Members of the Richard Challoner School community enjoyed a powerful and thought-provoking Mission last week. Run by nine members of the Sion Catholic Community for Evangelism, students, staff and families were led through a host of celebratory liturgies, dramatic assemblies, workshops and prayer times focussing on the theme “The Time is Now!”. The impact of the Mission on large numbers of students from all year groups was significant, with some students speaking publicly on stage about their individual responses and feelings.
OJ Eze, a Year 11 student, commented: “Although I’m a faithful person, I felt something extra special during the Mission. I really enjoyed Youth Alpha and the Prayer4You, and felt very comfortable to be who I really want to be, something I usually find difficult in front of my friends. The school has a great, welcoming environment and I feel very safe and loved here”.
The Mission team spoke highly of their experiences at the school and said: “There is something special about this place”, and each member of the team could “feel God moving within the School community.” They felt welcomed by staff, students and parents – and were moved by the way staff and students were so willing to be involved with the varied activities.
Numerous events were run throughout the week alongside the usual class schedules, managed with meticulous attention to detail at every stage by Mr Neil D’Aguiar, the school’s Director of Spirituality.
The Mission played an important part in the renewal and continuation of the ethos that underpins all that the school does, by stepping back and focussing on the development of the whole person. The Mission allowed students, staff and families to reflect on their lives and feel the amazing power of faith.
Commenting on the touching testimonies of the students, Mr Cahill, Headteacher, said: “It was wonderful to see young people willing to stand up and talk about the impact of the Mission on their lives and their Faith, having been inspired by the Sion Team after only a few days at the school”.
Interspersed with the Mission’s principal evening event, families were also treated to an array of musical activities with the finals of the school’s iconic “Challoner’s Got Talent” competition, in which the audience voted for their favourite act.
The Mission also saw the launch of Youth Alpha, to which around fifty students committed to explore more about their faith in a series of discussion groups. The school has now planned a number of activities to ensure that the spirit of the Mission kindled last week continues to grow and bear fruit. This was the second Mission of its kind at the school, with the last one taking place five years ago.
VARIED PHOTOS TAKEN AT EVENING COMMUNITY EVENT