To mark the centenary of the birth of Blessed Oscar Romero, schools in the diocese of Hexham and Newcastle focused their attention on the life and martyrdom of the Salvadorean Archbishop. St John’s Catholic Academy in Bishop Auckland organised a programme of events for their Year 10 students. They were inspired by Romero’s words ‘Aspire not to have more, but to be more’.

‘A truly fulfilled life’

St John’s Academy invited Missio to be involved in their presentations and workshops. They highlighted Romero’s links with Missio, and his time as the charity’s National Director in El Salvador. Students learnt about the powerful example set by Romero: to observe the world around them and consider their role within it, inspired by the Gospel, and strengthened by faith.

St John’s chaplain, Mrs Emma Ramsey, said:

‘We wanted to provide our students with the opportunity to reflect on the paths they take, the choices they make, and the qualities needed for themselves and others to lead a truly fulfilled life. The students gained a lot from Missio’s input. They heard about what the charity does to enable those less fortunate than ourselves to have access to the things we take for granted.’

Time to step up

Missio also joined St Anthony’s Girl’s Catholic Academy, for ‘Step Up To Life Mission Week’. Led by the Diocesan Youth Ministry Team, the week focused on forgiveness. So Missio led workshops exploring the importance of mercy and peace in our efforts to build God’s Kingdom at home and overseas.

Pupils engaged in discussion and activities. They considered practical ways to become missionaries of God’s love. And they produced some impressive visual representations of God’s kingdom – built with the help of Missio’s Red Boxes!

Thank you

Missio would like to thank St John’s and St Anthony’s for their welcome and support. Your missionary efforts bring to mind more inspiring words from Blessed Oscar Romero:

‘Let us not develop an education that creates in the mind of the student a hope of becoming rich and having the power to dominate. Let us form in the heart of a young person the idea of loving, of preparing oneself to serve and giving oneself to others.’

Over the next few weeks Missio will be visiting more schools in Hexham and Newcastle. If you would like to find out about arranging a visit to your school, please contact