On the first day of February, the sun was shining wonderfully for us in the morning as we set off to Duchesne House in Roehampton, where the late Sister Mimi once lived. As we arrived we were so warmly welcomed by the sisters at the house, bringing us to their rooms and enthusiastically showing us the things that were especially special to them, whether it's a picture or a teddy bear. We then had tea, coffee and biscuits as we chatted to the sisters and got to know a bit more about the Sacred Heart community. It is very interesting to know that a lot of the sisters travelled to lots of different parts of the world and they always have young sisters who come from different parts of the world to learn and improve their English.
We had the privilege of going to the chapel and joining the sisters' 11:30 Mass. The chapel was just enough to fit all of us in comfortably yet it is so, so beautiful. We did not have any accompaniment in singing the hymns but it was just as beautiful as some of the sisters even harmonised the songs! After Mass, we had our packed lunches and some extra food from Duchesne House in the meeting room. It was such a nice opportunity to get to know more about the sisters and the Sacred Heart community and we even talked about what we have actually done in the school community in order to promote faith and love. After saying the hard goodbyes with the sisters and taking a picture along with Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne (as the sisters called this the 'airbrushed' portrait of her), we set off to our next destination: Sacred Heart Primary School.
At reception, we all had to type in our names and who we were visiting and took a photo. A sticker was then printed off for you to stick on your blazer. We were able to have a tour around the school and saw different classes from age 4 to age 10 (year 6). We saw animals that they have in the school including a donkey, a few chickens and two pygmy goats - I've never seen pygmy goats before so I was so fascinated. The word 'cute' kept coming out of our mouths as we toured around the school where we got to see what the children are learning. Year 2s are learning how to create a storybook using Apple Macs to describe an 'animal version' of the creation of the Great Wall in China. Year 6s are learning the Greek goddesses and were able not only to name them, but also what they represent. The children in nursery sang us two songs in which Fr Gerry joked that one of them could be our new school hymn, replacing Shine Jesus Shine because it's so catchy! We ended our day by spending time with the children in their playroom as they drew pictures, played with toy animals and puzzles and some, reading.
Today was truly an inspiring day where I learnt a lot about our faith, and to be a lot more aware of our community across the nation and the globe. Thank you to Mr Ross and Fr Gerry for bringing us to these amazing places - I can't wait until the next trip to say hello to the sisters and the children again.