BY Ryan McDougall | January 25 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Lunchtime Rosaries at St Mungo’s Academy go from strength to strength

A rosary initiative at a Glasgow secondary school is keeping young people involved with their Faith and has helped a teacher find solace following a tragic family loss.

St Mungo’s Academy pray the Rosary at lunchtime every Tuesday and Friday and have other lunchtime prayer services planned over the coming months including services for St John Bosco, Our Lady of Lourdes, St Joseph and Lenten devotions.

The various prayer sessions are a joint effort by staff and pupils, with the school’s S6 Caritas group assuming the role of Faith leaders in order to give the younger pupils a better understanding of their Faith, how to prepare for the Caritas module, and spiritual care for others.

As well as preparing the school’s future Faith leaders, the Rosary also aims to inspire the pupils to participate more fully in the liturgical life of the school.

The Rosaries were initially started in the school by then-RE teacher Martin Mann and depute head Brian Feeney.

Now in their six year, the Rosaries are helping both pupils and staff. Theresa Jack, a social studies teacher, spoke of how the staff and pupils have helped her to find comfort after the recent loss of her daughter.

She said: “The concern and kindness shown from Fr Liam [McMahon], the school chaplain, headteacher Angela Milton, all of the teaching staff, office staff, janitors and the pupils helped to keep me strong.

“The pupils prayed for myself and my family and indeed one S1 pupil handed [principal teacher of RE] Claire Butler a special prayer his gran had given him to pass on to me.

“All of this shows the strength of instilling the values and beliefs which help in everyday life.”


Helping others

Ms Butler, who is also the Caritas coordinator at the school, said she is hopeful that St Mungo’s Faith Programme can continue to flourish and help others at the school.

“It’s very early days at the moment but I’m hoping the fact that we’re building upon the numbers coming to the Rosary means younger pupils will become more involved as well,” she said.

The St Mungo’s pupils have also been making evangelisation videos to be shown during classes that depict the lives of saints.

“We’re hoping to work with younger pupils to go into the classrooms and show these videos, so rather than listen to teachers about this sort of thing it’ll be pupils they’ll see talking about it,” Mrs Butler said.

The pupils have also been exploring Fairtrade policies as they learn about Catholic Social Teaching and aiding those in need.

Mrs Butler added that she has taken inspiration from a recent SCO column by Fr Michael Kane about ensuring Faith is visible in all areas of Catholic schools and not only in the RE department.

“It spoke very profoundly to me,” she said. “I could really identify with it, so I sent that article out to all the departments of the school and asked for help in supporting the Faith-life.

“I’ve had a great response: the science department have just volunteered to help as have social studies.”

The school have also given pupils of other faiths the chance to pray at the school. One Caritas pupil is a Muslim, and the school has encouraged him to get together with the other pupils of his faith to pray one day a week.

St Mungo’s has received further assistance from Glasgow University student Conor Gildea, who spoke to the pupils about the importance of the sacristy in a church.

Mr Gildea is currently in his last year of his degree in religious education teaching, and is on placement at the school.

After attending one of the school’s bi-weekly Rosaries, Mr Gildea believes pupils have positively embraced the Faith-building activities.

“I wasn’t sure how many pupils would turn up to the first Rosary, but it ended up being a good number, and to have pupils of a Catholic school pray together is generally just a really lovely thing to see,” he said.


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