Last Tuesday we held our annual Staff Faith Day. In the life of the College, this day is most relevant for all of our staff to engage in a day of reflection, professional learning and celebrating the Eucharist together as a faith community. We were very fortunate to hear from a key note speaker, Rev Dr Phillip Gleeson SDB, a lecturer in Systematic Theology at Catholic Theological College East Melbourne and member of the Salesian Provincial Council. Fr Gleeson has also over three decades of experience in Catholic education, much of which time has been spent in leadership positions including Deputy Principal of Religious Education here at Salesian College Sunbury and Principal at Dominic College in Hobart.
The focus on our two sessions with Fr Gleeson centred around the Eight Little Virtues of St Francis De Sales, as seen through Jesus Christ, our call to holiness and the contemporary challenges we face today living the Christian life.
Fr Gleeson reminded staff of the Jesus Christ we encounter in the Gospels. This is the Jesus Christ that is divine and human, the Jesus Christ that profoundly challenges us to not sit on the peripheries or be content with our comfort zones. The Jesus Christ that we encounter in the Gospels is the Jesus Christ who calls us to be disciples and follow in his way. But as Fr Gleeson pointed out, we must look closely to a model of Jesus that moves beyond the labels we traditionally may apply him.
In the call to holiness, Fr Gleeson said that Pope Francis reminds us, with a caution not to grow discouraged before examples of holiness that appear unattainable. We are to discern our own path knowing that the holiness to which the Jesus calls each one of us will grow through small gestures and actions. In our Salesian school community, with our own particular gestures and actions that have a deeper meaning, Don Bosco calls on our holiness to be centred around the young people we encounter in our vocation. The greatest happiness for children is to know that they are loved, and as staff, our challenge is to promote to our young people the values of:
Don Bosco’s great inspiration, Saint Francis de Sales, shaped his understanding of holiness according to living out the “Little Virtues” – those practices exercised on a daily basis which epitomise what it means to be a Salesian, to live a truly Salesian way of life. As a College Community, we have had a focus on 8 of these little virtues:
They are far more than lovely little sayings which sound inspirational and which make us feel good. Holiness involves far more than appearing to be pious and it is a mistake to equate the two. As Fr Phil pointed out to us, these little virtues actually provoke and cause us discomfort. Living them out demands nothing less than becoming another Jesus! They are thoroughly grounded in the example of Jesus Christ. It is Jesus Christ who is the answer to all of the confusion and meaninglessness of modern living. And in our contemporary pluralist society, the call to practice these virtues are even more prevalent than ever.
So we continue to pray for all the staff and students and families of Salesian College that we aspire to live out a life that is Christ centred.
Read an update from Acting Principal, Mrs Angela Romano
An update from our Principal, Mr Mark Brockhus, as we prepare to commence the 2019 school year.
Cricket great, Darren Lehmann, visited last week as part of our Ashes Oval Redevelopment Project and our Father's Day Breakfast