Newman News Term 1 Week 4: From the Director of Mission and Catholic Identity

Year 12 Retreat

This week I have had the great pleasure of spending the week at Serpentine Camping Centre on retreat with our Year 12 students.  The theme of the retreat has been Who am I? Who do I want to be? and Who are those sharing in my journey? Students have spent time together in fellowship, reflection, and prayer as they considered these questions and more. The participation and enthusiasm shown by students throughout the retreat has been excellent, and for many students, it has been an emotional and deeply reflective experience. We look forward to welcoming our Year 12 students back to school next week, where we hope they will continue to grow and develop in the fullness of who God intends them to be. 

Shrove Tuesday

On Tuesday, we celebrated Shrove Tuesday across all three of our campuses with pancakes on sale. Students were able to purchase pancakes to enjoy in the morning and at recess, with all proceeds going towards Project Compassion.  The tradition of pancakes for Shrove Tuesday comes from a time when families would seek to purify themselves in the lead-up to the beginning of Lent and remove from their homes any of the food they were foregoing for Lent. Traditionally this included eggs, fats, milk, and sugar – all the ingredients we use to make pancakes today.  

Although Shrove Tuesday is a great day to enjoy pancakes, it has another, more significant meaning too. Shrove Tuesday comes from the word shrive meaning ‘absolve’ which means to be declared free of guilt or punishment. As the last day before the start of Lent, Shrove Tuesday is a day of self-examination where we can consider what sins we needed to repent of and what changes we can make to our lives so we can live more according to the teachings of Jesus. 

Ash Wednesday

On Wednesday, students across the College gathered in their respective campuses to celebrate Ash Wednesday with a Liturgy that reflected the significance of this day. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent – a time when we can focus on our spiritual lives, as well as deepening our relationship with God through the practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Students received ashes as a symbol of our mortality, and also our desire to repent and turn away from sin. 

The Gospel message of the day (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18) recalls Jesus’ call to us to go out and do good quietly in this world – not to parade our good deeds in front of others, or only commit to acts of generosity because of the way it might help us be perceived. This is a beautiful message for our students to take on; to act with a gentle strength and a humble nature in fulfilling the teachings of Jesus.

Project Compassion Launch

This year, Caritas Australia’s launch of Project Compassion for Western Australian schools was conducted online. It was led by Servite College and St Kieran’s Catholic Primary School students, with the support of Deacon Paul Reid, Community Engagement Animator WA/SA for Caritas Australia. 

The event was live-streamed and was attended by 20 of our students across the Lavalla & Marcellin Campus. The program was designed to be interactive which enabled our students to interact with others across Western Australia. The launch commenced with a Liturgy and concluded with a traditional ‘pancake tea’ which gave our students an opportunity to reflect on the morning. During the workshops, our students created an action plan which they will drive as leaders of the College to support the mission and works of Caritas. 

Our Vision for Mission calls us to serve humanity and raise up those experiencing poverty. At Newman College, we commit to supporting Caritas’ Project Compassion every year during Lent. This is an opportunity for our school to raise funds to support underprivileged societies around the world. 

The theme of Project Compassion 2023 is ‘For All Future Generations’. Together, we can create lasting change for people living in some of the most vulnerable and low-income regions in the world. 

You can read more about Project Compassion for 2023 here. 

Upcoming Events

There are a number of important events coming up over these next few weeks in the Ministry calendar: 

  • Tuesday 28 February: Year 11 World Religions Excursion 
  • Tuesday 28 March: Game Changers Launch 
  • Wednesday 1 March: First Marist Connect Night 
  • Thursday 2 March: Year 6 Confirmation Retreat 
  • Thursday 9 March: Year 7 Retreat 

Community Mass

It was wonderful to see everyone at our first Thursday morning Community Mass or 2023 this week, which was hosted by Brigid Guild and Year 6 Red. 

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; 

  • Thursday 2 March, Catherine and Year 6 Green 
  • Thursday 9 March, Chisholm and Year 5 Green 

We look forward to seeing you there.