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 SSND News

SSND and staff join pupils in welcoming royal visitor

S. Miriam Bruder and staff join pupils in welcoming
Duchess of Cambridge

On the 1st of July this year, far from being immersed in Canada Day celebrations, Miriam Bruder, SSND, a Canadian by birth who ministers in a parish in London, England, was caught up in a special event at the parish primary school. That morning the Duchess of Cambridge (formerly Kate Middleton) was visiting the school. The reason for her visit was to see the progress of the charity M-Pact Plus which she helped launch a year ago in Manchester, England. The project, which addresses addiction in families by offering early support for pupils affected by drug or alcohol abuse in the family, is supported by the Royal Trust.

One of the charities that deliver the M-pact programme is Place2B. Blessed Sacrament School was chosen to host the royal visit because it is the only school in the area that already works with Place2B, a project which provides on-site emotional and mental health support to school pupils. The school is able to provide this service thanks to a generous Catholic donor and the dedicated efforts of head teacher, Norah Flatley, to address the multiple needs of the children in her care.

Sister Miriam waited with the children and staff to witness the arrival of the Duchess, the official greetings, the welcome by two pupils and the interaction of the Duchess and the children assembled in the playground. “Kate” then met privately with programme leaders and a small group of children.
Meanwhile, Sister Miriam and the other school governors, and staff from all the related charities, mingled in the hall until the Duchess returned. The Duchess was then introduced to all who had assembled and took her time engaging in conversation. The fact that she arrived “bang on time” but left a half-hour later than planned, sums up the quality of the visit, said Sister Miriam. Before the Duchess got into her car, a pupil presented her with a parting gift, her own art piece depicting a mother and child (or was it Kate and George?) done in Picasso style.

It was truly a memorable day for all involved and a tribute to Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School, where the education of the whole child is of paramount importance.

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