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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St Gabriel’s are sharing Good News

Article and photo from Year 4 Teacher Miss Stephanie McCann

On Wednesday 6th June, our Year 4 class at St. Gabriel’s enjoyed performing their class assembly to the school. They wanted to share with everyone the work they have done this term to celebrate their Religion topic of ‘Mission of the Church’ and what they have done to support our ‘Mission Together’ project over the year.

During the assembly, the children shared their beautiful acrostic poems for which they had chosen the words, ‘Mission’, ‘Together’ or ‘Sri Lanka’ to write about. They also worked as a class to produce a stunning piece of string art that shows all the continents in different colours after reading Mission Together’s prayers for the continents.

They sang of the importance of working together to help those in need and how a little kindness can go such a long way. They are now looking forward to celebrating Mission Together’s ‘Day of Many Colours’ on the 29th June.

 

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Our annual Good Shepherd Liturgies have begun!

A sunny Aylesford Priory was the setting for Mission Together’s first Good Shepherd liturgy of 2018. A record number of pupils – over 1,200 – from across the diocese of Southwark, gathered as ‘children helping children’.

They were joined by Bishop Pat Lynch and Missio National Director, Fr Anthony Chantry, who led the children in prayer, assisted by Fr Philip Baptiste and Aylesford Prior, Fr Francis Kemsley.

Each year schools supporting Mission Together – the Pope’s official children’s charity for overseas mission – unite to celebrate a year of prayer and sharing. Through scripture, reflections, song and dance, pupils share faith with one another, demonstrate their talents and remember that God’s love is to be shared with everyone-everywhere.

‘I just wanted to say a huge thank you for organising such a lovely event today. We have had a wonderful happy day and we are so glad that we came. The children really enjoyed the service and I very am proud of their performance.’ Class teacher, Beckenham

In the next few weeks schools in the diocese of Arundel & Brighton, Cardiff and Westminster will celebrate their own Mission Together liturgies. Schools in the diocese of Shrewsbury are planning a special Mission Together liturgy for October, to mark the Church’s month of mission and the 175 anniversary of Mission Together. Through Mission Together, children learn that their prayers and donations help support some of the poorest children in the world.

Many thanks to all pupils, staff and parents, who attended Aylesford’s Good Shepherd liturgy. Thanks too to Sharon Docherty of Southwark Diocese Education Department, and the staff at Aylesford Priory, all of whom ensured the day was a great success.

‘I would like to express our thanks to you and all the wonderful people involved in preparing today’s beautiful liturgy. It was our first time attending and the children and adults thoroughly enjoyed themselves and particularly enjoyed seeing the lovely procession. We hope to see  you next year!’ Class teacher, Croyden

If you would like to host a Good Shepherd liturgy in your diocese, please contact the Mission Together team education@missiontogether.org.uk

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Together this Lent, ‘Let’s Play Cricket.’

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

 

 

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Thia’s special fundraising efforts

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.’

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Lent resources 2018

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.

 

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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
23 Eccleston Square
London, SW1V 1NU
020 7821 9755
 education@missio.org.uk
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