The beginning of the autumn term 2018, saw me reporting to the Sacred Heart School as the new School Chaplain. I’m sure it must have felt the same for the children who had just started school in Reception that same day: a new environment to explore, lots of new faces to get to know, and new friends to discover. Standing in the school entrance area waiting to meet Mrs Fusi, the Headteacher, I couldn’t help but notice the school Mission Statement confidently and artistically emblazoned on the wall above the school office: “Live, love, and learn joyfully in the family of Christ.” Apart from being a succinct statement of what the Sacred Heart school is all about, it set the tone for my association with the school, and instilled a feeling of a warm welcome within. Living, loving, and learning joyfully are not just words on the school wall, but seem to be actions lived out by the staff and pupils too.
‘Wasting’ time (in the best sense of that word) with the children either in the school dining hall at lunch time or in the school playground at break you can’t help but feel that these are children who enjoy their learning, and who warmly welcome the visitor to their school.
Already this term I have celebrated a mass for the beginning of the school year, conducted the Harvest Festival liturgy, and been invited by Mrs. Celano into Year 3 classroom to be ‘interviewed’ by Year 3 children: an enjoyable experience which enabled us to get to know each other better. Year 6 and Year 4 have also attended a weekday morning mass at the Sacred Heart Church, and Year 5 will be celebrating mass at the church in the near future.
It’s a real privilege to be part of this ‘joyful learning in the family of Christ’ at Sacred Heart school, after all Jesus was a teacher too, and we are all learning from him and from each other, all of the time.