Lent @ SFXMarch 14, 2019
By Jarek Ferenc, Liturgy and Spirituality Coordinator
How have we started Lent at SFX?
On Ash Wednesday the whole school participated in a meaningful and symbolic ritual of the signing of the cross on our foreheads that reminded us to turn back to God, who is full of tenderness and compassion. In a form of a dialogue, Liam Stewart and Rachael Nahon reflected on our actions and daily life, particularly prayer, fasting and giving.
Giving is very much a spirit of Lent, so during the Ash Wednesday prayer service we launched our Project Compassion fundraiser and watched the inspirational video about the community in Zimbabwe. Every year we ask our students to donate money and time to Project Compassion. They know that by doing that we are giving the gifts of clean water, education and healthcare to some real people out there who are less fortunate than us.
The day after Ash Wednesday our Year 7 students got together for a mini reflection day in Period 1 and 2. They learnt about the life of St Francis Xavier and the importance of building a healthy, inclusive and accepting community. The students also experienced some fun, team-building activities in small groups. At recess we treated them to a muffin and popper. Still within the bounds of fasting, one would think.
Precisely one week after Ash Wednesday, Year 11 travelled to the Greenhills Centre for Year 11 Retreat. Our guest speaker was Sam Clear, who walked 15,600 km across three different continents to spread the message of unity and God’s love in our world. His inspirational messages were skilfully linked to his amazing stories and proved to be extremely relevant to our young people. When Isabelle Seselja asked her peers how many of them got inspired by his stories, almost every Year 11 student put their hands up. And that’s the measure of a good retreat.
I would like to thank Fr Loi for making himself available on Tuesday at lunch time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the chapel. He will visit us again in April.
I wish all our parents, students and staff to find time and become a little more reflective in this season of Lent. Importance and practice of gratitude was the focus of our recent staff meeting prayer, so perhaps the reflection can begin with those things and people we are grateful for.