“Only if I serve my neighbour can my eyes be opened to what God does for me and how much he loves me.” (Deus Caritas Est #18)
During the school holidays we have been busy preparing resources to get the Caritas Award scheme fully underway in schools and parishes at the start of the new school session. At the last count we have received expressions of interest from 51 secondary schools and 3 parishes which have no secondary schools. This very encouraging level of interest has enabled us to plan for the design of a unique Caritas Award medal and for a national Caritas Awards Ceremony (details to follow). We hope that, thanks to everyone’s efforts, we can sustain this level of interest into the stage when young people are actively engaged in Faith witness, learning and reflection.
The following points are most significant at this time for Caritas Co-ordinators:
1 School Contact details
It is important that each nominating school/parish appoints a contact person who will co-ordinate the involvement of young people and liaise with SCES throughout the award year. SCES will send all related material to the named Caritas co-ordinator. If they have not already done so, nominating schools/parishes should advise SCES of this person’s name and email address.
2 Caritas Timeline
A timeline has been developed to set out the major milestones in the Caritas year and to identify tasks to be completed by students, co-ordinators, parishes and SCES. You can download a copy of this timeline using the attachment listed below.
3 Caritas Resources CD
A CD containing various resources, including 4 Gathering Point PowerPoint presentations and other documents, will be provided to each nominating centre during week beginning 15th August 2011. A PowerPoint presentation, designed to introduce the idea of the Caritas Award to students, was made available in June 2011. This is intended to help students understand what the scheme is, how they can be involved, what sorts of activities are relevant and how they can gather evidence to gain the award. This PowerPoint will also be provided on the Caritas Resources CD.
4 Enrolling for the Caritas Award
In June schools were asked to provide SCES with a provisional number of interested students for session 2011-12. By 12th August, Caritas Co-ordinators should receive letters asking them to confirm numbers of enrolments, using a spreadsheet which will be provided for this purpose. NB Enrolments for the Caritas Award must be completed by 31st August 2011. The Caritas Enrolment spreadsheet can be downloaded using the attachment below.
5 Caritas Journals and Folders
Copies of a Caritas Journal and Caritas Folder for each enrolled student will be sent out as soon as numbers have been confirmed with SCES.
6 Promotional Materials
Copies of a Poster and a 6-page brochure, printed to publicise the CARITAS AWARD and to provide information to pupils who have expressed interest in it, are still available from SCES.
7 Parish involvement
Every parish received a letter in early June, encouraging them to be receptive to approaches from schools and/or from young people interested in undertaking some active commitment to the parish community. Caritas Co-ordinators are encouraged to talk to local parishes about how they might publicise available opportunities in local parishes.
8 Caritas News on SCES website
Updated details of the award scheme, together with news bulletins and news of school participation, are being posted on the SCES website (see Caritas Award) as a means of keeping everyone informed of developments. Schools are encouraged to post comments on this page in order to share experiences with colleagues in other schools. A set of Frequently Asked Questions (and answers) is also being kept updated on the SCES website: Caritas Award FAQs. Again, please use this page to add a comment or to ask a question.
9 Advance Notice of Meeting of Caritas Co-ordinators
The next meeting of School Caritas Co-ordinators has been arranged to take place in the Conforti Institute in Coatbridge on 9th November 2011.