On Tuesday 26th June, some Pupil Chaplains joined over 1,000 people representing all Catholic Schools and Colleges from Salford diocese at a launch event for Hope in the Future for schools. This was a celebration of young people’s gifts and talents and a call to mission for young people to take an active role in leading Hope in the Future by working more closely with parishes.
Bishop John Arnold presented each School with a St Damiano cross- a symbol of our call to mission asking all to build God’s church by becoming more missionary and outward looking.
Before the foundation of the Franciscan order, the young Francis of Assisi would pray in a ruined chapel dedicated to Saint Damiano. One day, while at prayer, he heard a voice of Christ from Cross saying” Francis Rebuild my Church!”. Francis at first took this literally, repairing the dilapidated Chapel wit his own hands. It was only after some time (and work on two other church buildings) tat Francis realised that the call was for something bigger- not focus on buildings , but on faith and witness and people. This is what our young people do in Catholic schools but they are now being called to take a lead in rebuilding the Church in Salford, not with bricks and mortar, but with faith and prayer and charity and witness.
Nicole Bolton 7AML led a liturgy, confidently reading from St Paul’s letter to the Colossians in front of the Bishop. Omari Henry & Mille Barnett were also great ambassadors of the school confidently talking to clergy and others about their faith and how they live it in their parishes.