The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

Unfailing Help for Leaders of Today – and Tomorrow!

The two-day Annual Conference for Diocesan Leaders in Education began on the Feast of Our Lady of Unfailing Help, the Patroness of our Diocese.

Amongst the keynote speakers were members of ‘The Twelve’: 13 to 18-year old  Catholics commissioned by Bishop Marcus to be his young leaders and advisors, as the ‘now’ of the Church – and hopefully the Catholic leaders of the future!

As ever, the Conference began with Mass celebrated by the Bishop, whose national role is as Chair of the Catholic Education Service (CES). In his homily, Bishop Marcus acknowledged the responsibilities and challenges of leadership in all schools and colleges. He said that as with all who put their Faith into action, the vocation of Catholic Education leadership is not an easy one, but the mutual support, friendship and communion – with one another and with Our Lord Jesus Christ – are strengthened through prayer and worship. The aim of the Conference, with its theme of Stewardship of our Catholic schools and colleges, was to encourage those feeling overwhelmed to seek God’s Truth in times of confusion and the comfort of Our Blessed Lady in times of loneliness.

The icon and other images of Our Lady of Unfailing Help depicts the Christ-child having dislodged one of his sandals as he rushed into his mother’s arms in fear at the sight of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel bearing the Instruments of His Passion, we too can turn to her for unfailing help and protection. Just as, when on the Cross, He gave Our Lady to be Mother to St John and to us all, so we too can run to her when afraid and in need of comfort.

After Mass, delegates processed in groups down to the Met Hotel to be welcomed by Diocesan Director of Education, Kieron Flood, who introduced keynote speaker Canon Luiz Ruscillo from the Diocese of Lancaster. After his inspiring words, came an equally inspirational illustrated talk from The Twelve, with further input from across the Vicariate for Education.