Newman News Term 1 Week 10: From the Director of Mission and Catholic Identity

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Matthew 28:5-6 

This week marks the beginning of Holy Week – a most significant time in the Church calendar. Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday and ends on Easter Sunday, marking the final days of Jesus Christ’s life on earth, culminating in his death and resurrection. 

For Christians worldwide, Holy Week is a time of deep spiritual reflection and introspection. It serves as a reminder of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and love for humanity and the ultimate victory of good over evil. Throughout Holy Week, Christians engage in various rituals and practices such as prayer, fasting, and attending mass or liturgies, to deepen their faith and strengthen their relationship with God. 

For students this week, Holy Week provides the opportunity to learn more about the story of Jesus, as well as those things we value as Catholics. It is a time to understand the importance of sacrifice, forgiveness, and love, which students come to understand through the work they have been doing in Religious Education and also through the Easter Liturgy celebrations this week. 

Ultimately, Holy Week serves as a reminder for us to live a life of compassion, kindness, and love towards others, just as Jesus Christ did. By reflecting on the significance of Holy Week, we can deepen our faith and understanding of what it means to be Catholic and strive to live a life that is guided by its teachings. 

Caritas Fundraisers

The last few weeks have seen a flurry of activity across the school as our Guild Coordinators and Student Leaders have been working hard to raise money for Caritas. We have seen a number of awesome events including crazy sock day, bake sales, staff vs student netball, staff dance battle, guess the lollies in the jar, and many more. The sale of tickets for the Primary Easter raffle have been very strong too, and we are looking forward to sharing our total fundraising amount with everyone next term. I would like to especially recognise the efforts of our PCG teachers, Guild Coordinators, and student leaders who have been instrumental in bringing our fundraising efforts to life this term, as well as Mrs Daphne Peters who has been guiding students in her role as Leader of Youth Ministry and Advocacy.

Easter Liturgies

This week we celebrated three Easter Liturgy celebrations across our campus. Students at the Marian campus came together at St.Cecilia’s Church to celebrate a re-telling of the Easter Story, while students in Lavalla did the same, gathering together in the Auditorium. In our Marcellin campus, students commemorated Holy Week with a re-telling of the Stations of the Cross which depict Jesus’ final hour on Earth, leading to his resurrection. I am very grateful for the support of the many staff and students who spent time preparing these events for our community, and for bringing to life such a significant and holy time in our calendar.  

Year 7 Game Changers Launch 

This week, each of our Year 7 students took part in the launch of the Game Changers program during their Religious Education lessons. This was facilitated by Issy, who is a part of the Marist Youth Ministry team. The Game Changers program is a comprehensive Catholic youth ministry program for students in Marist Schools from Years 7-12. It seeks to form Christian leaders by making Jesus Christ known and loved among students. Highlighted by a strong sense of family spirit and community, regular meetings, faith formation experiences and service opportunities, students are invited to become game changers through their participation in the youth group. The response from our Year 7 group was excellent, and we are very much looking forward to welcoming our new participants to the program next term. Parents can read more about the Game Changers program here.  

Y11 & Y12 Game Changers Retreat 

While our Year 7 students were being introduced to Game Changers this week, our Year 11 and Year 12 Game Changers students were out attending their retreats. These experiences are critical in the formation and personal growth of students. Under the guidance of Marist Youth Ministry Regional Assistant, Issy, students took on the challenge of stepping ‘into the unknown’ and delving deeper into what their true passions are and how they can use these for the greater good! We hope this awesome group of Year 12’s learnt just as much from us as we did from them! 

The Year 11 group started their day off with Mass, and despite the bad weather, the students had a great time reflecting on their faith and looking into how they can empower not only themselves but also the people around them. Students also discussed how life is like a ‘JengaTower’, because when we come tumbling down in times of obscurity, we need help from the people around us to be built back up again, and as Marists, we can play a key role in helping those in need build themselves up too. 

Year 9 Retreat

Last week, our Year 9 students and their PCG teachers gathered in the Auditorium to take part in a retreat run by Perth Youth Mission Team. The theme of the retreat was relationships, with students focusing on appreciating the dignity and value of themselves and others, the power of influence, and our personal relationship with Jesus. It was great to see students participating so well, particularly in the small group sessions. We hope it helped students to understand the tremendous power they each possess to make a difference to others in our community. 

Living Marist Service Learning Program 

This term we have also launched our Living Marist Christian Service Learning Program. This program aims to encourage and support students to commit to acts of Christian service both here in school and in the wider community. We make this commitment so we can help enact the vision Marcellin Champagnat had for all young people – to become good Christians and good citizens. Students are expected to achieve a minimum of ten hours of service learning across the year, though we encourage students to make a difference in their community and aim for even more. Details of the program have been shared in classes with PCG teachers. We look forward to hearing of the many great things students are doing in our school to support our school and community, like some of our students from last year. Well done to these students on their outstanding commitment and contributions to their community last year: 

Year 8Year 9Year 10
Clancy Boss: 89 hours Tiffany Farrell: 84 hours Catelyn Gill: 365 hours 
Zoe Ehlers: 89 hours Oliver Worley: 75 hours Ruby Shelton: 87 hours 
Benji Thompson: 70 hours Maya McIntyre-Llewellyn: 45 hours Samuel Jeffcote: 85 hours
Madeline Faulkner: 46 hours Georgia Worley: 34 hours Valentina Arias Caceras: 83 hours 
Molly Hopkins: 37 hours Josie Felton: 34 hours Campbell Smith: 78 hours 

New Staff Welcome

This week, we welcomed a new staff member to our Ministry team – Issy Ochtman. Issy joins us in the role of Youth Chaplain, which is a role that centres around supporting students in pastoral care, or well-being capacity. Issy already has a relationship with the College through her work for Marist Youth Ministry. Issy thoroughly enjoys working with the students at Newman College in her Youth Ministry role as she assists in the guidance and encouragement of students in the Game Changers program. She loves staying busy running events that empower young people in their faith, leadership and personal life, and especially enjoys being involved with anything creative. Issy also completed high school at a fellow Marist school in W..A; St Joseph’s School Northam. Although she is a country girl at heart, Issy is loving her time in the city with the opportunity to work with and support the students at Newman College. 

Upcoming events  

There are a number of important events coming up over the first few weeks of Term 2 in the Ministry calendar: 

  • Wednesday 26 April – ANZAC Service 
  • Thursday 27 April – Community Mass 
  • Friday 28 April – Year 9 Game Changers Retreat 
  • Tuesday 2 May – Game Changers Gathering 
  • Thursday 4 May – Community Mass 
  • Friday 5 May – Year 10 Game Changers Retreat 

Community Mass 

It has been wonderful to see everyone at our Thursday morning Community Masses over the past two weeks. This a reminder that the whole College community is warmly invited to join us in the Champagnat Chapel at 8.10am on Thursday mornings for Mass celebrated by one of our local Parish Priests and hosted by our students from Marcellin and Lavalla. 

Please see the upcoming schedule below to begin Term 2: 

  • Thursday 27 April: Catherine & 3 Green 
  • Thursday 4 May: Brigid & 5 Green 

We look forward to seeing you there.