Newman News Term 4 Week 2: From the Director of Mission and Catholic Identity

One of the things I most look forward to in the Term 3 holidays is the chance to enjoy the AFL Grand Final. Although the game wasn’t as close as one may have hoped, it was still a good game to watch, and we must offer congratulations to the Geelong Cats (sorry John!) 

However, it wasn’t the result that stood out most for me that afternoon, it was the actions of Cats captain Joel Selwood. There were three moments in the afternoon that really stood out. These were: 

  • Joel walking out with Levi Ablett, son of Gary, who has a rare degenerative disease 
  • Joel giving his boots to the young Auskicker who presented him with his medal, as well as getting a photo with all the kids immediately after being presented with the premiership cup 
  • Inviting Cats spiritual leader and ‘hydration specialist’ Sam Moorfoot over the fence to join in the team celebrations, where he stayed with the team until they arrived back together in Geelong later that evening.  

What struck me as I was watching this unfold was how Christ-like Joel Selwood was in his actions that day. He was humble, showed love for others, and recognised the dignity of those around him others might consider the least – in this case children and people with disabilities. All this on a day where he could easily be forgiven for thinking only of himself or his team. 

There are lots of ways we can learn about Christ – we can go to mass on Sunday, and we can read from the Gospels. But we can also see Christ in the everyday actions of those beautiful people around us who seek to recognise the dignity of others, and make an effort to positively impact the lifves of others. In a Catholic community like ours, one may be forgiven for thinking it is up to the Principal, or Director of Mission & Catholic Identity to make Christ real in our community. But the fact is, this opportunity sits with every member of our community – parent, child, and teacher. We all share equally in the power to bring Christ to others through our words and actions, and each day brings us the opportunity to make this happen. What will you do with your power? 

Year 5 Leadership Retreat 

Yesterday, our Year Five students gathered in the auditorium to take part in a leadership retreat. Please enjoy this recount from Year 5 students below: 

Today we participated in the Year 5 Leadership Retreat. 24:7 Youth Ministry presented the retreat and one of our favourite activities was where we learnt about the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. We learned about the nine fruits of the spirit and how each one represents a quality that Jesus showed. We then found superheros that represent each fruit of the spirit. Some examples were, 

Self-control – Spiderman 

Peace – Wonder Woman 

Gentleness – Thor 

Faithfulness – Batman 

Goodness – captain America 

This retreat taught us a lot about leadership qualities, and we can’t wait for the future ahead of us. We really loved and enjoyed the leadership retreat. 

 Sia Halai & Berkley Blizzard 

New Ministers of Communion Commissioning 

Following thorough training with Br Terry Orrell, our new Ministers of Communion were commissioned on Wednesday of last week. It was so pleasing to listen to these students in their training speak about wanting to serve their community, and make a positive difference for others. We offer our congratulations to: 

Benjamin Butson, Sophia Brodie, Belle Jenkins, Indiana Lummis, Meg McAullay, Ethan Nguyen, Michael Pethic, Isaac Nolan, and Grace Rose. 

We are very proud to welcome these students to the student ministry team as they undertake this important role in the life of the Church and the College. We look forward to witnessing their service over the coming twelve months. 

St John Henry Newman Day 

The Feast Day of St John Henry Newman, after whom our College is named, is celebrated on October 9.  To mark this important date, students from Kindy-Year 11 gathered together as a whole school last Friday to celebrate the Eucharist with Fr Garner. It was wonderful to have all our students gathered together to celebrate as a whole community, and we are very grateful to Fr Garner for leading our celebrations.  

This day was also an opportunity for our students to join together in raising funds for Telethon to support our Year 3 Telethon Little Star, Emily Siew. Students took part in a carnival in the primary school with lots of games and activities such as silent disco, bowling, chocolate toss, and bowling led by our Year 11 student leaders. Marcellin students also took part in a number of fundraising activities in the secondary campus too. 

Year 12 Graduation 

On Wednesday night, several hundred family members, friends and teachers gathered to acknowledge and farewell our Class of 2022 students at Optus Stadium. The proceedings began with a thought-provoking Mass celebrated by Fr Garner, with beautiful music provided by the Ruah Choir under the direction of Ms Ava Bilton. The theme of our Eucharistic celebration was Let Your Light Shine (Matthew 5:16) where Fr Garner challenged all Year 12 students to go into the world and be the light for others. This is a beautiful message for us all, recognising that we all have the power to impact the lives of others.  

Thursday Morning Community Mass – Grandparents Day 

On Thursday 27 October we will be celebrating the important role that Grandparents play in our families and community. All Grandparents are warmly invited to start the day with Community Mass in the Champagnat Chapel at 8.10am and to stay for refreshments afterwards in the Chapel Foyer.  

Our regular Thursday morning Community Mass is hosted by both primary and secondary students and is celebrated by a Priest from one of our local Parishes. Please see details below of the upcoming dates; 

Thursday 27 October (Grandparents Day), Catherine and Year 5 Blue, Fr Hyginus Ebede 

Thursday 3 November, Chisholm and Year 5 Red, Fr Emmanuel-tv Dimobi 

In our prayers 

We were very saddened to hear recently of the death of Thomas English – a Year 12 student from Marist College in Canberra, as well as the death of Father Israel’s father in the Phillippines. As a Marist community we pray that Mary our Good Mother and St. Marcellin Champagnat watch over their families and give them strength during this time. Please let us keep Thomas’ family and Father Israel in our prayers and thoughts at this time. 

LifeLink Thanks 

This week we received a letter from Most Rev Timothy Costello to acknowledge and thank the College for the donation raised as part of the LifeLink Day initiative last term. The LifeLink organisation was established by the Archdiocese of Perth in 1994 to provide for the ongoing financial and promotional support of agencies established or assisted by the Church. LifeLink’s agencies deliver professional services & caring support to thousands of people in need throughout Western Australia each year. We are very grateful for the support of the College community in supporting this important endeavour. Click here to read the full letter.

St Vincent De Paul Christmas Appeal 

As Term 4 proceeds and Christmas approaches, we turn our attention to those families in our area who may be struggling with the resources to celebrate this year. 

Every year, Newman College partners with Floreat and Doubleview St Vincent de Paul groups to bring Christian joy and hope to families who need our support. Across PK-12, students will be asked to bring in a particular item to assist in creating Christmas hampers for these families. More information about this appeal will be shared in the coming days.