Thanks to all schools, for your brilliant Lenten efforts

We are very grateful to all schools who have prayed and shared with us during the season of Lent. You are sharing God’s love with children living in poverty overseas. Thanks to your valued support, Mission Together is able to provide practical help and spiritual care.

One such school is Holy Spirit Primary, St Helens (pictured), in the Archdiocese of Liverpool where in addition to organising several fundraising drives, the school have regularly prayed the Mission Together Prayer – the words of which remind pupils of our need as members of one universal family, to ‘share love, share friendship, and live in the peace of God’s love’.

Missio’s Red Box Director, Mr Stephen Davies, received a warm welcome when he visited Holy Spirit Primary at the start of the summer term, to find out about their fundraising efforts and collect a cheque for their money raised.

Stephen said, ‘I was delighted to hear that during Lent each year group had focused on a different act of mercy, inspired by Pope Francis. They included raising money for Teardrops, a charity supporting homeless people in their local area, and visiting the sick and elderly in the area.’

The whole community is truly the Church, living out Christ’s Gospel and making a difference in their local area as well as internationally, through their witness and love.’

At the end of the assembly, Stephen was even taught the Mission Together prayer in British Sign Language, which the whole school have learnt, as a special way to prayerfully remember our sisters and brothers around the world.

Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl are pictured presenting their school’s cheque, alongside Deputy Head Teacher, Ms Walsh.

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Together in Sri Lanka – an update

On Easter Sunday 2019, the world was shocked and saddened by the vicious attacks that took place in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo. Many supporters will remember that this beautiful country provided the project focus for our 2017-18 school campaign. The campaign – to provide healthcare and food supplies to impoverished communities – featured Ajay, a ten-year-old boy who lives on a tea plantation in the remote Badulla highlands.

Budulla is 180 miles from Colombo. Thus the children featured in our campaign were far from danger. But the Catholic community in Sri Lanka is so small (6% of the population), that many Catholics in the country will know loved ones directly affected by the bombings.

Missio (Mission Together is the children’s branch of Missio) has for many years supported the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka. Through education, healthcare and pastoral programmes, our supporters have helped its disadvantaged communities to break cycles of poverty and promote social cohesion and justice. All vital in a country where 42% live on less than £1 a day and where many are still recovering from civil war and natural disasters.

Now the Church in Sri Lanka is again attempting to alleviate suffering and promote Christ’s message of mercy and love. A few days ago our National Director in Sri Lanka, Fr Basil (pictured with blast victims), explained the role Missio will play:

‘We are taking every opportunity to be of help and support to the affected, in every way possible. I am trying my best to launch programmes to provide immediate relief to children and families affected by the bombing and provide long-term trauma counselling and spiritual care to help victims and their families rebuild their lives.’

Please join with us in praying for prevailing peace in Sri Lanka. Perhaps you could ask your pupils to say the Mission Together Prayer, or recite the ‘Asia’ decade of the Mission Rosary.

If you would like to support Fr Basil’s programmes financially, you can do so via the Missio website and the yellow donation section ‘WNM’ where it is needed most>>

 

 

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New Pentecost Resource for 2019

This year’s Pentecost Liturgy helps children celebrate the birthday of the Church, whilst learning that the Church is not just a building made with bricks – but a community made up of billions of people around the world, all trying to share God’s love as Jesus taught.

Our new Pentecost Liturgy incorporates scripture, drama, symbol, prayer, and activities. To view this resource and resources from previous years, click here.

The image used above was taken at St John the Baptist Catholic Church, Free State, South Africa. Pictured with the children is Fr Adongo, a Mill Hill Missionary Priest whose training was part funded by our adult branch, Missio.

 

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St Bernard’s ‘Snowdrop of Hope’ Lenten Display!

We were delighted to see how our Lenten resources have inspired St Bernard’s Preparatory School, Slough. Using our Lent Activity ‘Signs of Hope’, the whole school have worked together to create an impressive ‘Snowdrop Field of Hope’!

Teacher, Mrs Perrett, explained that the display is much more than a beautiful backdrop. “On each snowdrop, the children have written what they are giving up for Lent and how this can impact others.” In addition to their Lenten sacrifices, some pupils are also taking up sponsored tasks and donating money raised to help children around the world through Mission Together.

The pupils’ almsgiving efforts have been inspired by another Mission Together resource, Sr Sonia’s Journey (look to the right of this post to view the film). This short film tells the story of Peruvian missionary, Sr Sonia, and shows how through her service and ministry she is helping children and their families in a remote village in Malawi.

Sr Sonia’s desire to share God’s love with others made such an impression on pupils from St Bernard’s Faith Ambassador Team (pictured in the photo), that they worked together to write her a letter. Their special message thanks Sr Sonia for her work and contains a promise to follow her example – praying and sharing to help children in Malawi and around the world

The pupils then posted the letter to Mission Together with a request that it be forwarded to Sr Sonia. We are honoured to be able to do so and look forward to letting you know her response! We are very grateful to St Bernard’s school for being part of our mission together – to make God’s love known in the world. Your snowdrop display is beautiful, but your Lenten efforts are even more so!

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A new Children’s Liturgy for Parishes

Did you know that Mission Together is the children’s branch of Missio, known by its distinctive Red collection Box? Many are unaware of the link or of the Sunday Children’s Liturgy that complements Missio’s Parish Appeals. We’ve recently revised this Children’s Liturgy and are making it available to download from both our Mission Together and Missio websites.

This Children’s Liturgy is based upon Jesus’s new commandment, ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’ And explores the words; service and mission. To find out more and to download our Red Box Appeal Children’s Liturgy, click here.

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Blackpool’s Little Lights

Here at Mission Together we are always delighted to hear about new supporters. So when Sr Margaret Ochigbo HHCJ, contacted us to tell us about the efforts of Holy Family Primary, Blackpool, we couldn’t wait to share the good news.

Sr Margaret introduced Mission Together to Holy Family School in Autumn 2018, initially through the use of the Mission Rosary. Since then, the school community have started a Mission Together Club and have chosen to fundraise for our projects during Lent 2019.

Sr Margaret (pictured with pupils) has worked with the school Community, to devise an impressive Lenten fundraising plan of action, including a Soup Lunch, Grandparents Day, and Book Sale. As a missionary herself, Sr Margaret was familiar with Mission Together and its role in providing spiritual and practical relief to places of poverty and turmoil.

Through her many years teaching in schools in her native Nigeria and now in the UK through her pastoral ministry in parishes and schools, Sr Margaret has seen first-hand the powerful results of ‘children helping children’ through sharing and prayer. Sr Margaret told us. “I have established Mission Together in all the schools and parishes where I had worked.”

“The idea of children helping children appeals to me, as a religious sister and educationist.”

She continued. “My experience in Holy Family School has been wonderful, the headteacher, staff and pupils are amazing, and when I threw the idea of starting Mission Together, as part of their existing work in upholding the Catholic ethos and practices, they accepted it willingly.”

As the Catholic Church’s official children’s charity for overseas mission, Mission Together unites children in a unique exchange of faith, friendship, and solidarity. With participating schools in every continent, pupils are encouraged to pray for and share with other children in need of support, whatever their background or belief. In this special way God’s light and love are shared around the world.

Mission Together is the children’s branch of Missio. To find out more about our work visit missiontogether.co.uk. You can also download our 2019 Lent resources here. Order classroom materials and contact us to arrange an assembly.

 

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What is Missionary Childhood Day?

In a recent interview to Agenzia Fides – the Vatican news agency – Sister Roberta Tremarelli, Secretary General of the Pontifical Society of Holy Childhood (Mission Together), provided a helpful explanation of the meaning and genesis of Missionary Childhood Day. Below is an abridged transcript.

“When Missionary Childhood Day was established on 4 December 1950 by Pope Pius XII, all countries were asked to identify a date to be dedicated to Holy Childhood. Many celebrate it on 6th January precisely because it is the Epiphany, a day of feast for children. But in other countries it is celebrated in February or May or July or October.”

“To have a Day dedicated to Holy Childhood Society, even if the dates are different in the world, means that, on that occasion, all the children on the continent are put in relation, in communication with each other. Jesus is the centre and at the same time represents a bond for the children in the whole world”. Sister Roberta Tremarelli

“It is an occasion dedicated to all the children who, like adults, are missionaries, by virtue of Baptism. This also recalls the theme of this year’s Extraordinary Missionary Month: Baptized and sent.”

The Extraordinary Month of Mission referred to by Sr Tremarelli, takes place in October 2019. As we approach this special month, Mission Together will be producing even more resources to encourage pupils in England and Wales to be mini-missionaries – praying for and sharing with other children around the world in a unique exchange of faith and friendship. Follow us on Twitter or sign up for our e-newsletter to keep abreast of our new resources.

 

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2018 – A Year of Great Gatherings!

In 2018 Mission Together celebrated 175 years of children around the world revealing God’s love through prayer and sharing. In England and Wales, Mission Together marked this anniversary with a series of special liturgies. Schools across the country gathered together in Diocesan celebrations, attended by their local Bishop and clergy.

By November 2018 almost 3000 children had joined in our anniversary liturgies, renewing their mission together to be children helping children through prayer and sharing.

Mission Together would like to extend our thanks to staff in participating schools and Diocesan Education Coordinators who helped organise our liturgies. Your support is invaluable. Thank you for being a big part of our Mission Together.

If you are interested in hosting a Mission Together liturgy in your Diocese, Deanery, or Academy Trust, please contact education@missio.org.uk or use our contact form on this website.

 

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Revealed! Our new Epiphany Liturgy and School Blessing.

For centuries, Christians across the world have shared a beautiful Epiphany tradition and blessing. This tradition – called ‘chalking the doors’ – invites God’s presence and blessing on our homes and all who live and enter them, on the feast of the Epiphany (6 January) and start of a new year. Working with Northampton Diocesan Office for RE, Mission Together have adapted this tradition to create an Epiphany liturgy and blessing for schools. You can view and download this resource here.

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Clifton’s Mission Together Anniversary Mass

On Tuesday 6 November, primary pupils from across Clifton Diocese gathered for a special Mission Together 175 anniversary mass. Children contributed wonderfully to the celebration. Dylan (pictured above in the centre), a pupil at St Rose’s, read a prayer beautifully through his voice output communication aid. Whilst Dylan’s classmates joined pupils from other schools, as they delivered to the altar their bright balloon prayer poles and prayer promises.

As part of the liturgy children were presented with a candle as a reminder that Jesus is the light of the world and that our mission as God’s children, is to share His light with others. Pupils were eager to evidence how this is done through their joy, their kindness, their prayers and their charity. So far partnership primary schools have raised over £3000 for Mission Together, thereby supporting through practical help and pastoral care, children in areas of poverty and conflict.

“Thank you from us all at St Dominic’s Catholic Primary. It was a lovely event and great to be part of it with all the Catholic schools.” Headteacher.

The mass – kindly hosted by St Peter’s Catholic Primary – provided a wonderful opportunity for schools in the Diocese to gather as a praying community. RE Coordinator Mrs K MacDonlad shared her thoughts with her fellow teachers when she said: “It was lovely to celebrate 175 years of Mission Together with your children and for our children to interact with each other as a Partnership.”

If you are interested in holding a Mission Together Liturgy in your Diocese or Deanery, please contact education@missiontogether.org.uk

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Download exclusive materials for your class!

Mission Together materials complement all Catholic RE programmes, uphold Catholic teaching, and are mindful of requirements within the Common Inspection Framework.

Mission Together
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