St Margaret Ward
Not much is known about St Margaret Ward. We don’t know when she was born, but we know when she died and why.
Margaret was born in the later part of the 16th Century in Congleton. Her father was a farmer working on his own land. Margaret went to London to be a servant, but more of a lady’s companion to Mrs Whittle.
It was whilst she was in London, Margaret heard of the imprisonment of Fr Watson on the charge of being a Catholic Priest. Margaret took to visiting him in prison taking him food. The very few images we have of Margaret Ward, show her carrying a basket. Being a regular visitor, the jailors stopped searching Margaret as she entered the jail.
Fr Watson persuaded Margaret into helping him to escape. Using a rope smuggled into the prison, Fr Watson climbed through a window; but the rope was too short and he fell and injured himself. Swapping his clothes with John Roche, Fr Watson escaped, but Margaret Ward and John Roche were quickly arrested.
Held in chains for 8 days and tortured, Margaret Ward refused to disclose where Fr Watson was hidden. She died at Tyburn on 30th August 1588. It is believed that Margaret Ward was between the ages of 18-21. She is one of the three women of the Martyrs of England and Wales
Our School is the only Secondary School in the Archdiocese of Birmingham to be named after a female Saint and is believed to be a good role model who stood up for what she believed in. Margaret Ward was brave, honest, compassionate, caring, kind and loving. She showed many qualities of being a good person who tried to make a difference in the world in which she lived. At St Margaret Ward, we strive to encourage our students to be kind, compassionate, brave and strong and to be the best person they can be in the world in which we live.
St Jean Baptiste de la Salle
As a young priest, De La Salle helped the nuns who were educating and caring for poor girls in Rheims. On a chance meeting with Adrian Nyel, Nyel asked De La Salle to help him establish a school for poor and sick boys. Once the school was opened, a wealthy benefactor promised financial support, only if De La Salle continued to be involved with the school.
De La Salle, soon came to realise that his schools needed good teachers and set about training teachers. His ideas were revolutionary. De La Salle believed that students should be taught in groups, where students should be given the opportunity to lead and teach each other knowing that they are loved by God.
Today there are some 3,800 De La Salle Brothers dedicated to the education of young people numbering over 1,000,000 students in 1,500 educational centres including schools and universities in 82 countries. As an affiliated De La Salle School we share the vision of John Baptiste De La Salle
• Faith in the Presence of God
• Quality Education
• Inclusive Community
• Social Justice and Concern for the Poor
• Respect for all
John Baptiste died in 1719 and is the Patron Saint of Teachers and all who are involved in education.
St John Henry Newman
St John Henry Newman 1801- 1890
John Henry Newman was a leading figure in both the Anglican (Church of England) and Catholic Church.
Born in 1801, he did not show any interest in his faith or relationship with God. Then, at the age of 15, he underwent a conversion. This conversion was to transform him into being one of the greatest historical figures of the 19th C.
As a vicar in the Church of England, he became involved in the Oxford Movement, which called for the Church to remain true to its roots. This re-examination of the Church and its foundations (along with his studies, travels and writings) eventually led John Henry Newman into becoming a Catholic by 1845.
Pope Leo XIII appointed John Henry Newman as Cardinal, having established The Oratory in Birmingham and the University of Dublin, where he was the first Rector.
John Henry Newman was a prolific writer, both in his professional and personal life. He has written poems, music, articles and letters which have been published and reflect his faith in God. These works have received acclamation from around the world.
Today we look for guidance from John Henry Newman. He was no stranger to difficulty and hardship. John Henry Newman faced these with determination and truth following his conscience, putting his trust in God. As he says,
God has created me to do him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my mission; I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I have a part in a great work; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling.
On his visit to Cofton Park, in Birmingham in 2019, Pope Benedict XVI declared John Henry Newman, ‘Saint’. Saint John Henry Newman was canonised on Sunday 13th October.
As the Patron Saint of our Collegiate, Saint John Henry Newman calls us all to
Love: each other and all we meet as God loves us
Faith: have faith in God and live our faith through our work and daily life
Courage: to be faithful to our conscience and stand up for what we know to be true
Vocation: remember that God has chosen us for a specific reason, we have our own gifts and talents
Service: just like Christ we are here to help and serve others using our gifts and talents
Dignity: recognise that we are all made in the image of God and we must respect all
We celebrate with great joy his Canonisation by Pope Francis