From the PrincipalMarch 19, 2018
By Acting Principal Colleen Rowe
Our Opening Mass last Wednesday was celebrated by our Chaplain Father Loi and assisted by Father Gerard and Father Kimi from Kippax. The Mass was a wonderful way to mark the start of the school year: a prayerful and reverent celebration. In his homily Fr Loi reflected on the First Reading from the Book of Kings in which Elijah finds God in the silence, connecting this story of Elijah with our 2018 Religious Theme Be Still and Know That I am God. Fr Loi challenged us, gently, to think about the need for times of stillness and for finding time for God in our busy lives.
This theme Be Still and Know That I am God reminds us that God can be found in silence, as it is in silence that God speaks to us and wants us to grow and do wonderful things. The act of being still and getting quiet is quite a challenge in our hectic world. The world asks us to be busy. God asks us to be still so that we can receive love, peace and guidance. We hope to give students more time for quiet reflection in RE classes this year.
Representatives from the other Catholic Colleges and their Senior Leadership Team were invited to our Opening Mass. It was lovely to see the connections our Senior Leaders have made with other students as they welcomed leaders from Catholic colleges across Canberra. The Leadership Day they attended with Bridie McNeill at Marist College certainly seemed to achieve the goal of fostering relationships across our schools.
Parents and Friends Association
We are delighted to announce Yvette Whalan as the new Parents and Friends President. The other Office Bearers who generously offered their time to support the school are:
Vice President: Susana Di Donna
Secretary: Anne Mornement
Treasurer: Peter Wilson
Our Parents and Friends Association is an integral part of the school as a valuable instrument in the important partnership the school has with parents in the education of their children.
The P & F provides a vehicle for information sharing and participation of parents, in a spirit of collaboration and common purpose to improve the school and outcomes for students. They meet once a term and it would be great to see more families represented at the next meeting on the 29 May.
Catholic Women’s Mentoring Launch
Several SFX staff attended the launch at Merici College on International Women’s Day. It was a great to chat with friends from across the Diocese and to hear views on the role of women in society today from a panel of Catholic women working in a variety of industries in Canberra, from politics to media.
We were very proud to find our own Beth Doherty profiled as one of the mentors. Beth has published two books and has had a range of experiences in journalism as well as working with Vinnies, Caritas and Catholic Mission. Beth is a wonderful asset to the College, bringing her love of Liturgical Music and beautiful singing voice to enliven our liturgies. Beth balances her teaching Religious Education with her challenging role as the College Communications Officer. Beth is keen to showcase the talent and wonderful stories of the SFX Community in our various Social Media platforms and has been working with our web designer to revamp our web page. Watch that space!
New Timetable for 2019
A keen group of teachers have been meeting before school on Wednesday mornings to plan for the implementation of a new College timetable for 2019. The group comprises Studies and Year Coordinators and the Assistant Principals for Teaching and Learning and Staffing and Administration and myself. In our first meeting we agreed on the following guiding principles for the new timetable.
The new timetable needs to:
• support student learning
• maximise College resources
• allow for flexibility
• offer creative and innovative scheduling
• ensure compliance with all CE and ACT Education Directorate requirements
We hope to have an outline of the new timetable to present to the community early next term.
The retreat was held at Bowral in Week 4 and was a very interesting and positive experience for me as a ‘first timer’. Ross our Director of Catholic Education spoke to the Principals on Day 1, the Leadership Day, about his challenging vision for improvement in schools across the Diocese. Angus spoke about the CE Vision, his role in the CE and his role in facilitating Studio Curious. This initiative is one of the ways the CE is aiming to enact the vision.
Studio Curious is about giving life to our Strategic Plan. In Studio Curious staff from across CE will work together to design what schools need to strengthen their educational performance and confidently express a contemporary Catholic identity. We will create a community of change makers with the knowledge and skills to support school and classroom improvement. Studio Curious is intended to fulfil our purpose of building faith-filled Catholic learning communities of hope, joy and wonder where all are welcome and inspired to grow to their potential.
Several our staff have applied to be part of the Curious teams.
Day two and three were facilitated by Professor Peta Golding rsm. The topic was Understanding Jesus: Understanding Judaism. Each Principal was given a copy of a book called The Misunderstood Jew – The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus.
Prayers and Thoughts
Please pray for those members of our community who are unwell or who are caring for members of their family and for all those facing difficulties or have experienced the loss of loved ones.
Eternal rest, grant unto them O Lord
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.