Last week was the Feast of Corpus Christi which celebrates the presence of Christ’s body in the bread and wine of Eucharist. Receiving communion for the first time is a very special occasion, and I remember mine and my children’s first communion as being joyous and happy events.
At my first communion I was taught that Jesus came to me as gift in the form of bread. I prepared for this wonderful moment with simple prayers that I read from my new Mass book while the priest offered the Mass. At that time, Catholics spoke of taking, going to, or receiving holy communion. We were encouraged to be solemn after receiving the host, eyes downcast lest we be distracted from our communion with Jesus. Today, we prepare our children for their first communion by inviting them to share communion around the altar and to be fully aware of the people around them as we gather as one. What’s changed?
The scriptures tell us that Jesus – in the manner of Jewish table sharing – took, blessed, broke, and shared bread and wine. Sharing is the final but not the only act. At the beginning of the liturgy of the Eucharist we take bread and wine and offer it along with the gift of our lives. We bless God for these gifts by calling the Spirit to come down and make them (and us) holy. Then the presider breaks the bread and pours the wine. The one bread is broken so that it can be shared. Having engaged fully in this memorial meal, we come to the table, not for an intimate personal encounter with Jesus, but to eat and drink together. Saint Augustine reminds us that to come to the table is to accept that all of us are caught up in the mystery that is the Body and Blood of Christ. Saint John Paul II affirms that "communion with Christ is deeply tied to communion with our brothers and sisters".
Much has changed since Augustinian Sister Juliana of Liège received a vision in 1209 that resulted in the establishment of the feast of Corpus Christi. Devout Catholics wanted to see the host and adore it, because they had no other access to the Mass. It would be many centuries before receiving or taking communion as a more intimate personal encounter with Christ even became an option. Today the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ commemorates the Lord’s Supper. We come to the table to encounter Christ and go from the table to serve that same Christ in our sisters and brothers, especially reflected in the poor, the needy and the oppressed.
Last week our Year 9s ventured off into the wilds of the Eildon region of Victoria for a weeklong outdoor adventure experience. From the reports I received from everyone involved, the week was an unqualified success! My sincere thanks to the Year 9 Camp Team for their inspiring leadership – Narelle Stone, Luisa Villani, Dino Martinello, Ray Messer, Michael Fitzgerald, Br Barry, Janine Higham, Brian Vo, Cassie Bottrell, Mel Fattore, Meg Crilly, Vicky Horton, Matthew Carroll, Brigid Soames, Holly Forrest, Br Duc, and Peter Durdle.
Last Thursday, we welcomed our 2019 cohort of very excited Year 7 students and their parents to the College for an informative program regarding the transition to secondary education. It was wonderful to see both new and familiar faces amongst the parent cohort as they listened in earnest to presentations from key staff regarding transition, whilst the students participated in a range of information and familiarisation sessions. As these students commence their last semester in primary school, important advice was shared about how best to prepare for the next step in their educational journey. We look forward to getting to know each of our newest community members in the coming months as they experience a range of transition activities, culminating in Orientation Day on December 7.
Students from across most year levels are getting ready for their end of semester exams, including the General Achievement Test, or GAT, for students undertaking Unit 3/4 studies. These are an important few weeks on our calendar, and I ask parents to support their student’s preparation for these key assessments by encouraging a sense of focus and suitable revision. Exams will shortly be followed by the preparation and distribution of Semester Reports which will provide important feedback on student progress.
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