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
Mr Michael Mullaly