Almost 700 children, young people and staff from schools across the Diocese gathered in Leeds Cathedral for the Good Shepherd Celebration, presided over by Bishop Marcus, on Friday 24 May 2019.
As is traditional, the celebration started with the Procession of the Banners, before the Director of Catholic Care, Carol Hill, welcomed all present.
This year the Liturgy was presented by the Catholic primary schools of Holy Family and St Michael’s and St Joseph’s, both from Pontefract, with their school chaplain and parish priest, Fr Simon Lodge. They also formed the choirs with support from the Diocesan Music Department. The schools took as their theme the Catholic Social Teaching principle of Solidarity which they re-phrased as ‘Unity’ and their songs and prayers reflected on this theme.
During the presentation of the donations Bishop Marcus received the monies collected by the schools as part of the Good Shepherd Appeal which is held during Lent each year. The children have the opportunity to talk to the Bishop excitedly and with great enthusiasm about the various ways they have raised their funds and he is always amazed by their ingenuity.
This year, the most popular fund raisers were food related with bun sales and toast sales and of course the teachers’ favourite of a sponsored silence. There were a number of new ideas this year including a trail of coins around the playground, penalty shoot-outs, pump painting, back-to-front day (when children wear their clothes back to front), ambitions day (the children come to school dressed as what they would like to be when they grow up) and a virtual Pilgrimage to Walsingham.
As part of their Golden Jubilee St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School, Bradford, dressed up as famous people or in different fashions through the decades. The Bishop’s favourite initiative this year was a Mothers’ Day raffle which he thought was a lovely idea, while Carol’s was the ‘Welly Walk’ undertaken by the early years children.
Everyone did fantastically well, raising £45,500. This money is invaluable to Catholic Care and enables the charity to help many people living in the community who are in real need.
The singing throughout was beautiful and the celebration ended with a rousing version of ‘Walk in the Light’.
THANK YOU EVERYONE!
To view and order photographs taken by Patrick Sice at the event, please visit: https://www.patricksicephotography.co.uk/blog/good-shepherd-2019