Like many schools, at St Anthony’s we have house teams and children can earn house points for behaviour, good work and they represent their house in sporting competitions.
We have four houses, named after the places of four special saints:
Assisi – to celebrate St Francis of Assisi
Francis was born in Assisi, Italy in 1182 and grew up as the son of a wealthy merchant. As a young adult, he began to see visions from God that changed his life, including one in which God told him to “repair my church, which is falling in ruins”.
Francis gave all his money to the church, which angered his father so he left home and took a vow of poverty. He formed the Franciscan Order and many joined him, also making vows of poverty. He spoke eloquently and had many followers.
St Francis was known for his love of nature and animals and we recognise his feast day on 4th October with an annual pet blessing service at school.
Canterbury – to celebrate St Thomas Becket
Thomas Becket was also the son of a rich merchant from London. He grew up to be very powerful and in 1154, he was appointed as chancellor to King Henry II. He became good friends with the king, which led to his appointment in 1162 as Archbishop of Canterbury. In this role he became leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England.
This was not a popular decision as Thomas Becket had never been a priest and he enjoyed the finer things in life. However, he proved everyone wrong because he became very caring and invited the poor into his home. He fed them and gave them money. He stopped wearing expensive clothes and began wearing monk’s robes and he slept on a stone floor instead of a bed.
The king was not pleased by the changes in Thomas Becket and accused him of stealing money. When Henry II spoke out against Thomas Becket, some of the king’s knights misunderstood him and so they murdered him in Canterbury Cathedral.
Lourdes – to celebrate St Bernadette of Lourdes
Bernadette Soubirous was born in 1844 into a very poor family. She was a kind girl but struggled with ill health and asthma. When Bernadette was 14, she was collecting firewood with her sister and a friend. The other girls crossed a stream to a grotto but Bernadette didn’t want to walk through the cold water and make her asthma worse. The girls insisted and as Bernadette began taking off her shoes, she heard a rustling sound and in the grotto, she saw a beautiful lady. The lady was dressed in white with a blue ribbon at her waist, she wore a veil and her feet were bare and covered by her dress except at a point where yellow roses shone on them. In her right arm, the lady held a rosary of white beads. Bernadette knelt and began praying the Rosary.
Our Lady appeared to Bernadette another 17 times in the grotto. Many people ridiculed her but she remained determined, loving and courageous. Bernadette joined the Sisters of Charity of Nevers and spent the rest of her life praying for sinners and serving God. She died at the age of 35.
Lourdes continues to be a very special place, visited by pilgrims and known for its healing powers.
Padua – to celebrate St Anthony of Padua
St Anthony was born in 1195 in Lisbon, Portugal and grew up in a wealthy family. When he was 15, he rejected his family’s status and wealth and decided to join a monastery, where later, he was ordained as a priest.
He joined the Franciscans in Padua, Italy and began a simple life of prayer, poverty and service. He was a powerful speaker and had a great memory for scripture. Many people came from miles around to listen to him speak about God’s love.
Anthony’s life is what every Christian’s life is meant to be: a steady courage to face the ups and downs, the call to love and forgive and to be concerned for the needs of others. He had total trusting love and dependence on God.
St Anthony is the patron saint of lost things and many people pray to him when they need help to find something.
His feast day is on 13th June and we celebrate it with a Mass each year and a treat such as an ice-lolly outside.