A 2am start could not diminish the excitement of seven children from Blessed Sacrament Junior School, Aintree writes Helen McDonald. We were journeying south to St Mary’s College, Twickenham to attend the ‘Big Assembly’, a celebration of Catholic Education, lead by Pope Benedict XVI.
The anticipation of the Pope’s arrival grew as we continued to watch more of the 4,000 children arrive into the arena from catholic schools throughout the country.
As we got our first glimpse of the Popemobile the children were overwhelmed at the reality of having the smiling face of the leader of the Catholic Church so close to them. Each one felt a personal connection was made as we heard; 'He looked and waved at me!'...'He blessed my nan’s rosary beads when I held them up.' The children were living every moment of being in his presence.
As staff, we wanted our children to experience a day that would have a lasting impact on them and their faith. With the excellent organisation, thoughtful memorabilia the children received and the opportunity for those back at school to watch via the web…we feel we achieved it.
From this unforgettable day, we as a school endeavour to hold true to the message that Pope Benedict shared with the crowds: 'Find faith, hold onto it and use it for the good of others'.