St Francis Xavier College St Francis Xavier College St Francis Xavier College St Francis Xavier College St Francis Xavier College St Francis Xavier College St Francis Xavier College

Catholic Identity – 16 May 2019


Faith Activities in our College

The traditional month of Mary, as celebrated by communities within our Catholic tradition began with First Friday Prayer on 3 May. The prayer in the Beaconsfield chapel focused on Mary, the first and best disciple. As Catholics we do not worship Mary, we ask her to pray for us as we too try to bring Christ into our world. Lindsay Sant challenged our staff to put into action the service of one another and our students in following the way set by the yes of the Mother of God. (see prayers below)

Our celebrations will continue with the presence of the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and the Diocesan Plenary candle – 24 May at Beaconsfield (10.30am Mass), Officer (2.20pm Mass) and on 28 May, Berwick (9.50am Mass)

The Icon and Candle will be present in Parishes throughout the Sale Diocese in the lead up to the Sale Diocese Assembly on 13 – 14 September. Details of the Pilgrimage and accompanying resources are below.


Catholic Education Week

Our school, along with the 43 other Catholic schools in the Diocese of Sale, will celebrate Catholic Education Week from 24 to 31 May. The theme for this year’s celebrations is Listen to what the Spirit is saying…

As Catholic schools, we are called to do more than just pass on the faith: we are invited to translate our faith into deeds so we are truly living God’s Word.

Catholic Education Week is an opportunity for all Catholic schools to celebrate our distinctive mission and share features that are special about our schools.

Members of our staff will be attending the Leadership Mass and Dinner held in Traralgon on Friday 24 May. Our school will also hold a number of activities to celebrate Catholic Education Week, including the Masses where the Icon and Candle are brought into our community.


Cantabile Camp and City Retreat

This week Cantabile will be spending two nights at Safety Beach, while Year 10 and 11 RE Homelessness students will be staying in the city to learn about the issues of poverty. Cantabile will continue to refine hymns in preparation for upcoming liturgies, and combined with reflection and prayer will explore the spirituality of liturgical service. The students will come to Mass at Our Lady Help of Christians 6.00pm Saturday night Mass, where they will lead the music ministry. Parents are most welcome to join us, especially parishioners of OLHC. City Retreat students will finish their time in the city with attendance at Mass at St Francis’ Church in Elizabeth St. Thanks to Simon Cuckson and Carlos Escobar for their wonderful work of service in leading these two enriching experiences.


Diocesan Assembly and Pilgrimage

Bishop Patrick has announced a Diocesan Assembly to be held on 13 – 14 September at Marist-Sion College Warragul. During the Plenary Council 2020 Listening and Dialogue process, several common topics have emerged. It has become evident that many of the suggestions which have been made can be initiated and implemented at a local Diocesan level. The Diocesan Assembly, while part of the overall Plenary journey, is of vital importance as it will provide us with the opportunity to together discern and discuss what it is that we can do here and now for our local Church in the Diocese of Sale.

In the months leading up to the Assembly, the Diocesan community is being invited to embark on a period of prayer and preparation with a Diocesan Pilgrimage of the Icon of our Lady of Perpetual Help (the patroness of our Diocese) and the Diocesan Plenary 2020 Candle. Each parish will host the Icon and Candle for one week with the opportunity to receive and bless the Icon at weekend Masses and have it displayed for prayer during the week.


Weekly Prayer of the Faithful

All parishes are invited to join in a prayer roster by praying for the parish in the diocese who is currently hosting the Icon and Plenary Candle as part of the Diocesan Pilgrimage.


Prayer for the presence of the Icon and Candle:

In this time of preparation for our Diocesan Assembly, we pray for the community of St. Francis Xavier College. May they be graced with the fruits of the Holy Spirit as they host the Image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and ask for her intercession.



Pilgrimage Roster (February-September 2019)



Sun 24th St Mary’s Cathedral Sale



Sun 3rd Yarram Parish

Sun 10th Foster Parish

Sun 17th Leongatha Parish

Sun 24th Korumburra Parish

Sun 31st Wonthaggi Parish



Sun 7th Cowes Parish

Sun 14th – Sunday 21st Holy Week and Easter Triduum

Sun 28th Cranbourne Parish



Sun 5th Clyde North Parish

Sun 12th Narre Warren Parish

Sun 19th Pakenham Parish

Sun 26th Berwick Parish



Sun 2nd Koo Wee Rup Parish

Sun 9th Iona-Maryknoll Parish

Sun 16th Bairnsdale Parish

Sun 23rd Lake Entrance Parish

Sun 30th Orbost Parish



Sun 7th Maffra Parish

Sun 14th Cowwarr-Heyfield Parish

Sun 21st Traralgon Parish

Sun 28th Churchill Parish



Sun 4th Morwell Parish

Sun 11th Newborough Parish

Sun 18th Moe Parish

Sun 25th Trafalgar Parish



Sun 1st Drouin Parish

Sun 8th Warragul Parish

13th -14th Diocesan Assembly, Warragul




Image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

The original Byzantine icon dates from the 15th century, and possibly from the 13th. It has been in Rome since 1499 and is now housed in the church of St Alphonsus Liguori and in the care of the Redemptorists.

It shows the Virgin Mary holding the child Jesus, who seems to be a small adult. Jesus clasps the right hand of his mother as he looks upwards where the archangels Michael and Gabriel are holding the instruments of his redeeming passion. St Michael holds the spear, the wine soaked sponge and the crown of thorns, while St Gabriel holds the cross and nails.

As the Christ child contemplates this vision of his coming passion there is a hint of his anguish shown by the loss of one of his sandals. Yet the icon also depicts the triumph of the resurrection shown by the glorious gold of the background and the angels holding the instruments like trophies.

Mary looks outward; she is both holding her child and presenting him to the faithful viewer. It is worth noting that the figures of Mary and Jesus are both crowned in this copy. The crowns were added in 1867.

Under this title of Perpetual Help, Mary is patroness of several parishes. Significantly for us, Our Lady of Perpetual Help is patroness of the Diocese of Sale. Our first bishop, James Corbett, obtained a copy of the icon when he visited Europe in 1889-90. He returned in February 1890, bringing the icon, along with a group of priests he recruited in Ireland and the first sisters of Our Lady of Sion. The icon is now enshrined in St Mary’s Cathedral, Sale.

The copy I have has been in my family for many years. I recall seeing it in the home of my grandparents, Tom and Mary Slater, in Leongatha, and believe it had been with them on their farm at Nerrena beforehand. After they died in the 1960s it moved to my own parents’ home and since they died I have kept it.

I could only guess when my grandparents obtained their copy, perhaps when they married in 1917, or possibly at the time of a Redemptorist parish mission in later years.

Fr Peter Slater VG

Parish Priest, Warragul & Drouin


First Friday Prayer:

Mary, faithful, strong and willing to serve encouraged Jesus to perform his first miracle at the wedding in Cana. She knew he would begin his ministry. She knew that her abundant love for her Son would stay with him, no matter where he went. 

All: Mary is our model of love. May we follow her example when we are called to serve. 

At the foot of the cross, Mary’s heart was breaking, for her beloved son was to die. Her deep faith, great strength, abundant love and unconditional promise to serve God would carry her through the next few days. These elements of leadership have made Mary our model or leadership and ministry. 

All: Mary is our model of leadership and ministry. May we follow her example when we are called to serve. 



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