Category Archive: Youth News

Peace Sunday in Schools

Peace Sunday will be celebrated in parishes across England and Wales on Sunday 15 January 2017 where we will reflect on the theme, Nonviolence: A Style of Politics for Peace.

We have produced two prayer resources for celebrating peace in schools around that time.

Image on prayer cardClassroom Prayers for Peace

This reflective prayer invites students to consider what it means to be a peacemaker and how they can work for peace in their day-to-day lives.

Classroom Prayers: Script (pdf)

Classroom Prayers: Slideshow (pptx)

Prayers for Staff Briefing

A prayer for peace to start the day at a staff meeting

Staff Briefing Prayer (pdf)


Our other Peace Sunday liturgy resources can be found here 

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Trinity Pax Christi group’s pilgrimage of mercy

Some of the School Pax Christi group enjoying the delights of Hatton Locks cafe after a recent training walk.

Some of the School Pax Christi
group enjoying the delights of Hatton Locks cafe after a recent training walk.

Trinity Catholic School in Leamington Spa are acknowledging the Year of Mercy in a very productive and prayerful way.  The school’s Pax Christi group, will be undertaking an overnight pilgrimage, from school, along 28 miles of the Grand Union Canal, to the Door of Mercy at St Chad’s. The idea of pilgrimage is especially powerful in the light of the current migration crisis as we see thousands of people forced to leave their homes.

The group are very excited to be raising money for Friends of the Holy Land and Iraqi refugees in Jordan but also are very much looking forward to the experience of pilgrimage.  Principal Chris Gabbett, who completed the Camino de Santiago last year, has stressed the importance of this.  He said, ‘Pilgrimage offers people of all faiths or none the chance to leave their everyday and embrace something special.  I’m really excited to have the chance to support these students in this personal journey’.

If you would like to make a donation to the Trinity School refugee fund please visit

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Dorothy Day: Saint or Troublemaker?

Dorothy Day Pax 1963On his 2016 visit to the United States Pope Francis, addressing Congress, praised an American lay-woman, Dorothy Day, for her social activism and her passion for justice. This sparked a huge spike in Google searches as people who had never before heard of her tried to find out who Dorothy Day was and why the Pope thought so highly of her.

They will have learned of a prayerful woman, a faithful Catholic, and a woman devoted to the poorest in society. They would have also found a woman who was unafraid to court controversy; who was an outspoken critic of governments and their wars, and who spent time in prison for her activism.

In this assembly we will meet Dorothy Day: Saint and Troublemaker.

Download the Assembly Script (pdf)
Download the Assembly Slideshow (pptx)

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Peace Education & Conscientious Objector Day

IMG_2044Sunday 15 May is International Conscientious Objectors Day when we remember the men and women throughout history who have refused to serve in the military or fight in wars. We have a whole host of educational materials connected to this theme including:

Women Peacemakers – An assembly that remembers the women peacemakers who gathered in the Hague in the midst of World War 1.

A Story of Remarkable Faith – A workshop exploring the life and witness of Franz Jagerstatter, an Austrian farmer who refused to serve in Hitler’s Army

Should Christians Fight in Wars? – A lesson exploring if  it is ever acceptable for Christians to fight in wars (Lesson 3 in our General RE Scheme of Work)

The Quakers’ resources Conscience and Conviction also explore some of these issues.

Do use some of these resources to explore conscientious objection with your students around the time of International CO Day.

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Rediscovering St Dominic Savio

Friday 6 May is the feast of St Dominic Savio, the schoolboy saint of Don Bosco’s Oratory in Torino. Our Education Officer Matt Jeziorski reflects on the life of St Dominic Savio and what he can teach us about Christian [peace] activism.

I have not always found it easy to get along with St Dominic Savio, whose memorial is kept on 6 May. Stories from his life are full of ecstatic visions, prophetic dreams, and pious episodes, whilst the depictions of him in art range from the sweet and sickly to the downright dreadful.

Years ago, working in a project placed under the patronage of this schoolboy saint, I wasn’t alone amongst my colleagues in lacking confidence in presenting Dominic Savio as a role model. It seems so profoundly unlikely that the experiences of the modern teenager would resonate with stories from Dominic’s life.

Savio StatueThere is a statue of Dominic Savio in the grounds of Savio House retreat centre in Cheshire with the young saint holding a crucifix aloft in his right hand. In his left is his motto, Death before sin. The statue recalls Dominic’s tactic of ending fights and immoral behaviour amongst his peers by standing amidst them with a crucifix and urge them to gaze on the face of Christ and reconsider their actions. This is not a tactic I could imagine being particularly effective in the playgrounds of today. Far easier when talking about Dominic to focus on general attributes – his cheerfulness and faithfulness – rather than his biography.

These days, over a decade later, my relationship with St Dominic Savio has transformed. How often I have stood with others of faith outside the Ministry of Defence, Downing Street, or an Arms Fair and called people to repentance, urged them to look on the face of Jesus and abandon war in favour of his nonviolence.

And during these protests I have made many a silent prayer to St Dominic Savio whenever I have felt uncomfortable or embarrassed (public hymn singing will always do this to me). O for a courageous faith like his!

Sadly my rediscovery of this teenage saint has come rather too late – how I wish I had realised his enduring relevance during those days when speaking about him seemed impossibly difficult. Saint Dominic Savio seems to me to be a wonderful model for all of us who are inspired by faith to work to transform the world.

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