Catholic Life Opportunities 

Last updated: 15/06/2019


Lourdes Pilgrimage

A group of 40 pilgrims from St. Mary's, made up of Year 10 and Year 12 students, make an annual pilgrimage to  Lourdes. St. Mary's have been taking part in the Leeds Diocese Lourdes Pilgrimage since 1993 (the first pilgrimage was led by Miss Murray).

Lourdes is a small town set in the foothills of the French Pyrenees, where in 1858 Our Blessed Lady appeared to the young Bernadette Soubirous. The first apparition took place on 11 February 1858 while Bernadette was collecting firewood with her sister and friend. There followed 17 more apparitions between February and June of that year.

Each year, we join together with those who are in poor health. Indeed, the sick and less able pilgrims are at the very heart of our experience in Lourdes as we celebrate, worship and pray together. 400 young pilgrims from Diocesan schools and colleges come to share their faith and provide enthusiastic and energetic support to dependent pilgrims. These young people are themselves cared for and encouraged by 50 teachers, assistants, clergy and chaplains. 

The annual Lourdes Pilgrimage provides a unique opportunity to gather as a diocese with the Bishop to pray and journey in faith.

There are a series of vibrant displays celebrating our Lourdes Pilgrimage in school, on our 'Main Corridor'.

Each year, there is a pastoral theme for the pilgrimage. 

The pastoral theme for 2019 is: “Happy are the poor” 

Dates for the next Diocese of Leeds Lourdes Pilgrimage (the 81st): 4–12 July 2019

Lourdes Group photos

Lourdes Group Photos
“Students from St Mary’s, in Year 10 and 12, join with the annual Leeds Diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes. As well as giving a witness to their faith, they also give assistance to the sick and infirm.

The preparation for the pilgrimage starts towards the end of January and the reunion rounds off the Pilgrimage experience in September.

The Lourdes Pilgrimage is a spiritual focus throughout the school year. It is wonderful to see how our young people’s involvement in the Lourdes Pilgrimage each year helps them mature and grow in their faith.

Our Lady of Lourdes - pray for us.

St Bernadette - pray for us.”
— Mr R Lavery

The Words of Our Lady to Bernadette

Our Lady gave Bernadette a number of messages:

Would you be kind enough to come here for a fortnight?

I cannot promise you the happiness this world gives but the happiness of  the other.

Pray for the conversion of sinners.

Would you kiss the ground and crawl on your knees for sinners?

Go and drink from the spring and wash yourself there.

Go and tell the priest to build a chapel here and to have people come here in procession.

I am the Immaculate Conception.

Walsingham Pilgrimage

Walsingham Pilgrimage 2018

The Diocese of Leeds one day Pilgrimage to Walsingham, England’s oldest shrine to Our Lady takes place each September. It is open to all year groups, staff and families.

The day includes open air Mass, a procession along the Holy Mile from the Shrine into the town of Walsingham and concludes with Benediction. There is free time to visit the many wonderful churches and chapels.

If you are interested in joining the next Pilgrimage, please see Mrs Findlay.

Date of the next Diocese of Leeds Walsingham Pilgrimage:

Saturday 28 September 2019

“An excellent opportunity for spiritual refreshment”
— Oliver and Anthony, Year 10
“A peaceful, beautiful and calming place. I would recommend it to you all!”
— Lucy, Year 10
“A thoroughly enjoyable and spiritually rewarding day out with friends!”
— Mrs Findlay

Walsingham in Norfolk, has been a place of pilgrimage since medieval times, when for most people travel to Rome or Compostella was virtually impossible. The original shrine of Our Lady to Walsingham, founded in 1061, was  destroyed at the Reformation. In 1934, Walsingham was named the Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady.
Almost everyone who visits Walsingham speaks of the peaceful atomsphere they find there. There are some who go to Waslingham to give thanks for some blessing in their lives. Others to make a new start or to find ssome way through confusion in their lives. There may be a desire to seek forgiveness in confession and reconciliation, or return to the Church. The sacarament of the sick is frequently recieved, and people come to find healing, strength and God's grace through the prayers of Our Lady.
The spirituality behind everything in Walsingham is to be found in the words of Our Lady when she was asked to become the mother of the Lord:

“You see before you the Lord’s servant, let it happen to me as you have said.”
— Luke 1:38

Walsingham is the home of Mary where, like a mother, she is able to influence, guide, teach and love us if we let her, just as she did her son. Most importantly, she asks us to say with her and through her, 'let it happen to me as you have said.'

There is a Walsingham display on our 'Main Corridor'.


Batley Torchlight

Batley Torchlight Procession is an annual Diocesan event where many parishes and schools process in honour of Mary Mother of God. The date is usually around the first Monday in October and a representative group from St. Mary’s attend. This is an evening event.

Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi Procession Sunday 19 May 2019, 3.00pm to 6.00pm

Bishop Marcus heads this Blessed Sacrament Procession in the grounds of Hinsley Hall. There is input from the Youth Service and the afternoon’s celebration is open to all families, Parishes and schools with food and lawn games. A representative group from St. Mary’s attends.

Marian Procession

To honour the Blessed Virgin Mary, our heavenly mother and patron we follow the Catholic tradition of Mary devotions. Throughout the month the Rosary is prayed by various students led groups and we conclude the month with a May Procession where the whole of Year 7 come together sing hymns to Mary, to pray the rosary and process Our Lady’s statue around the school grounds.


Year 9 Retreat

Year 9 Retreat is at Soli House, Catholic Retreat Centre Staffordshire. Students spend 3 days and 2 nights experiencing community, fellowship, service and worship.

Year 12 Retreat


The Holy Island of Lindisfarne, Northumberland is the place of Retreat on offer to Year 12 students. They stay for 3 days at the SVP Centre based on the Island.

Staff Retreat

Each year a retreat for staff is organised with an overnight stay at Ampleforth Abbey, North Yorkshire.



Special Days such as Remembrance Day are celebrated in school in a range of ways with individual and collective contribution.


Flame is a bi annual event held by CYMFed at Wembley Stadium, London. It generally attracts 8,000 young nationally and is a celebration of music drama, witness and worship. St. Mary’s attends with a representative group from across the Year groups.


Revelation is a monthly Diocesan Youth Event held at Hinsley Hall and hosted by the Youth Service. Catholic High Schools bring small groups to the event for fun, games, discussion and worship. There is a different theme each month.

FAITH DAY at Notre Dame

A Faith Day at Notre Dame is held in the last week of the summer term. A representative group from St. Mary’s attend and enjoy a day of interaction with a range of agencies and charities.


There are a number of active groups in school:

Faith in Action


Pupils work through an awards scheme putting their Faith into Action through prayer, service, Parish Practice and Pilgrimage and Procession.

St. Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent de Paul group meet to pray and encourage service and support through fundraising.


The CAFOD group meet to pray and support the work of CAFOD in school by creating awareness and promoting fund raising.


The Global Warriors group meet regularly to discuss climate change, our environment and how to promote awareness and action.