English Martyrs marks the Year of Mercy

english-martyrs-primary-yom-assembly1-sept-2016-1280x731Look at all these happy faces at English Martyrs Catholic primary school in Reading!  Thank you for inviting our wonderful Education Volunteer, Linda Heneghan into school to deliver a very special assembly based on the Year of Mercy.  Linda told us;

“I had a lovely welcome at the school and as I was setting up everything for the assembly, one of the children asked me if I had brought puppet with me today!”

At the start of the assembly, Linda reminded the children that Jesus said we should do everything we can to help people who needed it.  He said this was a very special thing to do and this is what is meant by mercy. It’s a special way of showing how much we care for people. Pope Francis has asked Catholics throughout the world to mark this special Year of Mercy. Linda explained that this means, among other things, that he wants us to think about how we show that we care for everyone and help others because of the love God the Father has for us.

english-martyrs-primary-yom-assembly-sept-2016-1280x734The children then thought about the seven things which the church says we all should do to help people in need (sometimes called the Corporal Works of Mercy). These are things like giving food to someone who is hungry, a drink to someone who is thirsty and welcoming the outsider. CAFOD is doing work all over the world which is part of this.

Linda then gave the children some examples of the Corporal Works including CAFOD’s work in Nicaragua where our partners are ‘feeding the hungry’ by training communities in bee keeping.

Mayling from NicaraguaThe children learned how Mayling’s grandmother Marta looks after bees. Mayling (pictured above) loves the honey because it’s sweet and tasty, and it also gives her energy to concentrate at school. When there is some honey left over, Mayling and Marta can sell it to buy food. (Watch this work in action in the short film below).

The children also heard how CAFOD’s partners are ‘welcoming the stranger’. CAFOD is doing this in partnership with Caritas Hellas in Greece to provide support to refugees as they arrive on Greek islands.  This support includes providing food, nappies for babies and weather-proof clothing.  The children heard about Soulai and Yasi (both 10 years old) who left Syria because of the war there. They are now in Greece living in a refugee camp. Their journey to Greece by boat was very dangerous and difficult yet Yasi says “I’m not afraid now but in Syria I was. Rockets and bullets I was afraid of but here it’s safe.”

Linda then ended the assembly by asking the children to pray for the the work of CAFOD and all our partners across the world.

Thank you so much to everyone at English Martyrs primary for all your fantastic support for CAFOD.

Find out more about the Year of Mercy.

Explore our Year of Mercy resources for primary schools.

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