The Mini Vinnie groups in our primary schools are going from strength to strength. They are the youngest members of the SVP family and now all primary schools in our Diocese are commissioned groups participating in this worthwhile and rewarding service.
What have the Mini Vinnies been doing?
On September 14th at the Cathedral Church of St. Anne, Bishop Marcus celebrated Mass for the Mini Vinnies. Over 800 young people were present with their teachers and SVP members and representatives from our National Office in London as well as many proud carers, parents and grandparents.
Bishop Marcus in his Homily praised them for their service to the society and thanked them for their time and commitment. He was very supportive and encouraging of the young people.
The schools were re-commissioned during the Mass. From the various schools there were 8 altar servers, 2 readers and 6 children reading bidding prayers, an offertory procession and 10 welcomers. A very special and memorable occasion for all.
It has been a busy term for our schools. Here is just a small selection of some of the things they have been doing:
Sacred Heart School Hemsworth
We started the year with a pyjama day to raise money to buy a cow for our CAFOD virtual village. We made our own mini rosary bead sets in October and met at lunch times to say a decade of the rosary.
Finally as we approach Christmas we have organised a collection of Christmas foods for our local foodbank, and are also making Advent Wreaths for each class in school.
St. Joseph Wetherby Mini Vinnies
helped gather all the harvest festival donations and we delivered half of them to the St. Vincent's Centre in Leeds where we got a tour of the centre and learned all about the many different ways they help people. The other half went to the CFR Sisters at Osmondthorpe who help support many vulnerable families with food parcels. At the Remembrance Day parade in Wetherby we laid a wreath at the Cenotaph. Afterwards, we went back to our church and we said a decade of the rosary and reflected on the war dead from our parish, but also the dead from within our families. We hosted the parish â€˜Friendship Club' where we entertained about 20 elderly people from our parish for our Golden Book Assembly then tea and cake. Oh - and we had a Section 48 RE Inspection 8/9 November, which involved the Mini Vinnies being extensively questioned by an inspector.
St. Joseph's Tadcaster
hosted an afternoon tea in the parish centre for their appeal â€˜There BUT not There' and had a bring and buy sale and their funds went to Mary's Meals.
St. Theresa's Crossgates
made â€˜Welcome Packs' for the guests staying at the night shelter in the Newman Centre in October and also gave gifts of toiletries for the guests to leave with. The food collected during Harvest Festival was taken to St. Vincent's Centre in Leeds.
St. Edward's Boston Spa
made lots of poppies for the memorial gardens in the village and attended the service.
St. Joseph's Pontefract
prepared and delivered a special mass with a power point presentation and photographs for people in their community living with Dementia. Parts of the service were sung in Latin.
Mini Vinnies and the next steps:
St. Paul's Alwoodley and St. Augustine's Harehills
will be singing Carols and Christmas thsongs in the Trinity Centre Leeds on 8 December (10.00 until 16.00) along with many other choirs and groups to raise money for the SVSC.
Holy Family and St. Francis'
Leeds have volunteered to help with the Christmas party for the elderly at the SVSC. Many schools are visiting residential homes throughout December to help make and put up Christmas decorations and to sing Christmas Carols and bring Christmas cheer.
St. Mary's Batley
are taking their Nativity play to the local hospice and hospital and also to a residential care home. The groups in all schools are preparing liturgies and services for Christmas week and many have prepared special events for the nursery and reception classes.
I will continue to keep you all posted about the developments, events and progress of the Mini Vinnies in our Diocese.