12th June 2019

During this week’s liturgy, we celebrated the Feast of Pentecost and remembered how God sent the Holy Spirit to the disciples - we give thanks that we too can receive the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Holy Spirit brought peace and unity by giving the disciples the ability to speak different languages, meaning they could communicate with everyone!

Jesus wants to give us the gift of His Holy Spirit too - all we have to do is ask. The Holy Spirit can give us help and courage so that we, like Saint Francis of Assisi, can act to bring peace to our communities.

Many situations in the world need peace. Like Francis of Assisi, peacemakers often make personal sacrifices to bring peace. Francis learned that being a peacemaker isn’t always easy. But Francis knew in his heart that God’s call to be a peacemaker was more important, and he was happy to make those sacrifices for such a cause. Francis looked up to heaven and knew that God was pleased with him.

The caring spirit of Saint Francis can be found in The Holy Cross mission, and so we have renamed the Old Chapel the Francis Room.

 

Year 5 Pentecost Service – 5th June 2019

This week Y5P led us in a beautiful and uplifting service to celebrate the birthday of the Church at Pentecost, when Jesus sent his Holy Spirit to the disciples. We celebrate this great day when the friends of Jesus found that they could do the things that He had done; the day that they understood the things that before they found too difficult to even think about. The day when they suddenly had courage, where before their knees turned to jelly at the very thought of danger or difficulty.

The girls re-enacted the story of how the disciples gathered in a room when they were sent the gift of the Holy Spirit, who appeared above their heads in tongues of fire. Y5P helped us to remember that just as the Holy Spirit helped the disciples to go out and spread God’s word, it can also help us in our daily lives and give us the courage and wisdom to follow Jesus’ path. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit brought peace and unity by giving the apostles the ability to speak different languages, enabling communication with all. We too must try to do our best and go forth and spread God’s message in our own lives.

Breathe into me Holy Spirit
So that my mind may turn to what is holy.
Move me, Holy Spirit,
So that I may do what is holy.
Guide me Holy Spirit,
So that I may love what is holy.
Strengthen me Holy Spirit
So that I may preserve what is Holy.
Protect me Holy Spirit,
So that I may never lose what is holy.

Liturgy - 15th May 2019

During this week’s liturgies, we were reminded that God is always caring for us, even when we do not realise it. 

On Monday our year 6 Faith Leaders recalled that Jesus is the Good Shepherd, looking after each of us as his sheep. They reminded us to take time to celebrate and give thanks for the service of priests and sisters across the world who follow the example of Jesus, caring and shepherding us through our lives. In particular, we would like to thank Fr Michael, Sr Margaret and Sr Ursula for all they do to help guide us on our faith journey. 

On Thursday we were reminded that Jesus said: “I am the light of the world... anyone who follows me will have the light of life.”  Jesus lights up our lives and we feel the warmth of his love guiding us on our path through life, and he wants us to follow his way and to shine our lights for all to see. The challenge was set to go and shine brightly in all that we do and the girls certainly did that this week, being true Holy Cross girls and letting their light shine bright for all to see.

 

Year 3 Service – 8th May 2019

On Wednesday our year 3s held a service celebrating Mary, the mother of Jesus. May is a special month that we dedicate to celebrating Mary and all the wonderful things that she has done, her dedication to God and the love she shows us all. We also celebrated our own mothers and fathers, who encourage, motivate, soothe, comfort and inspire us every day.

 

Y4 Mass – 1st May 2019

This week’s Mass, hosted by Y4, celebrated the life and resurrection of Jesus.

After His resurrection, Jesus brought peace, joy and love to many different people.

When people met Him, they saw once again that He was alive, and wanted to share the good news. Today we still listen to this good news about Jesus - the news that, even though He died on the cross, He is still with us, and He now does his work in a different way.

       

Holy Week - Friday 29th March 2019

This week we followed Jesus on his final journey. This journey began on Wednesday, with Y4P leading us in a beautiful Palm Sunday service; we celebrated Jesus’ arrival (by donkey) in Jerusalem by waving our palm leaves and singing ‘Hosanna!’

On Thursday, Y6 lead us in a moving service, which re-enacted the events of the Last Supper. On this celebrated occasion, Jesus taught his disciples a new commandment, one that we still strive to follow today: ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’ We came together to sing the hymn ‘A New Commandment’ - the words remind us to forgive one another, respect one another, be kind to one another and love one another, just as Jesus told his disciples at His very special last meal.

A new commandment I give unto you,

That you love one another as I have loved you.

That you love one another as I have loved you.

 

By this shall all men know that you are My disciples,

If you have love for one another.

By this shall all men know that you are My disciples,

If you have love for one another.

Today Y6P led us in a very holy and reflective Lenten Walk, as we travelled with Jesus on the road to Calvary during the final moments of His life. We were reminded of the ultimate sacrifice that Our Lord made for us so that all those who believe in Him could have eternal life. This is the reason we celebrate His resurrection each year on Easter Sunday.

Thank you to all those involved for their hard work and efforts in making this week so special. What a wonderful way to end our spring term.

 

Lenten Promises - 14th March 2019

As we continue through Lent, we try to take time to reflect on our lives and consider how we can help others. Pope Francis reminds us in his encyclical 'Laudato Si' that we need to work together to care for our common home. He reminds us of how Saint Francis of Assisi compared our common home to a sister with whom we share our life, and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us: “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs.

The girls have been busy writing Lenten promises based on this message and have considered the small steps they can take during Lent to help save and care for our planet. From reducing waste, to limiting their use of plastic and saving energy, the girls have written their Lenten promises on footsteps that are displayed all across the school. These footsteps represent following God’s path, and remind us each day to take small steps of change to help make a big difference to our planet.

Perhaps you can talk at home about how you can help care for our common home together as a family. 

 

Ash Wednesday Mass and the Blessing of our Prayer Room - 6th March 2019

To mark the start of Lent, on Wednesday we came together to celebrate our Ash Wednesday Mass, led by Father Michael and a selection of girls across the different year groups.

As we received the blessed ashes, the girls reminded us that we are made by God, as is the earth and its dust, for life. These ashes were the palms of last Palm Sunday and, as such, they are also ashes of hope. We receive them to remind us that we are part of the creation of God. 

Following the Mass, Father Michael and our year 6 faith leaders led us in a beautiful blessing of our prayer room. A selection of girls from each year group were able to share this special occasion from inside the prayer room itself, whilst the rest of the school community gathered in the hall. From here they were able to watch a live streaming of the blessing, ensuring that everyone could be a part of this wonderful event. 

The prayer room is adorned with beautiful, heartfelt prayers, written by each girl in the school. The prayers spoke to God about a wide range of intentions: praising Him for the many wonderful things in our lives; thanking Him for the love we share with our families and friends; and asking for His guidance and assistance in helping us care for our common home, as Pope Francis has requested in his message of ‘Laudato Si’. 

Our faith leaders reflected on how busy life can be at times, and how lucky they feel to have a special space in our school to retreat to; somewhere to be still, calm and reflective, and a place of sanctuary where we can listen and open our hearts to talk to God. May this be the beginning of many years to come for prayer and reflection in this blessed room. Thank you to all those involved in making this such a special occasion for our whole school community.

 

 

World Faith Week: Judaism (25th February – 1st March)

As part of our World Faith Week, this week we celebrated the religion of Judaism.

Each year group focused on a different aspect of Judaism, including the festivals of Hanukkah (the Feast of Lights), Rosh Hashanah (New Year), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Pesach (Passover), as well as Shabbat (the Sabbath) and the Torah (religious text).

The girls also learned all about the importance of the synagogue, the Jewish holy place of worship. Led by a Rabbi (literally translated as a teacher), Jewish communities gather here for educational and social events. The idea of family is central to Jewish life, with many rituals and festivals taking place in the home. However, the synagogue forms the focal point of public religious life.

Y5 Mass – 13th February 2019

As this week marks the Feast of St Valentine, Y5’s mass focused on the concept of love.  

The night before Jesus died, he gave us a new commandment to love one another. We follow His teaching and show our love for Him each and every day by loving our families, friends and neighbours.  

“Y5’s mass was all about love. It showed that we should thank and love our beloved friends, parents, siblings and grandparents that will always be there when we are upset and lonely. Our families care for us with all their heart and they will always love us. They think we are so special and brilliant and we should think the same about them. Y5’s mass made everyone leave with a smile on their faces and love in their hearts.” Rose-Erin in Y5

 

Y4 Candlemas Service – 30th January 2019

Y4’s service was all about the ways in which the Church celebrates the feast of Candlemas.

The girls retold the story by acting out the time that Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem, and about Simeon and Anna, who had been waiting to meet the Messiah for a long time. 

The girls reflected on how Jesus brings comfort, reassurance and hope in sad and difficult times. We were also encouraged to think about how Jesus is the light of the world and how we see His light when we look around the world we live in.

The message of the service was about choosing to turn away from the darkness and, instead, turn to light… Go and let your light shine for all the world to see! 

 

Y5P Winter Mass – 16th January 2019

This morning’s beautiful winter-themed Mass was hosted by our Y5P pupils, alongside Father Michael.

The girls talked about the apparent lifelessness of the winter season, as we wait for new life to appear; although the world outside may appear to be dead, life continues to grow beneath the snow. God gives us the winter each year, just as God provides new life in the spring.

During the Offertory Procession, the girls brought bread and wholesome food to keep us nourished during the long winter months. They also brought woolly jumpers, hats and scarves to keep us warm. Finally, the girls brought handmade paper snowflakes, as each is unique and special - just like us. We thank God for all of his beautiful creations.

 

Epiphany

Sunday 6th January marked the Feast of the Epiphany.

The word ‘epiphany’ is translated as a ‘moment of realisation’, and this religious holiday symbolises the moment the Wise Men first saw Jesus and recognised him as the Son of God.

As one of the oldest Christian feasts, this important celebration is steeped in tradition, with different customs practised across the world.

Here at Holy Cross Prep, we chose to celebrate this important moment on Monday 7th January, our first day back at school after the Christmas break. During assembly we learned all about the significance of this event by imagining the star that God put in the sky - the star that led the Wise Men to the baby Jesus. 

 

 

Bethlehem - the Musical!

Our Junior girls performed superbly last week, retelling the Christmas story in their funny, vibrant, energetic, modern production of ‘Bethlehem – the Musical’; the school audience and appreciative parents, siblings and extended families were all amazed at seeing nearly 160 girls on stage, all at once in the Hall, all singing their hearts out, dancing and acting their parts with great enthusiasm in character. Fabulous effort girls!

Our Pre-Prep department younger pupils were not to be out shone either as they presented three retakes on the traditional Nativity story, confirming that whether you are a minor fir tree, a family of mice or an inquisitive child seeking a game to play during the holiday season, there is a place for Jesus’ birth in all of our lives. Well done to everyone for reminding us of the true meaning of CHRIST-mas…

 R nativity

 

Looking ahead to Advent

Advent begins on Sunday 2nd December, and our girls throughout the school have been making Advent promises and reflecting upon the joyful season that is ahead of us.

Perhaps you could create an Advent wreath at home with your daughter(s) – collect some evergreen foliage from the garden and safely support 5 candles in the arrangement? The girls know all about the wreath and what it means and how it can help us prepare our hearts for Jesus’ birth.

The Nativity plays put on by Wintershall are a wonderfully special way to celebrate and reflect upon the season with your family; perhaps this year you could make time to attend? https://www.wintershall.org.uk/nativity-play

 Advent prayer

We look forward to December where we prepare for the coming of our Lord. We will celebrate the season with special advent assemblies led by Mrs Hair, Miss Green and our Faith Leaders. The Christmas story will be retold in unique ways with 4 different plays performed by the Pre-Prep and Junior departments, and a special Christmas Mass prepared by Y6P will end another successful term, celebrating the birth of Jesus and preparing ourselves for Christmas with our families.

 

Faith Leaders

The Faith Leaders are a  group led by Miss Green consisting of 9 Year 6 girls. The girls meet fortnightly to discuss, plan and implement new initiatives in line with the school's mission and ethos, support and develop collective worship throughout the school and be an ambassador for the faith formation and liturgical life of the school community. The Faith Leaders assist with the weekly gospel assembly led by Miss Green or Mrs Hair and some members formed part of the Remembrance Sunday parade.

 

Remembrance Sunday - 11th November

On Remembrance Sunday Mrs Hair, Miss Roche and 13 of our year 5 and 6 girls represented our school in the Coombe and New Malden Remembrance Parade led by the Royal British Legion. One of our faith leaders wrote a prayer on behalf of the school which she read at the service and two other faith leaders laid a wreath with our school logo and prayer attached. It was a very moving and special experience and one we will continue to support.

 

Mass of Inscription - 31st October 

At the end of October, the school community came together to pray for our Year 3 girls who have started on their sacramental preparation programmes in their own parishes. They will make their First Holy Communion during the summer term when we will celebrate once again in our ‘Going Forth Mass.’ As a whole school community, we promised to pray for them as they begin this special part of their faith journey. It was wonderful to see the 20 girls from classes Y3 and Y3P celebrate their Mass of Inscription with Father Michael. This represents the start of their journey in faith towards receiving the sacrements of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. Let us pray for them and their families.

At this Mass, we also celebrated the Feast of All Saints. This feast was also recognised with a special assembly that week, presented by Mrs Hair and our house captains, who talked about their house saints. 

 prayer for first HC girls

May you always know the peace of Jesus, the light of His love, and the joy of His life within you. Amen.

 

Space for Faith - Our Prayer Room

This academic year we are delighted to present our school 'prayer room',  a space dedicated to time with God. It has been furnished with cushions designed by year 6 and resources to help us experience and explore further our journey in faith during our time at school. Classes have begun to gather here for class liturgies and reflection and our faith leaders are planning a blessing for this special space. It is a beautiful room at the back of the school, overlooking our extensive grounds, flooded with natural light and warm sunshine. Our Mustard Seeds group gather here every Wednesday lunchtime to explore the meaning of the Good News through prayer and reflection in creative ways. On Monday mornings, Sr Ursula meets parents here for her 'Time 4 God' group where they pray, reflect and enjoy eachothers company. 

We hope the girls will enjoy the room for self reflection, mindfulness practices, stillness - all of which will help our girls grow personally, socially and spiritually.

          

 roof over head prayer

 

Prayer for daily courage

"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline." 

Timothy 1:7

 "Lord, grant me courage as I go through this day. When I am tempted to give up, help me to keep going. Grant me a cheerful spirit when things don't go my way and give me courage to do whatever needs to be done. In Jesus' name, Amen."

 

The Mustard Seeds

The Mustard Seeds lunchtime prayer group meet every Wednesday to explore the meaning of the Good News through prayer and reflection in creative ways using art, drama, song and science. They have planted and grown their own mustard seeds having read the parable, as a way of exploring what Jesus meant by the Kingdom of God. This term they composed prayers of intention, made rosary beads to celebrate October the month of the Rosary, shared ‘fruits of the earth’ to learn about Harvest, painted art for our new Prayer Room, said prayers for our loved ones in heaven, made poppies to remind us of Armistice day and explored the four elements of collective worship, creating the words with stain glass window effect to display in our prayer room

         

 

Light up the dark…

With darker Autumn nights upon us we may be feeling a bit gloomy and reach for the nearest string of fairy lights, but there is no need…we have light within us! Light is powerful and all-pervading; when we walk close to Jesus we choose light and love and darkness is dispelled. When we follow the Gospel values in our daily lives and consider the Holy Cross Way in school, we become little lights; we can bring God’s light, goodness and truth to the whole world, wherever we go.

Prayer for Light
Christ, as a light
illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield
overshadow me.
Christ under me;
Christ over me;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light;
Christ as a shield;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.

 candle light

 

Prayers we say in school

 pray daily

The start of a new school year brings a much welcome routine for many of us; the endless days of sunny, holiday fun are a precious gift, but can only be truly appreciated when they replaced by routine and they become something to look forward to once more in the future. Being back in school signals a return to regular prayer for most of us as our school day is punctuated with time for this small act of worship and thanksgiving. We may pray at any opportunity in the day, and the girls are reminded of the importance, and need for spontaneous prayer which they can lead; there are also ‘set’ prayers we join in together. Please take a moment to read through these – they may prompt you to write a ‘family prayer’ which is special and unique to all of you at home.

 

We make the Sign of the Cross together

 sign of the cross

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen. 

 

Morning Prayer (said together in Assembly)

Heavenly Father I give you today all that I think and do and say, united with what was done, on Earth, by Jesus Christ your son. Amen.

 

Our Father

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be they name

Thy Kingdom come, they will be done

On Earth as it is Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

And forgive us our trespasses and those who trespass against us

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Amen

 

Hail Mary

Hail Mary full of Grace

The Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.

Amen.

 grace at lunch

Pre-Prep Grace – sung in the Dining Hall together towards the close of lunch service.

Thank you God, for the food we have eaten.

Thank you God, for all our friends.

Thank you God, for everything.

Thank you God. Amen.

 

Junior Grace – said or sung in class before the girls attend lunch.

At the table, at the table

Bless this food, bless this food,

Bless this food we ask you

Bless this food we ask you,

And us too, and us too.

 

Pre-Prep ‘hometime’ prayer

God our Father I come to say, thank you for your love today, thank you for my family and all the friends you give to me. Guard me in the dark of night and in the morning send your light. Amen.

 hometime prayer

 

October -  The month of the Rosary - 15th October

Miss Green led a beautiful assembly on The Rosary with help from our faith leaders. We thought about the importance and significance of the mysteries of the Rosary, during the month of 

 

Zambia Pupils Visit - 4th October

Our numbers swelled this week when we were joined by 62 pupils and four members of staff from the Holy Cross school in Zambia. The boys and girls joined us for a taste of English school life. They accompanied our Y5, Y5P, Y6 and Y6P classes as they followed in their footsteps for a day in the busy timetable of Holy Cross, Coombe. There was much to learn from each other and many differences to giggle over, but importantly, there was lots of Holy Cross values to share and appreciate the same regardless of continent!

Zambian prayer

A Prayer for Friendship between Nations…

Dear Lord, teach me to love others the way you first loved me. As I build relationships with others, let them see you in the extent of my generosity, the authenticity of my kindness, and the depths of my love. All of those things are only possible through you, the God who abides with me and calls me His friend. Amen.

 Zambian pupils

 

Harvest Mass - 10th October 

As part of our commitment to support those in need, this year we chose to support the work of The Kingston Food Bank in association with The Trussell Trust. The girls were encouraged to donate items of non-perishable food and were given a list as to what the Food Bank required. We had an amazing response with approximately 22 crates being delivered to their storeroom. During our Harvest Mass, prepared by Y6P, we thanked God for the wonderful earth and for our harvest, the food that grows for us and prayed that we may be truly grateful for all He gives to us. We then shared fresh bread, made by Chef. The girls took it back to their classrooms after Mass where they gave thanks for the harvest and all we have.

 

Harvest Prayer - a CAFOD reflection

Creator God, in love you give life. In your generosity you create the gifts of the earth. As daughters and sons of the same Father, may we learn to share the plentiful gifts of creation, especially with those most in need. Give us open hands and loving hearts, so that we take less and give more. We ask that all may benefit from your goodness and share in the fullness of the life you have promised. Amen.

 HArvest display

        

 

We are shaped by those around us - 26th September 

Y5 reminded us in their service that we are shaped but those around us. As members of the community we came together in God’s name to praise Him for the many gifts that He has given to us. We thanked Him especially for the people in our lives and in our community who make our lives happy and safe.

 

Feast of the Holy Cross - 12th September

We opened the school year celebrating the Feast of the Holy Cross and giving thanks that we are all part of this special family, where we grow and learn, where we feel valued and safe, where we work together and make lasting friendships. We gave thanks to the sisters of the Holy Cross and all those who work for the good of others. Children from all year groups participated in this beautiful Mass. We are lucky to be able to celebrate the Feast of the Exultation of the Cross so early on in the new academic school year because it enables us to focus and reflect upon the ethos of our school. The girls have been reviewing and learning about the Swiss order of Holy Cross nuns who founded the school and gave us our legacy. The Offertory gifts during Mass reminded us of the value of education in God’s world as well as the importance of what He can teach us. It was a prayerful and joyful celebration and we welcomed many families and parents in our congregation as well.

 HC feast

 

Celebrating the new school year Mass with Archbishop Peter Smith - 11th September

On 11th September Miss Green and Mrs Whitfield took 6 children from Year 6 to St Georges Cathedral in Southwark, to mark the beginning of the new school year and to celebrate Mass with Archbishop Peter Smith and the rest of the Diocese. The girls were impeccable and represented our school beautifully.

 St George's cathedral diocese mass

 

Our Holy Cross Song

My song shall rise with gladness, thy name and fame to tell

To hail the place I treasure and where I long to dwell.

That spot so dear and cherished to where my heart has grown,

My second home of childhood

The Holy Cross my own,

The Holy Cross my own.

 

Thou art to me a fountain whence life and truth to draw

From these three pleasant streamlets

Peace, joy and wisdom flow.

‘TIs here that childhood’s pleasures are ever to be found,

Where ties of tender friendship

All youthful hearts entwine,

All youthful hearts entwine.

 

New Beginnings - 6th September

We threw open our school gates and warmly welcomed our two new Reception age classes of children into our Holy Cross family. We extend our embrace to all the new staff and the handful of new pupils who join us through the school; God Bless them all, may they feel settled and happy here in no time. Over the next week in class we will all be looking at our ‘Holy Cross Way’ and reminding ourselves of our purpose here in school as part of God’s big family.

Prayer for the New School Year
Loving Father, thank you,
We have had time to rest,
And now we are full of energy.
We have had time to think,
And now we are full of ideas.
We have had time to stop,
And now it’s time to get going.
Help us all to be the very best we can be.
Be with us Father we pray as we begin this new school year together.
Amen

 

2017-18

Saying ‘goodbye’ and moving on - July 2018

Tissues were clutched tightly and friends hugged even closer as we held our ‘Leavers Mass’ on Wednesday. Whilst it is a joyful celebration of the end of another successful academic school year, it is always tinged with sadness for our Year 6 girls who are saying goodbye to us and moving on to their new, chosen senior schools in September. The girls have been with us for seven years since first starting in Reception, and it has been a joy and a privilege to watch them blossom and grow academically, personally and spiritually. We continue to keep these girls in our prayers and assure them that their Hoy Cross family is always here for them. The remainder of the school look forward to the long summer break and a chance to spend some time with family and friends, relaxing and enjoying the sunshine. God Bless all.

Remembering the power of prayer in our busy, hectic lives as daily temperatures rise...

 

The Serenity Prayer

God grant us the serenity
To accept the things we cannot change;
Courage to change the things we can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as we would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If we surrender to His Will;
So that we may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.

Amen
 

Blessings before the Summer Holidays
Take time to claim your strength; this is a gift from God.
Take time to have fun; it is God’s way of teaching you your strengths.
Take time to grow yourself; only you can grow you.
Take time to trust yourself; God trusts you.
Take time to be self-reliant; it is better than being dependent.
Take time to share with others; they will bless you and you will bless them.
Take time to have hope; you are a child of God.

 

Picnic and Praise!

On 26th June our Year 5 girls journeyed to St Philomena’s school in Carshalton to be part of the Picnic and Praise event run by our Diocese.  The pupils and staff of many schools came together to experience 'Share the Journey'  led by CAFOD. After a picnic in the grounds, the day ended with celebrating Mass; a perfect end to a very special and spiritual day.

 picnic and praise

 

Going Forth - 26th June 

A fantastically beautiful and joyful celebration of our First Holy Communion girls as we held our ‘Going Forth’ Mass in school with siblings, grandparents, god parents and friends joining us in the Hall. The girls looked serene in their special white dresses and were prayerful and reflective during Mass; their classmates were supportive in wearing their own clothes too and joining in the precious day. The sun shone down on all and we felt truly blessed and thankful.

 

The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary - 31st May

We are lucky to fill our school environment with many beautiful crucifixes on classroom and corridor walls and holy figure statues. A very popular statue with girls and staff is the large Mary who watches over us on the top lawn; she makes for a beautifully serene spot to stop and reflect in our busy school day.

 

Almighty ever-living God, who, while the Blessed Virgin Mary was carrying your Son in her womb, inspired her to visit Elizabeth, grant us, we pray, that, faithful to the promptings of the Spirit, we may magnify your greatness with the Virgin Mary at all times. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

 

Ascension Day Prayer
O Lord Your Ascension into heaven
marks the culmination of the Paschal Mystery,
and it contains an important teaching for us.
May we live life as an earthly reality
and develop our human potential to the fullest.
May we make use of the results of science
to achieve a better life on this planet.
But in our best moments
we know that there must be more
than all of this,
a transcending Reality.
As Christians, we know that this Reality
is Your loving Father
Who awaits us with You and the Holy Spirit.
Where You have gone,
we ultimately will come - if we are faithful.

New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book

 flames of the Holy Spirit
 

Lenten Walk -19th April

The whole school community came together to reflect on Christ's last journey on earth. We walked in His footsteps together, appreciating the beauty of our environment and the school grounds and stopped at each station of the cross to pray and observe. The triumphant resurrection was given real meaning by the girls in Y6P as they re-enacted the scenes and spoke the words from the Bible account. It was a very powerful and poignant afternoon in school and one which is appreciated by pupils, staff and visitors alike as we don our heads scarves and become the crowrds in Jerusalem.

 

Friendship Prayer

Help me, O God, to be
A good and true friend.

To be always loyal, and
Never to let my friends down;

Never to talk about them behind
Their backs in a way in which I
Would not do before their faces;

Never to betray a confidence or
Talk about the things about which
I ought to be silent;

Always to be ready to share
Everything I have;

To be as true to my friends
As I would wish them to be to me.

This I ask for the sake of You who are
the greatest and the truest of all friends,
For your love’s sake, Amen.