We are fast approaching the end of the Church’s liturgical year and the beginning of Advent. This time is a gift, for in the busyness of the winding up of the school year and the preparations for Christmas and holidays, we are called to find time for inner silence where we can reflect on our lives and how we can be more like Christ. Advent gives us four weeks to reconsider the priorities in our lives and to choose again to be people of light and peace and love in the world.
This morning our students in Years 7-11 ‘stepped up’ into Years 8-12, commencing their 2020 subjects and meeting their new teachers and classmates for the first time. Step Up is an opportunity for students to make a fresh start with their learning and to form new relationships with both staff and students. Please encourage your student to see the next two weeks as a new beginning and to make the most of the opportunities provided.
We also welcomed 20 new students to the College today. Some have joined us from neighboring Colleges, some from interstate and, in some cases, from overseas. We hope they find us to be “a home that welcomes” and wish them all the very best for the years ahead.
Last Monday, we paused as a College community for the 101st anniversary of Remembrance Day, marking the time in World War I when the guns fell silent on the Western Front in 1918 after continuous warfare. Our student leaders lead a moving service that culminated in the observation of a minute’s silence to remember those who have died and suffered in wars and armed conflict. It also afforded our staff and students a time to give thanks for the peace and freedom we have in Australia, and to pray for all tensions, conflicts and crises in the world to be resolved. Lest we forget.
The third World Day of the Poor was held on Sunday 17 November and Pope Francis has asked us to remember God’s special relationship with the poor in providing them with hope. The Pope urges us not to treat people who are poor as refuse or to judge someone living in poverty as useless, simply because the person lacks material means. Instead, he asks us to recognise the injustice of maligning a human being in a desperate state and to look to the Scriptures, which repeatedly speak of God acting on behalf of the poor and not forsaking them.
Pope Francis recommends that for this World Day of the Poor we can offer hope through simple acts of kindness and by acknowledging others not as privileged as ourselves. In so doing, we reflect God’s goodness and grace, and provide courage to those that are disillusioned and lack hope for the future.
In 2020, Salesian College will proudly host the next Five School’s Exchange gathering, 19 April to 1 May. This now annual event involving schools from Japan, New Zealand, Australia and China, provides an opportunity for six students from each school to form unique bonds of friendship and co-operation, focused around a central theme.
The theme for this exchange is: Creating more inclusive and welcoming communities. In order to be truly global citizens of the world, we must be prepared to be inclusive of difference, whether that be difference of gender, age, race, religion, socio-economic status or disability. The program we have developed will allow participants to explore how Melbourne has developed as one of the world’s most liveable cities by embracing multiculturalism and diversity.
Students in Year 11 interested in participating in next year’s Exchange are invited to apply for one of six places available. The College is also seeking families interested in hosting a student from China, Japan and New Zealand. We require 24 families in total, and interested families are asked to email their interest to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any family can be a host, not just those with students in Year 11. This is a wonderful opportunity to support a culturally diverse and engaging youth leadership program.
Our Annual Awards Ceremony held on Monday in the Stadium was a wonderful celebration of excellence across all aspects of College life. My sincere thanks to all who helped bring the ceremony together, and to those wonderful students whose efforts were recognized in a very public way. Thanks also to our many generous award sponsors who contribute to this significant College event.
Salesian College Sunbury is a large community of students, staff and parents, both past and present. Please keep the following in your prayers:
Mr Mark Brockhus
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