Newman News Term 1 Week 2: From the Director of Mission and Catholic Identity

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11  

The first few weeks of school are always some of the most exciting, with students, families, and even teachers adjusting to the life of being back at school (or for many students like our Year 7’s, getting used to a whole new community). This year has certainly been no different! We were very grateful to come together to celebrate our PK-12 Family Mass, and there has already been evidence of many of our Marist characteristics in the words, actions, and efforts of our students. I am looking forward to working with students, staff and families across the year as we seek to make Jesus Christ known and loved in our community in 2023. 

PK-12 Family Mass

It was wonderful to be able to gather again as a whole community for the first time in three years to celebrate our PK-12 Family Mass on Wednesday. It was a beautiful occasion, and we were so glad to be able to welcome so many students, families, and staff to our celebration. Darren McGregor, the visiting Regional Director of Marist Schools Australia, was impressed by the reverence and participation of our students, and the large number of families in attendance. It really was a shining example of the Family Spirit that exists so strongly within our community. We are very grateful to our celebrants for the evening, Fr Ruben, and Fr Kaz, as well as to our choir, readers, altar servers, extraordinary ministers, tech, catering, and grounds teams. We also had the opportunity to recognise our student leaders across Year 6 and Year 12 for 2023 as we gave them a blessing before the begin their ministry of service. Thank you to all those students, families, and staff who attended and made our evening so special.  

Marist Theme 2023 

Each year, Marist schools across Australia have a theme to guide us in both our reflections and actions for the year. The Marist Theme for 2023 is Created and Called a revolution of love and tenderness. It reminds us that we are created by God, each with a unique purpose, identity, and mission in life through his divine will and plan. 

Our theme also reminds us that God has a personal relationship with each of us. Indeed, God loves us more than we could ever know! It is through this relationship he seeks to guide and shape us, leading us towards fulfilment and a closer relationship with God. 

A revolution of love and tenderness is an invitation to us all to prioritise love and kindness in our thoughts, actions, and relationships, leading to a more compassionate and empathetic society. This movement reinforces treating others with respect, compassion, and promoting a more peaceful and harmonious community. The goal is to create a world where people put aside differences and treat each other with dignity and grace, leading to a more fulfilling and happier life for all. 

I look forward to sharing more on our Marist theme, and unpacking its meaning over the course of the year. 

Abstract oil painting in Rothko style

Sacramental Program

Students in Years 3,4,& 6 will this year have the opportunity to take part in the sacramental programs offered by their local parishes: 

Year 3Penance (Reconciliation) 
Year 4Eucharist (First Holy Communion) 
Year 6Confirmation

In order for students to complete the sacraments, families must enrol their child in the sacramental program in their local parish. Registrations for these programs can vary from parish to parish, and many parishes have already commenced this program. The links for our local parishes are below. I would encourage families to reach out shortly to their parish so their child does not miss out.  

Sacramental Program – Floreat Wembley Catholic Parish (closes today!) 

Sacramental Program- St Joseph’s Subiaco 

Sacramental Program – Our Lady of the Rosary Doubleview 

Sacramental Program – Holy Spirit City Beach 

Sacraments – Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Scarborough 

Sacramental Program – Our Lady of Grace Parish 

As part of their preparations to receive these sacraments, students will complete learning in class around their chosen sacrament, and also partake in a retreat day. Following this, students will be issued a certificate as evidence of their completed preparation which they can present to the parish.  They can then go ahead and partake in their sacrament.  

If you are a student outside of these year levels and you are interested in making one of the sacraments, you can do so by making enquiries at your local parish.

Did you know: The Marist Heart 

If you have ever visited our Champagnat Chapel, you may have noticed in the foyer our ‘Marist Heart.’ Many people walk past it every day, but I wonder if everyone understands the significance of this symbol? 

As Marcellin’s Champagnat’s Brothers of Mary began to grow, many of his brothers would travel far through the countryside to do their work. Champagnat would print the names of these brothers on small pieces of paper and place them in the heart. This heart became a symbol of the unity and brotherhood within the Society, and a reminder of Champagnat’s deep love for his brothers.  

Today, the Marist Heart remains a cherished symbol of the Marist heritage and a testament to the love Champagnat had for his brothers. It serves as a reminder of the close bonds of friendship, solidarity, and Family Spirit that exist within Marist communities. Inside the Marist Heart that sits in our chapel are the names of all our students and staff, so that even if they are not physically present, we know to keep these people in our thoughts and prayers always. Perhaps next time you pass by the Marist Heart, you can say a prayer for all of those in our community, and in other Marist communities across the world. 

Community Mass

Each week, the College celebrates a community mass on Thursdays at 8.10am in the Champagnat Chapel. Our first community mass for this year will be celebrated in Week 4, and will be hosted by Brigid Guild and 6 Red. All students, staff, and families are welcome to attend.  

Whether you are a regular visitor to our community masses, or you are thinking about joining us for the first time, this is a wonderful opportunity to come together in prayer and reflection. We hope to see many of you there as we come together to give thanks to God for all we have been blessed with.  

If you have any questions about the mass please don’t hesitate to contact the College.