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Catholic Ethos

Our ethos of providing an outstanding Catholic education for boys in north London is well summed up by Cardinal Vincent Nicholls, Archbishop of Westminster, in his forward to 'Our Catholic Schools: Their identity and their purpose':

"Catholic schools and colleges, the principles on which they are based and the ethos they seek to engender, are an expression of what is true about the human person and about life lived in community. Education must be based on an understanding and expression of truth. True education, therefore, cannot be value free, as some would argue, because human beings feel a deep need for clear values held in common. Likewise, education cannot be purely utilitarian, because every person has some recognition that there is more to life than work and more to the person than the expedient. If it is not to sell itself short, education must be based on the whole truth about the human person. That truth is fully expressed in the person of Jesus Christ. It is explored and presented in the living faith of the Church."

You can download a copy of the book by clicking here.

The school was founded by the Society of the Divine Saviour and is part of the Catholic Church. The school is to be conducted as a Catholic school in accordance with Canon Law and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, and in line with the Trust Deed of the Society of the Divine Saviour and in particular:

  • Religious education is to be in accordance with the teachings, doctrines, discipline and general and particular norms of the Catholic Church.
  • Religious worship is to be in accordance with the rites, practices, discipline and liturgical norms of the Catholic Church.
  • At all times the school is to serve as a witness to the Catholic faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ.

We are very aware and proud of our Catholicity and this is reflected in many ways around the school.

Most important of all is the way we conduct ourselves around the buildings.  As a school we place great value on care and consideration of others; we expect courteous behaviour and good manners at all times.  We should be prepared to help others and to listen and be understanding.  We should learn to ‘love our neighbours’ and put our Christianity into practice in all that we do around the school.

The start of each lesson begins with a prayer.  This should remind us of our Christian duties and should be a moment of reflection.

Our Patron Saints

St Alban

Saint Alban was a Romano-British citizen of the third century in the Roman city of Verulamium (now called St Albans).  During his lifetime, Christians began to suffer persecution.   Alban met a Christian priest fleeing from the Romans and sheltered him in his house for a number of days. The priest Amphibalus prayed and kept vigil day and night, and Alban was so impressed with the priest's faith that he asked to be taught by the priest.  He converted to Christianity just before the authorities came to arrest the fugitive priest.  Alban, inspired by his new-found faith, exchanged clothes with Amphibalus, allowing him to escape. Consequently, Alban was arrested and brought before the city magistrate.   As Alban refused to pay homage to Roman gods, the magistrate ordered that Alban should receive the punishment due to the priest.  He was taken up a hillside to a site of execution where he was beheaded.  Despite escaping, Amphibalus too was later arrested and martyred at Redbourn, a few miles away.

St Edmund Campion

Saint Edmund Campion was an English priest who belonged to the ‘Society of Jesus’, more commonly known as the ‘Jesuits’. Campion was alive at a time where Roman Catholicism was banned in England. Despite the ban, he continued to be a faithful priest to his people, rejecting the validity of the Anglican Church, and conducting an underground ministry. Campion was eventually arrested by priest hunters, convicted of high treason, and hung, drawn and quartered at Tyburn, close to modern-day Marble Arch in London.

Because he died defending his faith, St Edmund Campion is remembered as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, having been canonised in 1970 by Pope Paul VI.

St Thomas Beckett

Saint Thomas Becket was born in around 1120, the son of a London merchant. He was well-educated and quickly became an agent to Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, who sent him on several missions to Rome.  Becket's talents were noticed by Henry II, who made him his chancellor and the two became close friends. When Theobald died in 1161, Henry made Becket archbishop. Becket transformed himself from a pleasure-loving courtier into a serious, simply-dressed priest.

The king and his archbishop's friendship was put under strain when it became clear that Becket would now stand up for the church in its disagreements with the king. In 1164, realising the extent of Henry's displeasure, Becket fled into exile in France, and remained in exile for several years. He returned in 1170.

On the 29 December 1170, four knights, believing the king wanted Becket out of the way, confronted and murdered Becket in Canterbury Cathedral.

St Francis of Assisi

Saint Francis was the son of a prosperous cloth merchant born in Italy in 1181.  In his early life Francis was fortunate to live in relative luxury.  After fighting in a battle between Assisi and Perugia, Francis was captured and imprisoned for ransom. He spent nearly a year in prison—awaiting his father's payment—and, according to legend, began receiving visions from God. After his release from prison, Francis in the church of San Damiano, heard the voice of Christ, telling him to repair the Christian Church and live a life of poverty. Consequently, he abandoned his life of luxury, embracing simplicity and peace and becoming a devotee of the faith.  During his life he developed a deep love of nature and animals and is known as the patron saint of the environment and animals.  Francis founded an order and told his follows.  

‘Go, announce peace to all people; preach repentance for the remission of sins. Be patient in trials, watchful in prayer, and steadfast. Be modest in your speech, responsible in your actions, and grateful. And know that in return an eternal kingdom is being made ready for you.”

St Gabriel

In Christian tradition Gabriel the archangel is the angel of mercy mentioned by name in the bible.   Spirits who proclaim messages of supreme importance are called archangels and so it is fitting that the archangel Gabriel was sent to the Virgin Mary to announce the greatest of all messages; the birth of our Saviour, Lord Jesus Christ.   During many of the announcements attributed to Gabriel in religious texts, Gabriel presents a challenging message with confidence, authority, and peace, urging people to trust in God's power.  The messages that God assigns the archangel Gabriel to deliver, often extend people's faith in a significant way.  

 

School Prayer

This is our School -
let peace dwell here.
Let each room be full of contentment -
let love abide here;
love of one another,
love of people,
love of life itself,
and love of God –
and remember this:
just as many hands build a house,
many hearts build a school

Deo Duce
Amen.