Sat Nav is a great invention. Install one in your car and if you use it properly, it will always lead you to your destination. Each of us has an inbuilt moral sat nav: our conscience. It tells us what to do and what not to do. It keeps us on the straight and narrow. What we are not so good at is listening to it, following it and keeping it up to date. We need to form our consciences. How do we do that? That can be difficult because there are so many competing voices all around us.
Some people follow the crowd. They are guided by peer pressure. They look at what others are doing to help them make important decisions. It's a big thing in schools. If everyone else is doing it, I want to do it too. If other people wear that label or do that activity or listen to that music, I want that too. It's like other people are making my decisions for me. But tomorrow everyone might be doing or wearing or watching something else.
Some people are guided by their feelings. I will do whatever I want to; whatever makes me feel good. I'm not going to work today because I'm just not bothered; we'll never talk to that family again because they didn't invite us to the wedding. Feeings are not always a good guide when it comes to knowing the right thing to do.
What should guide us?
In today's gospel, Jesus makes a promise. He tells his disciples that even though he is going to leave them soon, they won't be left abandoned. God will send the Holy Spirit to be with them to guide them, "to lead you to the complete truth." The Holy Spirit is our sat nav. In trying to negotiate our way through life's journey, God has given us a spiritual navigator. When we don't know what to do or which way to turn, the Holy Spirit is there to point us in the right direction.
But, as with a sat nav, we must first tune into the Holy Spirit. That means being aware of the Spirit's presence with us all the time. We are never alone or lost. We have an inbuilt Holy Spirit navigation system, A most precious tool. We just have to turn it on.
Second, we must ask the Holy Spirit to help us. Whenever we don't know which way to turn, or the right direction to take, we pray to the Holy Spirit and let the Holy Spirit be our guide, The Holy Spirit always points us to Jesus who is 'the Way, the truth and the life." That's the Spirit's job - to be our guide through life, to lead us eventually to eternal life with the Holy Trinity.
On the 11th of November 2015, the children at Keyham Barton Catholic Primary School paid tribute to the men and women of the armed forces who gave their lives for their country and our freedom.
Seven children, representing the service families at our school, visited the War Memorial on Plymouth Hoe to lay a poppy wreath on behalf of our school.
This morning, the children - from the youngest in Foundation Stage to Year 5, gathered in the school hall just before 11 am. When the gun salute from HMS Drake announced the beginning of the 2 minute silence, the children stood to show their respect for those who gave their lives for our 'tomorrow'. At the end of the 2 minute silence, Mr Norris, our head teacher read the famous prayer:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
We will remember them.
Later that day at 3pm, we gathered again as a whole school to reflect on the great sacrifice that these men and women of the armed forces have made and continue to make. It is a sacrifice we should be ever mindful of and it is our duty to educate today's children so that they can continue to honour their memory.
As the weather grows colder and the leaves fall, and Christmas approaches, it is natural that our thoughts turn to those whom we have loved who are no longer with us.
It is appropriate, then, that November, which begins with All Saints Day and All Souls Day is the Month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory. During the month of November, we remember all those who have died and gone to be with God in Heaven, especially members of our own families and our dear friends. We write their names in our special Book of Remembrance.
We say a special prayer:
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
9th - 13th November 2015 is Diversity Week. We will be exploring aspects of other faiths and cultures throughout the week as part of our RE learning and our topic work. With the help and support of Plymouth Centre for Faiths and Cultural Diversity we will be learning about Islam, Judaism and Japanese culture.
On Monday, Year 5 will welcome Hichem, who will share with them his knowledge of Islam with a particular focus on the Five Pillars.
On Tuesday, Year 4 and Year 6 will visit the Synagogue and Jerry Sibley will teach them about how Jews pray, about the importance of the Torah and how Jews observe the Sabbath.
The younger children in Year 1 and Year 2 will learn about the Sukkot and how Jews pray when Liz Berg comes to visit us on Tuesday morning. She will also do a story telling session with Foundation Stage.
Year 3, who are learning about Japan this term, will be treated to a wonderful session with Yuki Yoshioka on Friday morning. She will spend an hour with the children exploring Japanese culture and origami.
On Thursday 19th November, parents and carers are welcome to join us at 3:30pm in the hall where you will be able to see for yourselves some of the wonderful learning which has taken place.