Newman News Term 1 Week 8: From the Director of Mission and Catholic Identity

I am the resurrection and the life. If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die (John 11:25) 

I find it hard to believe that we are already about to enter Week 9! I often find myself wondering just where the time has gone. I’m sure many teachers, students, and families can probably relate to this feeling too! It is very easy to get wrapped in the busyness of the things that are happening around us, but when we do this, we often miss some of the simple, yet beautiful things that are happening right in front of us. At the beginning of the year, our Acting Principal, Dr Lucie McCrory, spoke about the importance of presence – of being there for one another, taking the time to see those who are among the least in our community, and to encounter others with love. 

These last few weeks I have been looking for this in our community – the ‘God moments’ that help make our Marist Community so special. Moments like Madeline Huo in Year 4 who donated $200 from her own savings to Caritas, Lucy Hayes in Year 5 who ran her own stall to raise $100 for Caritas, Mr Matthew Box and his class in the Marcellin campus who have been leading the way with donations among PCG classes, and Miss Jade Nicotra, who has galvanised Catherine Guild to get involved in a number of fundraisers this term. In addition to this we have had no shortage of student leaders wanting to get involved in raising money for Caritas, and bringing events to their fellow students that are fun and engaging as they seek to make a difference.  

I hope as we come towards the end of this term, everyone can find some time to reflect on what these last few weeks have been like for them, and that perhaps if they haven’t had the chance to see the God moments around them, that they take the time to reflect on this as we move into our final weeks of Lent. There are so many wonderful things happening around us, if we only take the time to see them.

Caritas Fast Tuesday 21 March

Project Compassion brings thousands of Australians together in solidarity with the world’s poor to help end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity. On Tuesday, in support of Project Compassion, over 80 students on the Marcellin Campus took part in the Caritas Fast. Facilitated by our student leaders, participants had only a barley sugar for morning tea and a small bowl of rice for lunch as an act of solidarity and to raise awareness to the plight of those in other parts of the world. We are very grateful for the support of those students who took part, and who were able to raise almost $1000 to contribute to the Caritas cause. Well done to all students who took part, especially to our Guild Leaders and our Social Justice Captains Maddie and Sophia. We also owe a big thanks to Mrs Daphne Peters for her leadership and support of students in this initiative. 

Primary Students’ Reconciliation this term

This term, students from Years 4-6 have been taking part in Reconciliation, facilitated by Fr Kaz from St. Cecilia’s parish and Fr Hyginus from Our Lady of Grace parish. The Sacrament of Penance, or Reconciliation, is an opportunity for students to speak about the mistakes and sins they have made so that they may receive forgiveness from God, and in turn, grow their relationship with God. This is an important spiritual practice, and it was lovely to see students engage in this process so well. Our Year 3 students will make their Sacrament of Reconciliation in their parishes a little later in the year, and we will certainly keep them in our thoughts and prayers during that special time.  

Year 8 Retreat

Last Thursday we welcomed our Year 8 students to the auditorium to celebrate their retreat under the guidance of 24:7 Youth Ministry. Students had a chance to build their relationships with each other across games and small group sharing around their thoughts and experiences in their lives so far. The focus of the retreat was around relationships – particularly between students, families, the College, and the Church. Well done to all students who took part so enthusiastically and enjoyed the day, and to Year 8 LOWB Mrs Smith for her support of students throughout the day. 

Student Led Prayer Reflections 

For the past few weeks, we have been very grateful to our Year 12 Faith and Liturgy Captains, Grace and Isaac, who have been leading weekly prayer reflections in the Marian room, which is an intimate prayer space within the Champagnat Chapel. The prayer reflections have been occurring Fridays at 8.15am with a focus on Lenten Prayer reflection and will continue next week also. This will return again for a period of time during Term 2, and again in Term 3 too. All students are welcome to attend these short prayer services; they are a great way to centre yourself for the day, and to take the time to reflect on a piece of scripture as we seek to better understand the life of Jesus.

Easter Liturgies 

Easter is an important time in the Church’s liturgical calendar and this year our Easter liturgies in the Primary school will focus on the events of Holy Week, giving students an opportunity to reflect on the life, suffering, death and resurrection of Christ.  All families are invited to join us for the Easter Liturgies at Marian and Lavalla on Thursday 6 April.  

The Marian Easter Liturgy will commence at 9am in St Cecilia’s Church 

The Lavalla Easter Lavalla will gather in the auditorium at 11am. 

The liturgy at Marian will be led by our Year 2 students while all other students are invited to participate by coming dressed as villagers, wearing accessories over their sports uniform. This may include a tea towel/cloth over their head and/or a gown with a sash. They are also encouraged to bring a small palm branch to wave during the entrance procession. 

There will also be an Easter Liturgy taking place at 2.30pm in the gymansium for Marcellin students, with a focus on The Sations of the Cross. 

Easter Raffle

A reminder to our Lavalla and Marian families to get your raffle tickets for our annual Easter Egg raffle! All proceeds go to our funraising efforts for Caritas. We have had a a good number of donations of eggs and chocolate from our families, but there is lots of time still to drop off a donation or two to the Marian and Lavalla offices. Prizes will be drawn on the afternoon of the last day of term – good luck and remember…you have to be in it to win it! 

Community Mass

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. 

Our final Community Mass for Term 1 will take place on Thursday 30 March and will be hosted by Romero and Year 5 Blue. 

Please see the upcoming schedule for Term 2 below; 

  • Thursday  27 April,  Catherine and Year 3 Green 
  • Thursday 4 May, Brigid and Year 5 Green 

We look forward to seeing you there.