Director of Faith & Religious Studies

First of all, I take the opportunity to extend a warm welcome back to the 2017 school year to all our families and friends of the college. 2017 promises to be a significant year in the life of the college as we celebrate our 90th Anniversary, but a quick perusal of the college calendar also sees us heading into a very busy but exciting year. And as I commence a new position of leadership for 2017, my first thoughts are directed towards the ‘faith’ dimension of college life. My initial reflection is on the broader objective of our current Faith statement associated with our CLEF vision:

“We are inspired by our FAITH to serve others and develop as resilient, thoughtful and caring citizens of the world.”

At the conclusion of the 2016 school year, it was very easy to be overwhelmed by the remarkable generosity witnessed towards our college Christmas appeal for St Vincent De Paul Society Sunbury. Our students, families and staff yet again reached deep to provide for other families requiring assistance at this most special time of the year. Seeing the donations of toiletries, toys, non-perishable food, and other associated Christmas goods leave the college in several trailer loads touches right at the core of who we are as members of the Christian family- followers/imitators of Jesus Christ who reach to others in the spirit of charity and love. Furthermore, it is evidence to me that it is also a clear reflection of actively living out the above statement.

In light of this, it is appropriate that the 2017 Salesian Strenna theme (for the Salesian family world-wide) is centred around the family. The theme- “We are Family- Every home a School of Life and Love” builds on the Apostolic Exhortation from Pope Francis released in 2016 Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love-On Love in the Family). Fr Angel Fernandez Artime, the Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, implores us to continue to pray for all families, and this is the challenge for our college community. Our prayerful intentions must never forget all our families and the families in our wider community as we strive to continue to foster an environment where we move beyond words to practical action inspired by love, compassion and unity.

As 2017 commences, I ask that we pray for our young people as they return for the new school year and that we continue to inspire their faith in all that we say and do. I look forward to sharing more news and thoughts with you throughout 2017.

Stephen Connelly
Director of Faith & Religious Studies