Lent is a time of reflection and the actioning of change in our lives. Over the last few weeks students and staff were given opportunities to reflect and think about how they wish to move forward in this Lenten season. In Matthew’s Gospel there is a recount of the Transfiguration of Jesus (Matt 17: 1-2) where he, with Peter, James, and John, retreated from the community and in the presences of the three disciples, Jesus was transfigured. Pope Francis highlights for us that “He wants that experience of grace to be shared, not solitary, just as our whole life of faith is an experience that is shared.”
Our year 12’s participate in a retreat last week, taking them away from the normal comforts of life to reflect and share their thoughts on the theme of ‘journey’. The overnight retreat provided many opportunities to listen, reflect, share and support each other and then celebrate new bonds. It was wonderful to see staff and students engaging in ways that bring to life Pope Francis’ words.
On Tuesday as a community, we learnt about the history and meaning of Shrove Tuesday to Christians all around the world and set ourselves on our Lenten journey. We prayed together, giving thanks for the things we have in abundance and acknowledging that there are many who are not as fortunate and we asked for guidance as we leave behind the need for things and focus on the people who need us.
Wednesday brought in the beginning of Lent, the forty days leading up to Easter which represents the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert tempted to take the easy way out, yet he held firm in the truth of God. We know that, so often, we are all challenged to take the easy way out, and for Catholics the ashes that are placed on our forehead remind us that Jesus, instead of taking the easy path, made the ultimate sacrifice. Our focus for the remainder of the term, will be to think, behave and love out the message of Jesus, placing others before ourselves.
During Lent, all Catholic schools in Melbourne dedicate their fight for justice in support of CARITAS Australia. Students and families are invited to donate, to Project Compassion who this year are highlighting the inspiring stories from Nepal, Australia, Vietnam and Zimbabwe, and the importance of working hand in hand with communities around the world.
On Thursday our School Leaders participated in a Servant Leadership Day. The Social Justice team, led by our Liturgy and Social Justice Captains underwent a training day with Yellow Arrow. Together they learnt about ways they can inspire our community to think about justice and bring about a world of compassion, and love so all can shine brightly and be transformed.
We now look forward to the College’s International Women’s Day liturgy and breakfast on 8 March where we will celebrate and “embrace equity”, the theme for this year’s event. We pray that through all these experiences we are drawn to open our hearts and minds to the dignity of all people and feel empowered to act justly, love kindly and walk humbly with God.
Director of Faith and Mission