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Students Head to Lourdes while Staff Reflect at Retreat

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Students Head to Lourdes while Staff Reflect at Retreat

The end of the academic year at Notre Dame brought with it our annual staff retreat, as well as the departure of a group of students to join the Leeds Diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes.

On July 6, the college principal Justine Barlow, Fr Michael Hall (one of our governors), Fr Marc Pitson and a group of staff, gathered to wish the students well. Fr Marc gave a blessing for their journey and for the pilgrimage.

Once they were safely on their way, and Notre Dame’s staff had enjoyed a shared breakfast, Fr Michael led them in their end of year retreat. His chosen theme was thankfulness. He thanked all staff for their hard work, and reflected on the need to refresh over the summer, ready for the coming academic year. He read St Paul’s letter to the Philippians, chapter 4, to focus their thoughts about the past year.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Maria Coyle then led the staff in a form of reflection called the Examen, developed by St Ignatius of Loyola, to reset and refresh. This was followed by a short liturgy with prayers for all our staff and students. The college choir sang Be Thou My Vision.

For the rest of the day staff had the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities, including flamenco, football, art, swimming, a quiz, and holiday French.

Catherine Herring, Director of Catholic Life, said, “It was good to see the staff enjoy refreshing themselves both spiritually and in terms of their wellbeing, there were so many positive comments about the day.'

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