Skip to main content

Educating for a Faith and Hope-Filled Future

During the holidays, 12 staff from our College attended a Jesuit Education conference for the Jesuit and Companion Schools Australia (JACSA) in Sydney. This network includes Jesuit-owned schools, namely Xavier College Melbourne, Saint Ignatius’ College Riverview, St Aloysius’ College Kirribilli, Redfern Jarjum College, and our own school. Additionally, there are five Companion schools: John XXIII College in Perth, Saint Ignatius College Geelong, Loyola College Watsonia, Xavier Catholic College Ballina, and Xavier Catholic College Hervey Bay. We were also joined by representatives from Saint Ignatius of Loyola Catholic College Auckland, which is set to open in New Zealand in 2024.

This conference marked our first gathering since the conference hosted by Saint Ignatius Adelaide in 2019, which focused on the theme of "companions in a mission of reconciliation and justice". The central theme of the recent conference was "our identity in educating for a faith and hope-filled future”. Notable speakers included Fr Quyen Vu SJ, our Provincial, who addressed Jesuit education and its relevance in the 21st century. Danielle Cronin, the Director of Education Policy at Catholic Schools NSW, presented on the role of our schools as sources of hope and their connection to the wellbeing challenges faced by many students.

Julian Butler SJ conducted interviews with three recent graduates from Jesuit schools. These graduates shared their personal experiences of faith formation, such as Kairos retreats, Ignatian service programs, immersion experiences, and post-school service activities. Moreover, students from across the JACSA network, representing varying education levels including upper primary, lower secondary, and senior secondary, shared their own perspectives on faith and service.

Loyola College Watsonia provided insights into their successful integration of positive education through an Ignatian lens. Vanessa Wadih, the psychologist at St Aloysius’ College, discussed the connections between contemplative psychology, discernment, and faith.

Fr Ross Jones SJ, Rector of St Aloysius’ College, gave an insightful address on the Jesuit ability to work well in the tensions of innovation and tradition as well as to adapt to times, places, and circumstances. Fr Chris Middleton SJ, Rector of Xavier College, delved into the challenges in our Religious Education and Faith Formation programs. He highlighted the value of creative liturgy, meaningful retreats, and engaged service opportunities. He also emphasized the importance of the intellectual dimension within the Catholic tradition of faith and reason, particularly in addressing issues such as science and religion, evil and suffering, and fundamentalism and revelation.

There were good meetings within professional learning communities across the Colleges. These included Principals and Rectors, Campus Coordinators, Student Wellbeing, Leaders of Learning, Care for Our Common Home, Directors of Staff, Ignatian Coordinators, and Religious Education Coordinators. We also had wonderful dinners at Riverview and St Aloysius’ College.

Peter Hosking SJ

From the Principal
From the Head of Co-curricular