St Mary of the Cross MacKillop - Feast day 8th August
For centuries the church has confronted the human community with role models of greatness. We call them saints, when what we really often mean is to say “icon”, “star”, “hero”, ones so possessed by an internal vision of divine goodness that they give us a glimpse of the face of God in the centre of the human. They give us a taste of the possibilities of greatness in ourselves.’
This week we celebrate the life of our first canonised Australian “star”: St Mary of the Cross MacKillop. In 1866, as a young teacher in South Australia, she and her mentor, Fr Julian Tenison Woods, set in train their pioneering vision: to bring God’s love, learning and healing to children and places where it was lacking.
Until her death in 1909 Mary knew the joy of nurturing 106 houses of Sisters of St Joseph, across Australian and New Zealand, forging a new path of gospel living: a flexible form of religious life, able to respond to local needs and conditions.
Never did Mary doubt this calling, despite brooking severe opposition. As a disciple of Jesus she was well-aware that bringing to birth God’s reign also meant embracing the Cross – in the form of misunderstanding, the facing of difficulties alone, and the extreme experience of excommunication. Mary continues to inspire myriads who follow her path to ‘continue God’s mission by immersing themselves in the midst of life to empower others and bring hope’ and it is clear that ‘her spirit seems to act as a magnet for all who seek God.’
The current pandemic as well as the National Plenary Council are our current realities, both shifting the ground of former certainties and inviting new responses. St Mary MacKillop was attuned to the realities of her time and acted resolutely. Now it is up to us. The following question may inspire us to navigate yet-unknown paths, as her companions who, along the way, may also discover ‘possibilities of greatness in ourselves’:
What qualities will be necessary to live a life of integrity, of holiness, in the twenty-first century?
(Resource: Liturgy Ritual Prayer)
The Assumption – 15th August
On Saturday August 15 we celebrate the feast of the Assumption of Mary. We celebrate Mary’s passing from this world into the glory of God. Mary was a person of faith and trust who loved her son Jesus, even when he did things she didn’t understand. We pray that we walk in Mary’s shoes and learn to be people of faith and hope willing to trust in God.
We will gather as a whole school on Friday 14th August to celebrate the Assumption of Mary. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions we are unable to invite families or parishioners to join us. As a family you may like to gather and say the following prayer together:
Let us pray. Loving God, you chose Mary to be the mother of your son, Jesus because of her faithful heart. May we be inspired by her trust in you and walk in her footsteps so that we may never forget that you are with us always. We ask this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Creative, Collaborative, Connected Learners - Inspired by Love
INITIALIT Literacy Initiative:
I commend our Early Years Teachers for their enthusiasm and dedication to undertake a two day training workshop earlier this week. Our school is committed to introducing Initialitin 2021. This program InitiaLit is an evidence-based whole-class literacy program providing all children with the essential core knowledge and strong foundations to become successful readers and writers. InitiaLit is a three-year program, covering the first three years of school (Reception to Year 2).
The main focus of the program is that it provides a strong foundation in reading and writing for every child and that fewer children will fall behind and require more intensive intervention. The program is designed to be delivered to whole classes by classroom teachers. We look forward to our Junior Primary Team participating in their training over the coming months in readiness for our launch of the program in 2021.
Year 3/4B Mrs Cornelius & Mrs Loprete:
Last Week 3/4B's Class Liturgy focus was on Mary Mackillop, the loving qualities she posessed and how she spread the good news. They worked really hard on some very special posters outlining what they can do to, to be kind and caring, displaying the same qualities as Mary Mackillop.
On Wednesday afternoon, members of our School Board were provided with a tour of the new learning pods. The architect, Mr Kon Michael and the site manager, Mr Ed Pettengell, walked our Board members around the partially completed structure highlighting many of the design features which will ensure our children and staff are able to access a high-quality learning environment.
They described the flexible nature of the building including large group or individual spaces, access to technology and library resources, augmented sound features including acoustic technologies which ensure there is minimal noise from airconditioning or between rooms, large outdoor verandas with access to cooking facilities, natural lighting and environmentally friendly features including solar panels and water harvesting. It was extremely satisfying to hear the affirming feedback from Board members after their tour. Over the coming weeks our staff will visit the new buildings and determine the furniture requirements for these flexible learning spaces.
Whilst the Learning Pods are a significant element of the Stage One building project, there are other key elements which we are continuing to undertake including:
Planning and construction of Nature Play /Ninja Trail around our school oval
Removal of 6 relocatable classrooms and landscaping of this area
Relocation of OSHC facility closer to Para Rd and upgrade of kitchen
It is anticipated that the Learning Pods will be completed by Mid November. The aim for the relocation of OSHC is during the September/October school holiday break when 3 relocatable classrooms will be removed and the OSHC will be moved adjacent Para Rd. The Nature Play / Ninja Trail is anticipated to be completed mid Term 4.
Dear Families, for those who are utilising the Grow Wellbeing service please note, due to circumstances beyond their control appointments will continue to be three weekly for the next 5 weeks.
Mobile Dental Clinic:
The ‘Dental for Schools’ program will be in attendance at the school on the 7th September. Can all consent forms please be returned by 10th August.
Next week,Catholic Education SA celebrates the wonderful features of our Catholic schools. At St Brigid’s, we look forward to showcasing the beautiful community thatis valued by our children, families and staff. I will be hosting tours of our school where I will be able to describe the strong commitment to providing a learning environment that engages every child and caters for theirsocial and emotional development.Most importantly, I am proud to display the Catholic dimension of our school which is evident in the prayer life,community outreach activities and the conviction to love God, love others and love learning, always grounded in a deep love of self.
I encourage you to ‘like’ our Facebook posts and let family and friends know of the School Tours that we will be hosting next week.
With all the excitement of the building program taking shape, it would be good to spread the word and let the community be aware of the fantastic developments. One way you can show your support is by sharing our posts to get the message out there and by inviting family and friends to ‘Like’ our Facebook page.
This can be done by clicking on the three dots next to the share button and scrolling down to invite friends. This would be greatly appreciated.