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Last week we announced that Mr Coffey will retire as Principal at the end of the year. This is significant news for our Ignatian community. So many school leaders – Jesuits, colleagues, students, and parents – speak of their appreciation for Mr Coffey. He has given an enormous amount to the Jesuit mission and our Ignatian family. In many ways, this is the end of an era of such dedicated, humble, and gifted service. He is greatly loved and will be greatly missed. I hope we find the opportunity and occasion to celebrate Mr Coffey during the year ahead.

The Saint Ignatius’ College Board, in consultation with Jesuit Education Australia, has now commenced the search for Mr Coffey’s successor. We are seeking to appoint an outstanding leader who will provide a dynamic vision for learning and teaching that takes the College into the future. Ideally, she or he will inspire our staff and students and bring expertise and enthusiasm to nurture our community to seek excellence in all we do. As a leader within the Australian Jesuit education ministry, she or he should be a committed Catholic able to draw on our Ignatian ethos and give witness to a faith that does justice for all members of the College community.

Andrew Reed from Hender Consulting is assisting the College Board with this appointment. I invite you to encourage suitable applicants to apply, and to please pray we find the best person we can. Further information about the role may be found HERE.

On 2 March we will celebrate Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, which leads into Holy Week and Easter at the end of term. We will have special liturgies in the Junior School and Mass and liturgy at the senior campus. The word Lent means lengthening. In the northern hemisphere, the season coincides with the arrival of spring and celebrates lighter days emerging from darker nights. Lent can indeed be a new springtime for us. It is a time of renewal, allowing us the opportunity to pause, recalibrate our priorities, and rid our systems of the egoism of pride or hurt, which hinders us from being fully able to love.

During Lent, we are encouraged to engage in prayer, penance, and almsgiving. Prayer is about deepening our relationship with God. How can we find time where we can be with God to share the deepest parts of our heart, especially our needs for healing and to offer gratitude? Penance is about deepening our relationship with our self. What areas of our life are out of balance or compulsively obsessed and need to be made right? Is there someone to whom we need to apologise and repair a harm?

Almsgiving is an old word concerned with deepening our relationship with others. It invites us to share what we have with those most in need. It encourages us to share our time, talent, and money. As well as offering charity through what we donate, we also work for justice, which is to change the conditions that cause the diminishment of others, and for solidarity, which is about accompanying and standing alongside those who suffer.

Project Compassion is the Lenten appeal of Caritas Australia, the aid and development arm of the Church. Like Jesuit Mission, Jesuit Refugee Service, and St Vincent de Paul, Caritas does wonderful work in many needy places in our world. The mark of a good community is not how much it supports itself but its capacity to reach beyond itself to the deepest needs of the world. We encourage all to be generous in their supporting Project Compassion this year.

We are aware of a number of families who have significant illnesses and recent deaths of relatives. Should you want the College community to pray for someone, please notify your child’s Mentor Teacher or me. We can include their name in Oremus, which means ‘Let us pray’. This will enable others to keep those in need in their prayers and thoughts.

Fr Peter Hosking SJ
Rector

OREMUS (Let us pray)

We remember all in our College community. May our prayers comfort those suffering at this time. May God’s blessing be a source of support in their sorrow and loss, and bring courage, patience, and hope.

“Ask and you shall receive … knock and the door will be opened unto you.” (Matt 7:7)

If you would like someone to be remembered by the College community in prayer (even anonymously), please provide details to the Rector, class or Mentor Teacher, or House Leader.

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