Newman News Term 1 Week 6: From the Director of Mission and Catholic Identity

‘Whoever drinks this water will get thirsty again; but anyone who drinks the water that I shall give will never be thirsty again.’ John 4:14 

Marist Connect Night 

Last Wednesday, Year 11 and 12 students from St. Joseph’s College Northam joined students from Newman College to take part in our first Marist Connect Night of the year. This is an opportunity created in partnership with Marist Youth Ministry for our young Marists to connect with each other, as well as those from other schools. The night was a great way to build connections, and deepen our relationships with each other. Students celebrated with activities, games, and the opportunity to reflect on their Marist journey thus far. It was wonderful to see students coming together to simply be present to each other, and to enjoy their time together.  

Student Led Reflection 

All students are warmly invited to attend our student-led prayer reflections which occur in the chapel every Friday at 8.15am. These reflections run for approximately 15 minutes and occur at different times throughout the year. Our prayer focus for Term One is Lent, with reflections running right up until Week 9. In Term 2, our student-led prayer will focus on our Marist theme for 2023, as well as other topics that are relevant to our students. A big thank you to Isaac and Grace, our Faith & Liturgy Captains of the College, who are leading these events, along with the support of our other Year 12 leaders. We look forward to welcoming students to these reflections over the year. 

Year 6 Retreat 

Last Thursday, students from Year 6 gathered together in the Auditorium for their Confirmation retreat. Beginning their day by sharing in our community mass, students had the opportunity to develop their understanding about the Sacrament of Confirmation, what it means a Christian life, and also discover both the fruits and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Students had a great day sharing in discussion, activities, games, and reflection. Thanks to our Year 6 students below for their recap of the day: 

The Confirmation Retreat was amazing. There was all sorts of games and fun videos that all had a connection with the Holy Spirit, and we learnt heaps. One of my favourite games was Octopus where you had to get past the octopus and if you got tagged you would become seaweed. We had fun learning about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments and more. (Jake Parry) 

 Exciting, fun and educational! It had it all at the Year 6 Confirmation Retreat. On the 2nd March the Year 6 students joined together in the auditorium to learn about the Sacrament of Confirmation, led by the amazing 24:7 Youth Ministry. We really enjoyed all the games and fun activities, our favourites were the dress up activities and the activity where we watched parts of movies and matched the themes to the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit. (Avia & Mila Picotti) 

Year 7 Retreat 

Yesterday, students from Year 7 came together to celebrate their retreat. One of the major themes of the retreat centred around family – the notion of how we are all connected and can impact each other, both in our own families and also as a family here at school. The retreat was also a great opportunity for students to connect with each other, and to develop some of their friendships which have begun to blossom over these first weeks at school. We are very grateful for the support of Mr Will Hoffman and the 24:7 Youth Ministry Team for delivering such a great program to our students yesterday.  

Year 11 World Religions Excursion 

Last Wednesday, our Year 11 students had the opportunity to travel one of many locations in Perth to learn about different religions across the world. Students took this trip in order to support the learning they had been doing in class. Students had a choice of travelling to the following: 

  • Buddhist Temple 
  • Jewish Synagogue 
  • Australian Islamic College 
  • Sikh Gurdwara 
  • Hindu Temple 

Students from Year 11 took the time to write a short recount of their experiences which you can read below: 

The year eleven students had the privilege of visiting the Australian Islamic College (AIC), in Kewdale, and immensely enjoyed meeting the friendly staff and students, as well as learning about the compassion, solidarity and spirituality of the Islamic faith. Upon arrival, the staff showed us part of the school grounds and talked with us about what it meant to be Muslim. They let us ask questions and educated us on how Muslim people worship and pray to Allah, which means God in Arabic, how certain men and women were allowed to dress, what foods are not to be eaten according to the Quaran, the holy book of Muslims, and the five pillars of Islam, which are proclamation of faith, prayer, alms-giving, fasting and pilgrimage. After a morning tea session, we were given a tour of the Mosque (a Muslim house of worship). Before entering the Mosque, we had to take our shoes off, as a sign of respect and to remain clean whilst inside. We were taught how Muslims worship Allah and how all Muslims must pray five times a day whilst facing Mecca, the birthplace of the prophet Mohammed. Overall, the hospitable staff and students of AIC were especially kind and educational, and it was interesting learning not only the differences but also the similarities, between the Catholic and Islamic faith.  (Estelle Keller) 

The Perth Hindu Temple or Shiva Meenakshi Temple was an amazing experience for everyone who went. I enjoyed the different traditions and cultural practices involved in the Hindu religion, and I left with a variety of knowledge. The man who met us at the door was extremely welcoming and inviting making us feel very involved. He was extremely enthusiastic and gave us a great insight into what this religion means to many. When we first entered, we received a blessing from the priest involving good health, education and energy. We were given the option to participate in a religious practice involving feeling God’s presence in water and reflect in prayer. Newman college students were extremely grateful for this wonderful opportunity, and we all took away something special. (Anna Grayden) 

We had a great experience at the Sikh Gurdwara Perth this morning. We learnt many things about the Sikh religion and their practices. We were required to wear a headscarf and to remove our shoes before entering the prayer hall. When we entered the prayer hall we had to bow to the Guru which was in front of the priest. We sat down on the ground to be below the Guru, and we were not allowed to point our feet towards or face our backs to the Guru. We learnt about the Sikh religion and one of their greetings, ‘Sat Sri Akaal’. Which translates to ‘God is truth’. We then left the prayer hall and were taken into the community kitchen which they serve food to anyone who comes into the Gurdwara, and were served some delicious food. We had a great time.  (Scarlett Poor) 

On Tuesday, we visited the Jewish Synagogue at the Temple of David. The group was greeted by the Rabbi and led on a tour of the synagogue. Rabbi Kim taught us about the Jewish rituals and practices that are important in their religion. The boys were invited to wear the Kipa’s (skull caps) as the Rabbi showed us the Torah, Rams horns and provided us with matzo, the Jewish bread in the form of a cracker. All students that participated were extremely grateful of the wonderful opportunity granted to us and the new experience that we thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you to all that helped make this excursion possible! (Darcy Bird) 

Visiting the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist temple was a fun and insightful experience. We were first welcomed with green tea and then taken to the temple where we learnt about Buddhism and placed a candle in front of the statue as a sign of respect. After, we enjoyed making origami lotus flowers, which represent purity, and tried traditional calligraphy, writing out the Three Acts of Goodness in Mandarin; Do Good Deeds, Speak Good Words, Think Good Thoughts. Thank you to all the people at the Fo Guang Shan temple and the teachers who made the day great.  (Ariana Mason) 

Easter Raffle

This event is a significant fundraiser for Caritas Australia, and the money we raise through the Easter raffle helps to support various programs in developing nations.  We are very grateful for the support of parents and families in this initiative and hope we can again raise a wonderful amount of money to support Caritas. Please click HERE for further information. 

Upcoming events  

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

  • Tuesday 14 March: GameChangers Meeting (Yr 8-12) 
  • Thursday 16 March: Year 8 Retreat 
  • Tuesday 21 March: Caritas Fast Day 
  • Week 7/8: GameChangers Launch Year 7 
  • Year 4’s and 6’s celebrate The Sacrament of Reconciliation as part of their Religious Education program 

Community Mass 

It has been wonderful to see everyone at our Thursday morning Community Masses over the past two weeks. 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; 

  • Thursday 16 March, Marcellin & 5 Red 
  • Thursday 23 March, MacKillop & 6 Blue 

We look forward to seeing you there.