Chaplaincy plays a vital role in the faith and pastoral mission of St Leonard’s Catholic School. Our priest chaplains and chaplaincy co-ordinator, Mrs Catherine Simcox are valuable partners and collaborators with the academic and support staff in cultivating an authentic Catholic ethos. Chaplaincy has four essential roles, among others, to play:
(i) Evangelisation and Catechesis through proclamation of the Word of God;
(ii) responding to the Sacaramental and Spiritual needs of the school;
(iii) pastoral care of pupils and staff;
(iv) facilitating links between the school, the parishes and the home.
St John Boste was born at Dufton, near Appleby in Westmorland, about 1543, though other think it was 1550. He was elected MA and Fellow of Queen’s College Oxford, in 1572 and in 1574 become Master of Appleby Grammar School. In 1576 he was received into the Catholic Church at Brome in Suffolk. In 1578 he returned to Oxford and was re-elected Fellow. Shortly afterwards he was expelled on religious grounds. He crossed over to France, studied for the priesthood at Rhiems and was ordained on 4th March 1581. Returning to England, he ministered for a time in Norfolk and then came North where he was to spend the rest of his priestly life. He was described by Huntingdon, Lord President of the North, as ‘the greatest stag in the North’, and every effort was made to capture him. Through the treachery of an apostate Catholic, Francis Eglesfield, he was betrayed at Waterhouses, some four miles from Durham just after he had said Mass. He was imprisoned first at Durham and then taken to London where he was confined in the Tower. Here he was cruelly racked and permanently crippled. He was brought back to Durham to stand his trial. This took place on 24 July 1594 and he was executed the same day. It is widely believed that this execution took place in what is now our school yard. As he climbed the ladder to the gallows, he recited the Rosary and died asking God’s forgiveness for his executioner.
This Chapel was blessed in honour of St John Boste by The Right Reverend Dom Ambrose Griffiths, the then Bishop of Hexham & Newcastle on 21st March 2003.
May the blood of the Martyrs and their prayers, assist in healing the wounds cause by our divisions.
St John Boste,
pray for us.