We reach the end of a very eventful term which will finish on a high with the celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Whether one sees it as coincidence or an act of God’s mercy, the vaccination mandates on schools will be lifted this same day at 11:59pm. Our Secondary students will be attending Mass this day and thanking the Sacred Heart of Jesus for His merciful protection over our school during the last trying 9 months of the mandates. I ask families to please consider attending the parish Mass on this day for the same reason, or if this is not possible, to at least recite the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
We are privileged to possess at the heart of our College a treasure of infinite worth. It is from this treasure that radiates upon our students and staff the daily benevolent rays of God’s divine mercy and grace. It is thanks to this treasure that we receive daily the strength to continue our mission to form in each youth the true and perfect Catholic. Were it not for this treasure, we would have given up the struggle long ago, we would have perhaps never even dreamt of starting such a school. I am referring to the abiding presence of Jesus Christ in the tabernacle of our little College chapel.
Next Wednesday the College will be running a Seminar presented by the #Not Even Once Foundation. “Not Even Once” refers to the concept of not capitulating to peer pressure even once in matters of drugs and alcohol consumption. I was in contact with the organisation back in 2019 and was able to arrange a seminar for our Year 11 -12 students at that time. I was very impressed by the presentation and so invited them back the following year, but then Covid hit and everything came to a grinding halt. Fortunately, we are now able to resume this event again this year.
Despite a semblance of normality beginning to resurface after two years of interrupted learning, many students continue to struggle with nerves and anxieties and worry that they might not be as prepared as their peers to sit, and succeed in, their exams. If this is the case, here are a few ways that parents can support their students preparing for exams.
Being the Month of May, the month of Our Lady, I have chosen a few testimonials of former school students that might help encourage devotion to Our Blessed Mother as one of the most powerful means to acquire the virtue of purity. The following two testimonials from a young man and a young woman, chosen from among countless others, demonstrate the purifying and liberating effect of Marian devotion upon the souls of the youth:
Parents who spend a lot of time on their devices, phones or watching television during family activities such as meals, playtime, and bedtime are likely to create long-term relationships barriers with their children.
You will be aware of the lifting of most Covid related restrictions on schools now. This is welcome news and means, with a few exceptions, face masks are no longer required for students or staff. This also means that community use of school facilities can resume, and parents will be able once again to attend school events indoors and outdoors independent of the attendee’s vaccination status. More detailed information will be sent out to parents in a separate communication this week.
Here we are at the end of a very long but successful term. It has been a very challenging term indeed. Although we have not faced lockdowns, we have faced a term of unprecedented high absences of staff and students due to Covid isolation requirements. Either way, by accepting these challenges we have accepted the additional penances God has imposed upon us at this time in a spirit of reparation for our sins and in service of Our Lord and King. With all this now behind us, we prepare ourselves for the Sacred Triduum, that is the holy ceremonies of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil.
Firstly, we welcome Fr Mujic and Fr Delrosario to the College. Both priests trained at the SSPX Seminary, Goulburn, NSW and were ordained to the holy priesthood on 6th January 2022. Fr Mujic is from NSW and teaches Latin in the middle school. Fr Delrosario is by origin Filipino but spent most of his life growing up in NZ. Fr Delrosario teaches Religion in the Primary school and performs the role of Primary sub-school chaplain. Both the new priests are settling in well and enjoying the challenges of their first assignment.
This is one of the reasons why our school has faced an unprecedented 10 weeks of relief teacher shortage and staff absence due to exhaustion and illness. The staff who have remained, have had to cover additional classes while still trying to find time to prepare and run their own classes. Over the past 3 weeks two of our staff have been hospitalised but neither for Covid related reasons. I am relating this information so that parents understand the pressure schools are under. I am asking for an increase in prayers for our teachers who are doing a tremendous job but are struggling under the weight of the cross God has sent us to bear during this Lent.