From REC, Lindsay Sant from the Beaconsfield Campus.
In the Catholic Church, 3 December is the Feast Day of St Francis Xavier and a day that our College community celebrates in memory of our patron saint. The Beaconsfield Campus celebrated Eucharist as a community, led by Fr John Prest and Deacon Graeme Pender who reminded the students, staff and parent guests about the importance of being servant leaders in the way that St Francis Xavier was. It was great to see our students carrying out this servant leadership by assisting with important roles at the Mass including reading, processing items, leading song through Cantabile and altar serving. Our Year 12 student leaders were presented with their badges at the end of this Mass and our College Captains, Zac McMenamin and Taylah Worland spoke to their peers about the kind of leadership they hoped all Year 12s would display in their final year at the College.
To conclude Chloe Jones, Madi Timson and Matt Bateson, recent graduates from the Class of 2019 shared a song they composed called The Way, The Truth, The Life. The song is part of a tradition of where each Year 12 cohort leaves a legacy gift to the College community. In the past Year 12 student have planted trees, donated to charities or raised funds to pay the school fees of a Year 7 student. The song was a gift on behalf of the Year 12 Class of 2019 which can be used at future Masses, assemblies and other gatherings and embodies what these students believe our Gospel mission is as a college. We are grateful to all of the students who contributed to making this a special celebration in the weeks leading up to and on the day itself.
The roles of our students, especially our Justice and Liturgy Captains, in making celebrations like these a success cannot be overstated. When they bravely step up to lead, they remind us of the bravery St Francis Xavier must have shown as he stepped into the unknown for the sake of the Gospel.
At Berwick and Officer, our campuses celebrated the feast through a Mass and then a series of activities that enabled the students to learn about the life of St Francis Xavier, along with the enjoyment of wellbeing and sporting activities. Students gathered in their House groups across the two campuses, building identity and knowledge of their peers from the other Campus. We are grateful for the team work of all staff to help this day be a success.
The new Church year has begun with the season of Advent. Advent celebrates Jesus – past, present and future, and especially his return. Each Sunday of Advent has a candle lighting ceremony which highlights actions that inform this period of waiting. The first candle last Sunday was the hope candle. Advent is a joyful time and as we prepare our houses and work places with Christmas decorations, think of how to show our care to our loved ones, and finally look after those who are vulnerable, we are preparing the ground for the presence of Jesus. Perhaps the actions of faith, love, hope and peace of Advent can inform our consumer society – Christmas is now not enough for the economy, we now have Black Friday. In following Jesus our way, we find a child born in poverty, the holy family refugees to Egypt, and in Luke 4, as Jesus began his work he completely rejected the opportunity for power and prestige. ‘Today, the scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’ (Luke 4:21) Today we can find meaning and purpose in Advent, the hope for a better world.
Merciful God, You one vulnerable and hurt God,
be close to us and give us strength and confidence;
show us the way to a rich and deep life,
break our hearts open and bring us closer to ourselves,
to each other and to You,
today and all the days that have been given to us. Amen