Thank you to all schools who this Lent have shared with and prayed for children living in poverty across the world. By sharing our ‘Mission Together’, we help build God’s kingdom – where all children are valued and have opportunities to flourish. Through the financial contributions of children in England and Wales, Mission Together carries out educational, medical and welfare projects in the poorest areas of the world. Being universal in character, our projects tend to the needs of all, regardless of background or beliefs; exemplifying the all-embracing nature of the Catholic Church.
Pentecost – often referred to as the birthday of the Church – occurs 50 days after Easter, this means that in 2018 Pentecost falls on Sunday 20 May. Our Pentecost resources help schools mark this important feast and reveal how, through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we like the Apostles, can share God’s love with the world and help build the Church. View our Pentecost resources here.
When Mission Together, previously known as Holy Childhood, was founded in France in 1843 by Bishop Charles de Forbin-Janson he gave the children the challenge of saying a Hail Mary every day and giving a small coin every month. Since then the task remains the same: one small prayer and one small coin. To support teachers in England and Wales with this valuable work, Mission Together has created new resources that help prayer to become a way of life in the school day as pupils learn what it means to spend time in God’s company. Click here to view our prayer resources page.
Prayer is the habit of being in the presence of God and, like any habit, requires practice. By supporting children in their prayer life from an early age we build good habits that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. It is often easy for prayer to turn into a shopping list of requests whereby God becomes a Santa Claus figure, called upon when necessary and handing out gifts to the well-deserved. A relationship such as this will remain infantile and cannot mature into a loving, reciprocal meeting of hearts and minds. A good way to avoid this is to apply the ARTS acronym: Adoration, Reconciliation, Thanksgiving and Supplication. When prayers contain elements of all four then conversations with God become more meaningful.
This is witnessed in a Missio* backed school for Iraqi refugees in Jordan (pictured). Some of the children remain traumatised and families depend entirely on what they are given, yet every day at school the children and their teachers, invest time in collective adoration and thanks to God through their singing, actions and words. The children’s joy emanates from them as they place their trust in a loving Father.
We thank staff in schools in England and Wales for encouraging their pupils to pray. For it is only after children have fostered a loving relationship with God that they can share that love with others. And when they do, they discover that they too, can be missionaries of God’s love.
*Missio is the parent charity of Mission Together. Click here to find out more about MissioUK.
Ajay is a cricket loving ten year old boy who lives in Sri Lanka. He and his family live on one of country’s many tea plantations. Life on the plantation is hard; the majority of workers live in poverty. Housing is inadequate, there is no running water, neighbours share an outside tap and toilet. Sickness is common, but there is no health centre on the estate and the nearest hospital is far away in town.
Thanks to support from Missio’s children’s branch, Mission Together, Sister Ruby (R.G.S.) brings nutrition and healthcare packs to the children and arranges for doctors and dentists to run clinics on the estate. The help Mission Together provides means Ajay and his friends can attend school regularly and enjoy playing their favourite game together – CRICKET!
Inspired by Ajay’s love of cricket, this year we are asking schools and parishes to arrange a sponsored cricket match to raise money for children like Ajay and his friends so that missionaries like Sister Ruby can continue to bring hope and health to the children living in poverty on the tea estates of Sri Lanka. Visit our Lent page to find out how you can get involved.
Each year Mission Together focuses attention on one of its many world-wide projects. Our 2018 Together in Sri Lanka campaign tells the true story of Ajay and Sr Ruby. Find out more and view resources on our Teacher’s Resources page
Following Fr Tony Grace’s Mission Together presentation at St Gabriel’s Primary School, Alsger, class one pupil Thia was so moved she decided she wanted to do something. Thia had heard Fr Tony speak about our current Sri Lanka campaign and didn’t feel it was fair that she had lots of things that other children did not. So she spoke to her mum about ways she might be able to raise money. They talked about sponsorships and about people doing things that they might not normally do and raising money by doing them.
Thia decided that making breakfast for her family and also helping the school cleaner, Diane, to clean the classrooms after school for two weeks would be a kind thing to do and something that would require extra effort. Thia’s family agreed to sponsor her and a few of the staff at school who noticed what Thia was doing, also decided to sponsor her. Diane very kindly took the time and effort to designate little tasks to Thia and was so impressed with her efforts that Diane decided to sponsor Thia too. At the end of her two weeks, Thia raised £19 for Mission Together and also added a personal contribution. Her mum remarked;
‘This was such a valuable little experience for Thia, having a goal to raise money made her feel happy. She did something that she wouldn’t normally choose to do and did it day after day for two weeks, in the hope that she was helping others. Thia really hoped her money might help other children like her enjoy school too.’
Thia and her mum would like to thank Diane for giving her the chance to explore what it’s like to fundraise and for all who supported Thia in her efforts. Mission Together would like to echo this and send special thanks to Thia, for providing a wonderful example of the good that happens through ‘children helping children.’
Mission Together’s 2018 Lent resources help children understand the significance of this important season through accessible assemblies, activities, tasks and prayers.
Our two assemblies focus on how pupil’s Lenten promises can change lives and bring hope to children living in poverty around the world. Each assembly has an accompanying activity that demonstrates how, through their prayer and sharing, your pupils can be signs of hope to others this spring.
Our Lent Assemblies may be used alongside our 2018 project focus Together in Sri Lanka which can be found on the Teachers’ Resources page. This campaign tells the true story of Ajay, a cricket loving ten-year old boy living on a tea estate. Inspired by Ajay’s love of cricket, this year we are asking schools and parishes to arrange a sponsored cricket match to raise money for children like Ajay,
To view and download all our Lent resources visit our Lent page here.