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Friday Letter - Issue 33

DEAR PARENTS

 

 

A PRAYER FOR THE YEAR OF FAITH

This is our faith.  This is the faith of the Church.  We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Amen.

 

A PRAYER FOR THE FEAST OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
O God, you have revealed your love for us through the compassionate and forgiving hear of Christ.  Strengthen in us the desire to live with full hearted commitment as children of God.  We ask this prayer through the Sacred Heart and the Spirit of Wisdom Amen.

 

 

LOURDES 2013 - A REPORT FROM MR MIASTOWSKI

During half-term staff and students from St Thomas Aquinas School joined the annual Birmingham Diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes.  The theme of this year's pilgrimage was ‘Lourdes, a doorway of faith' and we were able to share our gift of faith with ill and disabled pilgrims by volunteering at the Accueil (hospital).  It was a humbling experience made even more special by three wonderful students - Katie Boot, Scarlett Darby and Hayley Hunter, who fully committed themselves so readily throughout the week to the service of others.  The care and kindness they showed did not go unnoticed and all three girls are to be commended for their hard-work and enthusiasm, especially as they were also trying to fit in essential revision for their AS exams.  They are a credit to the school and themselves.  To add to the girls' achievements, Mr Smyllie and Mrs Devlin were both awarded with hospitality service medals by Bishop David McGough for their respective individual contribution at Lourdes over a period of five and three years.  It is difficult to put into words what an amazing experience Lourdes is but it certainly has left a lasting impression on both students and staff alike.

 

 

AND A PERSONAL REFLECTION ON AN AMAZING WEEK

Last week I also visited Lourdes with my wife, Christina for the first time.  Like Mr Miastowski I find it difficult to sum up the remarkable experience that it was.  In some ways intensely personal and yet so much of the week was in communion with 800 other pilgrims from the Birmingham Diocese and thousands of others from around the world most notably in the underground Basilica at the International Mass celebrated by Cardinal Murphy O'Connor, 8 bishops, about 100 priests and perhaps 5,000 people.  A big thank you to Fr Jan, Suzanne and the St Brigid's group as well as St John Fisher and St Teresa's, Perry Barr (the parish I grew up in) for their company in our hotel.  It was a week too to be proud of our great Diocese and a week to be proud of numerous young people including three fantastic sixth form girls in Katie, Scarlett and Hayley.  And I was very proud of our staff too who worked so hard.  Thank you and well done to Mrs Devlin, Mrs Ryan and Mr Miastowski.  And of course to the person who led it all from school - Mr Smyllie.  Thank you Paul.

 

 

LET'S MAKE IT EVEN MORE SPECIAL IN 2014!

On 20 June we are holding a special meeting after school of the Lourdes group with a view to taking a much bigger party in 2014.  I am sure we can build on the success of this year and go from strength to strength.  Watch this space.

 

GOOD SHEPHERD MASS NEXT TUESDAY

We look forward to the Good Shepherd Mass next Tuesday when schools from the Diocese gather to support Fr Hudson's.  We have been asked to provide the music and I'm sure we'll do it very well.  Full report shortly.

 

YEAR 11 MASS AND EVENING OF CELEBRATION

Last night we gathered in the Sports Hall for one of the special evenings of the year.  We began it in the perfect way with a Mass celebrated by Fr Jan thanking God for his many blessings and for the gift of each  and every member of Year 11.  And in the second half we moved to a different mode with lots of entertainment, many memories, much laughter and a few tears.  Thank you to some exceptionally talented students in John Tibbits, Bobbi-Ann Taylor, Hana Linehan, Nancy Davis, Daniel Jackson, Caleb Clements and Aidan Davis.  And some wonderful memories - "What does Aquinas mean to me?" from Talia Gaye, Maisie-Lee Holden, Joseph Kenny, Ella Stephenson and Darius Williams.  Thank you too to all the staff involved  particularly our comperes, Mr Flood and Mrs Stonehill.  And above all to Mr Perry who brought it all together.  Whether they are staying on or leaving may God bless each and every one of our Year 11 students.

 

YEAR 6 PARENTS FORUM MEETING ON MONDAY

On Monday we look forward to welcoming lots of Year 6 parents whose children will be joining us in September.  This is an event we started some years ago now through the Parents Forum and it has proved a great success.  I am sure 2013 will be no different.  It's a chance for parents to come along and find out all the practical things they need to know, especially if it's their first child, about St Thomas Aquinas.  The evening is split into two with a series of short presentations from current Year 7 students and the Chair of the Forum, Mrs Anne Vile.  And then there will follow a round table discussion including Year 7 students, a member of the Parents Forum and a member of staff plus a number of new parents.  I'm sure it will be a very useful evening and thank you in advance to all those who are supporting.  Full report shortly.

 

AND SHORTLY IT WILL BE YEAR 6 INDUCTION EVENINGS

The meeting above is for parents only but on Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 June we ask parents to come along with their children.  This is the chance to be introduced to the head of house, to complete important paperwork and to buy the school uniform.  Watch this space!

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO MR RIDGEWAY

I am very pleased to inform you that Mr Ridgeway from the English Faculty is now the proud father of a baby boy.  Peter Joseph Ridgeway weighed in at 6lbs 14ozs and mother and baby are doing very well.  We congratulate them all.

 

NON UNIFORM DAY ON FRIDAY 21 JUNE

You may recall that this is the day that was postponed.  It will now take place in a fortnight's time with the proceeds going to our Golden Jubilee charity, Brushstrokes.  All students are asked to contribute £1.

 

CITIZENS UK UPDATE

Before half term I told you about the great work that is going on in Citizenship.  From 24 June until 5 July we are taking part in a listening campaign which we'll explain nearer the time and on 5 July we have 6 students and 2 staff going to London for a conference.  A big thank you to Mr Miastowski for all his work.

 

 

BUGSY IS COMING! REPORT FROM MRS JOHNSON

We are entering an exciting period in our Bugsy rehearsals.  All the cast are now being measured for costumes and are well on their way to learning their lines, dance routines and lyrics.  Next week all students in the school will be issued with a booking form to purchase tickets for each performance.  The performance dates are Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 and Friday 13 July.  Please come and support students who have worked incredibly hard since the auditions in February.  Tickets will be £3 for adults and £1 for children.  The booking form will provide full details of how to make payment.  If you have any queries please contact Mrs Johnson in school.  Editor's Note - A huge thank you to everyone who is working so hard to make Bugsy the great success I know it will be.  Special thanks to Miss Mortimer, Mrs Yates and Mrs Johnson.

 

GOLDEN JUBILEE - THE BIG DAY IS NEARLY HERE!

Lots and lots of last minute preparations.  The key thing is to make sure that absolutely everyone knows that the big day is on Saturday 6 July.  Please encourage anyone you know with past Tommy's connections to log on to www.stacs.org and register.  As you know, school is closed to students on Friday 5 July to enable a huge amount of preparation to be done including the erection of a huge marquee in the Playground.  Watch this space.

 

SPORTS RESULTS

Bishop Challoner beat St Thomas Aquinas by 6 wickets.

 

 

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ QUESTION

Well done to Charlotte Thompson Year 7 (Newman House 4B) who correctly informed us St Bernadette was the young girl, who subsequently became a famous saint, to whom Our Lady appeared in 1858.  Well done to Charlotte who wins £10.

 

THIS WEEK'S QUIZ QUESTION

Lourdes is set in the foothills of a famous range of mountains.  What are they called?  For the possibility of £10Email me on j.foley@stacs.bham.sch.uk and don't forget to tell me who you are.

 

 

Yours sincerely

JIM FOLEY

 

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