'Our team strives to practise what we preach'

By Tom Carty, Animate Youth Ministries member

The post-Christmas period is usually a quieter time of the year at Animate. However, this past couple of months we have been busy working with several schools from across the Archdiocese, focusing our days on various different aspects of Christian life.

During Lent, it is important for us to remember to practise what we preach. While instructing people on how Christians should live their lives, we must also ensure that we are following Christ’s example ourselves.

At the beginning of January, we welcomed Year 10 pupils from St Mary’s College in Crosby to Lowe House for a day centred on the theme of ‘Reconciliation’. First we focused on reconciliation between ourselves as human beings, using real life examples from inspirational people such as Malala Yousafzai.

We also watched clips from the 2013 film ‘The Railway Man’, based on the true story of British officer Eric Lomax and his relationship with Takashi Nagase, a Japanese officer in the POW camp in which he was imprisoned during the Second World War.

We discussed how forgiveness had a cathartic power over both the body and soul. Later in the day we focused more on how we could come to reconcile with God, and the pupils then had the chance to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation.

More recently, Year 7 pupils from St Gregory’s in Warrington visited Lowe House for a week of day retreats about the theme ‘We are One Body of Christ’, based on the Pauline epistles. We discussed what it meant to be part of a Catholic school, acting as One Body, and how we must come together as a community to lift each other up using our respective gifts and talents, and be accepting of each other, whether ‘Gentile or Jew, slave or free’.

The pupils took part in a variety of teamwork activities which allowed them to showcase their different gifts and put the words of St Paul into action.

Year 6 pupils from St Vincent de Paul primary school have also been to Lowe House for a day focused on the theme of ‘Love Your Neighbour’ from Mark 12:31. We used games and activities to help convey the message of how we should care for those around us and treat others as we ourselves would like to be treated. We have a responsibility as Christians to look out for everyone in the world, no matter who they are or where they are from.

With the St Vincent de Paul group we discussed how the pupils could continue to follow the commandment both inside and outside of school, such as fundraising for charities such as Cafod and Nugent Care.

Let us pray that during this Lenten season, we will be called to practise what we preach – to carry out the message of the Gospel in our everyday lives, and to spread the joy of Christ to all whom we meet.

Upcoming events:
Life and Soul - An evening of praise and worship before the Blessed Sacrament with the opportunity for the sacrament of Reconciliation
• Tuesday 20 March at St Anne’s Church 23 Prescot Road, Ormskirk, L39 4TG
• Tuesday 24 April at St Julie’s Church Howards Lane, St Helens, WA10 5HJ
• Tuesday 15 May at St Bede’s Church Appleton Village, Widnes, WA8 6EL
• Tuesday 12 June at St Margaret Mary’s Church Pilch Lane, Liverpool, L14 0JG