Principal's Blog

Each week, our Principal shares his reflections on learning in this Catholic community.

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Week 7 Term 3 2016

Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Friends of the Magdalene Community,

Last Sunday the Catholic Church in Australia celebrated Migrant and Refugee Sunday. Pope Francis, in keeping with the theme for the Jubilee Year of Mercy, brings to the forefront the connection between the issues that migrants and refugees face and the message from the Gospel of Mercy. The challenge for all members of a Catholic community is how we view the treatment of refugees globally and in our local communities and whether our response towards migrants and refugees is grounded in mercy.

Pope Francis says ” Today, more than in the past, the Gospel of mercy troubles our consciences, prevents us from taking the suffering of others for granted, and points out a way of responding which, grounded in the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, find practical expression in works of spiritual and corporal mercy.”  To know who these migrants or refugees are, to understand why they are coming to our communities, to know their stories, and to be welcoming are ways in which we can extend our mercy.

I offer the following question posed by Pope Francis as our reflection this week:

“Migrants are our brothers and sisters in search of a better life, far away from poverty, hunger, exploitation and the unjust distribution of the planet’s resources which are meant to be equitably shared by all. Don’t we all want a better, more decent and prosperous life to share with our loved ones?”

The recent St Vincent De Paul Doorknock Appeal undertaken by members of our school community last weekend raised approximately $6000. Our sincere thanks are extended to all staff, students and parents who were involved. Under the leadership of Mr Collins, the involvement of our community was greatly appreciated and this was recognized at our recent assembly. The generosity of time and spirit to assist those less fortunate and needy members of the wider Macarthur region is clearly a wonderful example of mercy in action.

The Carrington Project, “Through Our Eyes” which operates on Tuesday afternoons, involves students volunteering to visit the Carrington Centennial Care Nursing Home and engage with the local residents. Under the guidance of Mrs Borg students have developed some wonderful relationships with the elderly residents and this work was recognized last Tuesday at a special afternoon tea. This initiative recognizes the links with our local community and assists students to put their faith into action through the nature of their involvement. All students and staff should be very proud of their achievements.

Year 12 are in their final weeks before beginning the HSC exams in Term 4 and I ask that the school community keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Year 11 have a range of assessments over Week 9 and 10 which will lead to the completion of the Preliminary Course. All other students are encouraged to be positive learners in each of their classes. Parents of students in Year 7 and 9 would have received the NAPLAN test results and it is hoped that this will provide valuable insights into their literacy and numeracy achievements.

Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Rowe on the recent birth of their son Benjamin Stephen. We welcome Mr Anthony Burden to the school as he replaces Mrs Rowe whilst she is on parental leave. Farewell  to Mrs Dowdell next week as she takes leave to prepare for the birth of her third child. Our best wishes to Mr and Mrs Dowdell at this special time. We welcome Ms Loca who will be replacing Mrs Dowdell.

An invitation is extended to parents and students to view the major works for Year 12 students in Furniture and Design and Technology along with Senior Visual Art, Drama & Photography works on Wednesday 7 September in the Learning Resource Centre from 5.30pm – 7.00pm.

An invitation is extended to parents/carers and students to attend the Annual Magdalene Classics performance which will be held on Sunday 11 September in the Mater Dei Chapel at 2pm - 4.00pm.

I recently had a wonderful opportunity to spend the day with Year 11 students as part of a Leadership Day as they prepare to take on the leadership roles as Year 12 students in 2017. The depth and quality of these young women and men gave the staff who attended a feeling of great hope and anticipation as we were able to view first hand their leadership aspirations and capabilities. The results of this important process of selection will be announced to the school community in the coming weeks.

To all the Fathers in the Magdalene Community I wish you the very best for Father’s Day on Sunday and offer the following prayer on your behalf:

 

Prayer for Fathers

God our Father,

In your wisdom and love you made all things,

Bless those fathers who have taken upon

themselves the responsibility of parenting.

Bless those who have lost a spouse to death,

separation, or divorce, 

and who are parenting their children alone.

Strengthen all Dads by your love that they may

be the loving, caring persons they are meant to be.

Grant this through Christ our Lord

 

Amen.

 

God Bless

Mr Michael Mullaly

Acting Principal

 

 

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Week 5 Term 3 2016

 

 

 

Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Friends of the Magdalene Community,

On Wednesday evening a letter from Mr Peter Turner, Director of Schools Diocese of Wollongong was emailed to all parents. The letter referred to media reports relating to online postings of alleged graphic sexual images and the identification of Catholic schools in the Macarthur area. I ask all parents to take time to speak with your daughters and sons about the responsible use of social media.

On the weekend of 27 and 28 August students from Magdalene have been invited to participate in the annual St Vincent de Paul Door Knock Appeal.  In this Year of Mercy this is a wonderful example of the Works of Mercy. The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy are actions we can perform that extend God’s compassion and mercy to those in need.

The Corporal Works of Mercy are these kind acts by which we help our neighbours with their material and physical needs:

Feed the hungry                              Clothe the naked                               Bury the dead

Shelter the homeless                        Visit the sick and imprisoned               Give alms to the poort

The Door Knock Appeal supports the St Vincent de Paul Society in their work amongst the needy in our community so we ask for your support in the coming weeks. Mr Collins is coordinating the appeal with our students.

I offer the Year of Mercy Prayer for your reflection.

Lord Jesus Christ,

you have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father,

and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him.

Show us your face and we will be saved.

Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money;

the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things;

made Peter weep after his betrayal, and assured Paradise to the repentant thief.

Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us, the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman:

“If you knew the gift of God!”

You are the visible face of the invisible Father,

of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy:

let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified.

You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness

in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error:

let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God.

Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing,

so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord,

and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor,

proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed,

and restore sight to the blind.

We ask this through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy,

you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.

Amen.

The Year 9, 2017 Elective evening was held last Monday and I thank the staff, Year 8 students and parents who were involved.  The range of electives allow students in their Stage 5 education to make some choices as to the subjects they wish to study over Year 9 and 10.  I would encourage students to continue to ask questions of the KLA Coordinators if they still need further information.

At a recent assembly I spoke to our school community about the role each one of us has in stewardship of our learning environment. The care and respect of our school and the resources we use on a daily basis requires all members of our community to be aware that we are stewards/caretakers so that the present and next generation of students will continue to reap the benefits of the Magdalene learning environment.  All students were asked to be more aware of the need to keep areas clean and tidy and to also not accept other students deliberately damaging school property. I am pleased to say that there has been a positive response and I congratulate students on meeting this challenge.

Year 12 finished their Trial HSC exams last Monday and are now preparing for feedback that will assist in improving their learning outcomes. It is vital that students are attending each day, wearing correct uniform and focused in every class.

The Year 7 Mathematics day held last Monday was an opportunity for our Year 7 students to experience the practical side of mathematics and to learn how they can apply concepts to everyday situations. They worked through the day very      enthusiastically with the support of their teachers and peers. Thank you to Mr Koch and the mathematics staff for your work and organization of the day.

Breakfast with the Bishop was held last Tuesday which involved our Year 12 school leaders having the opportunity to meet with Bishop Peter and Director of Schools, Mr Peter Turner. The purpose of the breakfast was for the Bishop to have informal conversation with Year 12 leaders across our diocesan schools, celebrate their learning journey and to wish them well as they prepare for their exams and life beyond school. Bishop Peter challenged Year 12 students to believe in themselves, be agents of change and to have hope and optimism for the future.

The Diocesan athletics was held last Wednesday with a number of staff and students involved. Our students represented Magdalene with pride and achieved some pleasing results.

A reminder that Friday 26 August is a pupil free day for students. All staff will be involved in an offsite spirituality day.

 

God Bless

Mr Michael Mullaly

Acting Principal

 

 

 

 

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Week 3 Term 3 2016

 

 

 

Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Friends of the Magdalene Community,

Year 12 Trial HSC exams began this week with students focusing on ensuring that they perform to the best of their ability. The feedback from these exams will be essential as it will pave the way for improvement in preparation for the HSC exams at the beginning of Term 4. We wish each student success as they continue these important assessments. Please keep our Year 12 in your ongoing prayers.

The Year 12, 2017 leadership application process for our Year 11 students began this week. All students have the opportunity to apply for leadership positions but they must undertake a formal process which involves an application, interview and presentation. 

Hospital Heroes Day last Friday saw many students and staff dressing up as their favourite hero.  The purpose of this day was to raise money for the Westmead Children’s Hospital. Thank you to Mr Peter Collins for the organization of this day and staff and students as the school raised $2000.

The Parents and Friends meeting was held on Tuesday night. Thank you to all parents who attended despite the inclement weather.

Best wishes to staff and students who will undertake the Duke of Edinburgh hikes over the coming weeks. This is an outstanding program that will develop skills which will assist them throughout life. I am very impressed with the numbers of students involved and the dedication of staff.

Transition visits for Year 5 feeder school students began this week with St Clare’s Narellan and St Paul’s Camden visiting our school to experience aspects of education and life at Magdalene. The work of staff and students who participated in these days is greatly appreciated. The Year 5 students enjoyed their day and were warmly welcomed by our students and staff. St Anthony’s Picton will visit later this term.

As the term moves forward I ask all students to maintain your academic focus in all classes and to continue to develop study skills at home to support your learning.

Over the past weeks we have been reminded how fragile our world is due to many tragic events which have affected so many communities. We offer this prayer for peace for your reflection.

 

Prayer for Peace

God, you are the source of life and peace. 

Praised be your name forever.

We know it is you who turn our minds to thoughts of peace.

Hear our prayer in time of war.

Your power changes hearts.

 

No matter what religion we follow, 

May we profoundly affirm that we are followers of ONE GOD;

May we live like brothers and sisters in this world;

May enemies begin to speak to one another;

Those estranged join hands in friendship;

And every nation seek the way of PEACE together.

 

May each of us be witnesses to the truths by the way we live.

Give each of us an understanding that puts an end to strife,

May we forgive others and empower us to live by your commandment of Love.

Amen

 

 

 

God Bless

 

Mr Michael Mullaly

Acting Principal