Building communities with the support of personal contributions

3 March 2021

Dear parents and friends

We gathered as a whole school community on different occasions over the last two weeks to celebrate significant events in the life of the school and the Church.

On Wednesday 17 February 2021 our College Community held our Ash Wednesday Mass celebrated by Fr Liam Ryan, who reminded us that Lent is not a time of doom and gloom but a time for reflection, prayer and support for others.  His homily echoed the comments of Pope Francis who stated that lent is a good time to “love without measure”.  He said ‘Pray and love: this is what we must do..” and not only for those whom we consider our friends.

With the words of Pope Francis and Fr Liam in my thoughts,  I call on the community to continue to consider ways of supporting others through Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion.

While Lent is primarily about giving something up (i.e fasting), it is also about putting something positive in its place. It is, traditionally, a time of helping the poor and doing acts of charity and mercy – to examine ways to get involved and to make resolutions to actually do them.

To give ‘alms’ may mean that we must move out of our comfort zone, maybe volunteering for a charity or a shelter, by being generous with our time to help our family, friends and neighbours out of tight situations.

Each week Caritas Australia shares a story of how their support has helped those that experience great hardship. This week is a story about Margaret, a teacher who supports deaf students in the Solomon Islands. I encourage you all to visit the website and learn how Caritas Australia has helped Margaret’s students and their community.

Inter-House Swimming Carnival

Our community and House spirit were very evident last Friday at the Inter-House Swimming Carnival.  As they so often do, our swimmers gave their best on the day and produced some remarkable results.  Seeing our students compete and participate reminds me how grateful I am to them for the sportsmanship they always display and for sharing their talents with the community. 

I am also grateful for the contributions of:

  • our Sports Captains Courtney Appelbee and John Mooc for their work behind the scenes, along with the House Captains for their leadership in supporting their respectives houses and House Co-ordinator
  • our students cheering a fellow house member along, particularly as they tired towards the end of a race
  • the teamwork demonstrated in the novelty events,
  • students who stepped up to fill a place of an absent student to ensure that House points weren’t lost
  • the wonderful staff for their preparation and work on the day, particularly Mr Riley Milligan, Sports Co-ordinator and our Health and Physical Education Team.

Congratulations to Mutien House who secured the overall Championship Cup ahead of runners up Benildus House, who continue to show an impressive improvement. Congratulations also go to Brigid House who was awarded the “Spirit Award” for best overall participation by a House on the day.

Flourishing through courage

When I look back on the past two weeks and everything else we do, a crucial element of success is our students’ and staff member’s courage to contribute that make events like our Inter – House Swimming Carnival special.

Reflecting on the work of our founder, St John Baptiste de la Salle and the many brothers who followed in his footsteps across the decades, we see what can be achieved if we all have the courage to contribute. That is a flourishing global community that seeks to serve others and is inclusive of all.

Communities are built through the contribution of its people and we want everyone in our College to have the ability and the courage to step forward and contribute in a genuinely positive way.

It can be challenging and daunting to commit to being involved so often it is easy to sit back and watch everything pass you by. At La Salle College, we want to inspire out students to not shy away from that challenge and live their lives.

We want students to take full advantage of the rich array of learning opportunities on offer at our College. We want them to be courageous, to step outside of their comfort zone and to become fully involved and contribute. We want our students to capture this unique opportunity to help shape both themselves and our school, and in the spirit of St John Baptiste de la Salle, encourage others to do the same.

Finally, I ask for our community’s prayers as our Year 12 students embark on their Retreat this week.  This three day residential retreat provides students with a time to step back from the rigour and demands of daily life and take time to enrich their faith, strengthen their relationship with God and their peers. 

God our Father, your truth is revealed to us in quiet times of prayer and reflection. Teach us to take the time in our lives to recognise your Holy Presence.

Ms Giovanna Fiume

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