Last Monday our school community joined in the celebration to commemorate 200 years of Catholic education in Australia. It was part of a national event with schools across the country celebrating at the same time to mark the bicentennial.
Michelle Gear and myself were proud to represent the St Joseph’s School community at the 200 Year Mass held at the Cathedral. This was a significant event and at the end of the Mass we were called on by the Bishop to accept a commemorative prayer card for each student which will be given out at our whole school Mass on Monday 6th June. With gratitude for the endeavours of Catholic education in the past, with confidence in our Catholic Kindergartens, schools and universities today, and with faith in their continuing contribution in the future, we celebrate 200 years of Catholic education in this Great South Land.
Often, I am asked what the Catholic School difference is. Being distinctively a Catholic school boils down to how we treat people and each other. If we are truly distinctive then all students, staff and parents feel a sense that they belong, are valued and are successful. The mission of Catholic Education is that “Being created in the image and likeness of God” which accords everyone an equal and inherent dignity. We believe in an innate original goodness and a universally shared dignity. This belief shapes a hope-filled and life-giving outlook on life for self, others and the created world.
Our School community is committed to providing a culturally safe environment where all children belong and an experience respect, justice, equity, and dignity. At our Reconciliation Liturgy last Friday, we gathered to unite our hearts with First Nations communities as we recognised and reflected on the wrongs that have been done in the past and take actions towards healing for the future.
Reconciliation is a journey for all Australians – as individuals, families, communities, organisations and importantly as a nation. The theme for this year’s Reconciliation week is “More than words, Reconciliation takes action”. Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all of us so we can move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community and First Nations peoples.
One way we are ‘taking action’ for reconciliation, is that we have potted some Dessert Roses to keep here at the school. The flower of this plant has been chosen by the Stolen Generation elders as a symbol of strength and resilience. The colour symbolises healing. It is our hope that we will make a reconciliation garden here at school ready in time for next years Reconciliation week. We will care for these plants in pots until we can plant them in our reconciliation garden.
Year of St Joseph Mass
On Monday, 6th June, you are invited to join us for our ‘Year of St Joseph Mass’ followed by morning tea. At this Mass we will be inducting our student leaders and giving out the Spirit of St Joseph’s Awards.