The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, celebrated Nicholas Breakspear Catholic School’s 50th Anniversary Mass of Thanksgiving with staff and more than 800 pupils in St Albans on 12 September.
With a strong musical accompaniment, the Mayor, governors, local priests, staff, students, families and supporters celebrated the rich tradition of the school. During the liturgy students from Year 9 processed through the church with altar pieces depicting the school's Gospel values of truth, peace, justice and love.
In his homily the Archbishop said: “We come together to thank God for the achievements of the school and for its history. We come to Mass as the best of ourselves and to be nurtured by God. We receive from the Word of God and from the Eucharist.”
Reflecting on Matthew’s Gospel, Archbishop Vincent spoke of how “Nicholas Breakspear was a man who searched for a response of what he knew was best within him. He responded to his sense of where love was to be found. He didn’t go searching for something out of anger or resentment. He asked, he searched and he knocked in the search for the love of God. He went asking and searching so that he could serve because he recognized that what is most satisfying in his life is to give and to serve. He searched for what was true, not just what was handy. He, Nicholas Breakspear, can teach us how to put a shape to our lives – what we look for, what we ask for, what we search for. If we are doing this before God, with our hearts open before our Heavenly Father then we will certainly find what our heart most desires.”
Clive Mathew, School Executive, said: “It is a wonderful occasion to celebrate 50 years of Nicholas Breakspear school which also marks the beginning of a new partnership with John Henry Newman school – we are looking to a wonderful future together.”
Other events to mark the Golden Jubilee celebrations include a pilgrimage to Rome and an open day for former pupils and staff.