Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Friends of the Magdalene Community,
On Wednesday 11 March the Annual Education Mass was celebrated at the St John Vianney pro-Cathedral in Fairy Meadow. This Mass was an opportunity for staff members of Catholic Schools across the diocese to come together with Bishop Peter and the Diocesan clergy to reflect on the achievements and challenges of Catholic education in the year ahead. During the Mass the Diocesan Director, Mr Peter Turner, launched “Lighting The Way” the new vision and strategic direction statement, for the diocesan schools, now and into the future. This document challenges us as educators to meet the needs of our students in their faith, academic, social and physical development. In essence we as educators are challenged to “Be the best we can be” to meet the needs of our students. We look forward to the challenge ahead.
This week Year 12 students began their half yearly examinations. This is a challenging time for our students and provides them with an opportunity to reflect on their educational journey to date, while considering future directions. As in any assessment task in any year, examinations are not only an opportunity to consider present performance but also an opportunity to reflect on ways to improve learning. I ask all students whether in Year 7 or Year 12 to consider each task as a learning experience, which will enable further development and growth so that each student can strive to achieve personal excellence. We wish Year 12 all the best in their examinations and look forward to their results.
Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the Year 7 Camp at Teen Ranch and the Year 9 Camp at Aussie Bush Camp at Tea Gardens. Upon arrival at each of the camps I was impressed by the sense of community and cooperation amongst both staff and students. I was also pleased to witness students, in many cases, move beyond their comfort zones and meet new challenges, which always has a positive impact on their resilience.
As a school, Magdalene is committed to giving students these extra curricular opportunities as often as possible. We firmly believe that the sense of community and challenges, created by the experience, will add to our positive learning environment for individuals and the community. I am grateful to the students for allowing themselves to be fully engaged in the activities on the camps. I am also thankful to the teachers who spent time away from their families to ensure the students had such a worthwhile experience.
Over the past few weeks the Magdalene community has been raising funds to support Caritas projects across the world. As usual students and staff have been quite passionate about this worthy cause and are to be congratulated on their efforts. The small sacrifices made by a large number of people will certainly make a difference to the lives of many across the earth and promote a truly Christian sense of giving within our community.
This Sunday is Palm Sunday and on that day we as Catholics celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. Palm Sunday also begins the week leading to Christ’s death and resurrection. It is the beginning of Holy Week. The week Christ gave us the first Eucharistic celebration on Holy Thursday, the week He died for our sins on Good Friday and the week He rose from the dead on Easter Sunday. These events would not only fulfil the scriptures but give each of us the opportunity to have eternal life in God’s kingdom. Easter is a celebration that each one of us should take personally. Christ died and rose from the dead for each one of us so that we may “have life and have it in abundance”.
This Easter we are challenged to be thankful for what we have been given by our God and to make a commitment to do God’s will now and into the future.
Dear God as we walk through
Holy week toward the cross,
May we remember
The wonder of who you are.
Your love is inexhaustible,
Your forgiveness is incomprehensible.
Beyond betrayal your grace is poured out eternally,
Beyond death your life is unimaginable.
Beytond human understanding,
Your ways are always higher than ours.
© Christine Sine 2013
I wish everyone a holy Easter and a safe holiday break.
Mr John Lo Cascio