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From Director of Faith and Mission

09 June 2023

“Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth”
Psalm 104.

The Season of Easter concluded on Sunday 28 May with the celebration of the Feast of Pentecost. On that day we remember how Pentecost Sunday is the day the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem, bringing to life the Church. For this reason, Pentecost is called the birthday of the Church because before Pentecost, there really was no church. Jesus had ascended into the heavens; the Apostles were sitting around scared and confused and nobody knew what to do. Going out to preach about Jesus and baptising them in his name, was the last thing from their mind. But Pentecost celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit – the force that turned a group of frightened, mixed-up people into a church.

Just like the apostles had gathered in their room, students gathered in their PaLM groups and celebrated Pentecost. We celebrate the courage, knowledge, direction, and commitment the Holy Spirit gave to the Apostles when – like a rush of wind, it blew away the fear, and with tongues of fire, it lights up the hearts, minds and voices of the Apostles to speak of the wonder of Jesus Christ. It called for everyone to reflect on how they could go out and be the voice for change.

In the book of Pope Francis’ reflections on the Sunday Gospel, he reflects on Pentecost by highlighting the power the Holy Spirit has in bringing about a new direction, a new life, and a new way of being and urges us to go and be the voice of Christ and bring justice to the world through love. He reflects by saying;

“The Church born at Pentecost is an astounding community because, with the force of her arrival from God, a new message is proclaimed – the Resurrection of Christ – with a new language: the universal one of love. A new proclamation: Christ lives, he is Risen; a new language: the language of love…The Church of the Pentecost is a Church that won’t submit to being powerless, too: distilled”. No, she doesn’t submit to this! She doesn’t want to be a decoration. She is a Church that doesn’t hesitate to go out, meet the people, proclaim the message that’s been entrusted to her, … She is born one and universal, with a distinct identity, but open, a Church that embraces the world but doesn’t seize it; she sets free, but embraces it like the colonnade in the square: two arms open to receive, but that doesn’t close to detain.” (pp. 147-148)

As members of Thomas Carr College, we are also called to be Church for our world, to not submit to injustices, to be welcoming to all, open to the sacredness of each person and willing to promote through our voice and our actions God’s universal message of love.

This was evident in our celebration and commitment to reconciliation with our First Nation’s people during Reconciliation week. We prayed for past wrongs and for guidance and strength to move towards honouring the sacredness of their voice, and their continued journey for treaty and truth. We were honoured to have Uncle Rob Monohan, a Taungurung elder, perform an acknowledgement of country in his mother language before a Reconciliation prayer was read by our College Vice Captain, Oliver Pond. Uncle Rob then performed a smoking ceremony for us at recess to heal, connect us to country, celebrate, and bring us together as one body with many unique and different parts.

We extend our thanks to Uncle Rob for helping us to continue our journey and of openness to dialogue and walking together in reconciliation.

Over the coming weeks we will continue to bring the Church alive by celebrating Refugee week and taking action by having a Food drive for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Please consider bringing in a donation of nonperishable food or toiletries that can support this wonderful organisation.

Through all these actions and more, we will continue to the outpouring of God’s Spirit upon our brothers and sisters throughout our community.

Ms. Alexandra Higham
Director of Faith and Mission