‘National Youth Funday’

United in a day for youth.

Here is a report on a day with a difference:  National Youth Funday!

‘For the past number of years on the Feast of Christ the King, CYMFed (Catholic Youth Ministry Federation) hosts events to mark National Youth Sunday. However, due to COVID restriction this year, they organised a day of livestreaming on their YouTube channel on Friday 21st November for ‘National Youth Funday’. The theme for the day was ‘TOGETHER’. The day started at 10.00 am with an opening prayer led by Cardinal Vincent Nichols. Mrs McDermott e-mailed the link to every teacher in the Senior school who was teaching a Key Stage 3 class at 10.00 am. This meant we were praying together with Catholic schools throughout England and Wales. The day continued with live streaming from Youth Ministry offices in the Dioceses of Westminster, Birmingham and Hexham and Newcastle. 

In their R.E. lessons, Upper IV Aleph and Lower IV Aleph watched the rest of the morning sessions and played ‘would you prefer…’ They considered the deep philosophical questions of McDonalds or KFC, chocolate or crisps, being baptised by John the Baptist or listening live to St Paul teaching, Lent or Advent?

In her non-teaching lesson of the day, Mrs McDermott tuned in for the big quiz of the Saints and learnt that St Lidwina is the patron Saint of ice-skaters! Gold stars to any of you who knew that without having to Google it (I bet Miss Johnson knew that!)

The Liturgy Prefects joining in CYMFED’s National Youth Funday learning about Blessed Carlo Acutis

At the end of lunchtime, Mrs McDermott met with the Liturgy Prefects in the Hall to watch a presentation about Blessed Carlo Acutis. As a school community we are already know about the life of this Saint in the making as our Virtual Learning House is named Carlo in his honour. During the presentation on the life of Blessed Carlo, Cardinal Nichols challenged the students to be ‘digital apostles’. We all know how much we now rely on social media and the internet to communicate with others and know about the dangers of too much screen time, online bullying etc., but this is a message about using our devices in a positive way.

Upper IVA tuned in for the final session and closing liturgy in their R.E. lesson. They were told about a young girl from St Joan of Arc in Rickmansworth, Grace Gaskell, who sadly died earlier this month from cancer. The chaplain from that school, Deacon Liam, told us all about the strength and love that Grace showed as she lived with cancer. Like Blessed Carlo, Grace is a Saint in the making and although both their lives were cut so tragically short by cancer, they are modern day saints for us all to learn from and be inspired by.

Grace Gaskell, may she rest in peace.

Blessed Carlo Acutis, pray for us.