I write to seek your support for the single event of the year whereby our whole community gathers on St Francis Xavier Day.
We are all aware of the complexity of this College. Having 3 campuses means developing a unified sense of identity and belonging is not as straightforward as it might be in other schools.
It is important that we do develop a powerful sense of identity and belonging for the benefit of our students in particular.
My family is very large, when we all gather together, my brothers and sisters with their various children etc we total over 70 people. We know we belong to each other particularly when we come together. Christmas has always been very powerful because of the numbers and the sense of joy the day brings. Birthday, baptisms, weddings have also been significant.
For us as the community of St Francis Xavier College the same can apply. Opportunities to come together, days and events of joy and fun are all important to building and maintaining that identity and sense of belonging I referred to previously.
Sports carnivals, retreat and camp programs, House masses, Campus assemblies all help us develop that identity as a House or Campus.
Any parent who attends an assembly will have a sense of what those events contribute to us as a community.
As a whole College, as the 3 campuses of St Francis Xavier College, on 15 August when we gather at the State Basketball Centre in Wantirna South, we can have that sense of ourselves as a single community.
By coming together for mass, we make a statement about ourselves as a faith community, as a Catholic school. Later we will be returning to our campuses to enjoy an afternoon of fun, we make a statement about ourselves as a community of life and joy.
So, I write to you today to seek your support and to ask you to value this day by ensuring that all students attend. I ask you to not schedule other appointments that would prevent attendance. I ask you to make St Francis Xavier Day a priority for your family.
Of course, if students are unwell then the usual precautions, procedures and courtesies will apply.
You see, this is the one day of the year when we specifically ask all students to give something back to the total school community. This is the one day of the year whereby we can have a sense of whether or not belonging to St Francis Xavier College matters. Hopefully, every other day students benefit from their membership of our school community at House or Campus level.
On this day they have the opportunity to give back.
This day is one when each student’s attendance indicates to some degree their commitment to the College, their sense of generosity to others and how deeply they identify as a member of our community.
As such, when student leadership positions are determined later in the year we will absolutely be mindful of their attendance on St Francis Xavier Day.
Given what I have said about the importance and the symbolism of the day, I am sure you understand why.
I thank you in advance for your support in helping us build a sense of a single Catholic, joy-filled College community.