From the Principal
In a unique turn of events, I was fortunate this week to attend three different celebrations of the Eucharist within our community.
On Sunday afternoon at Norwood, many of our Year 4 students, a Year 5 and a Year 6 student, and two students from the Senior School received their First Holy Communion. There was a palpable sense of excitement amongst the students that was delightful to see, as was the obvious love directed their way by families, friends, and teachers. From my perspective, in a world that is increasingly cynical, the innocent wonder of the students receiving this sacrament was an experience to cherish.
The second Mass I attended this week was our Voluntary Student Mass (VSM) on Tuesday morning at Athelstone. Our VSMs are sometimes House-based and can have all manner of themes, but this week, unsurprisingly, the theme focused on Reconciliation Week. Within the mass, the Liturgy of the Word included a smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country by John Lochowiak, which provided a unique and wonderfully reverential element to the celebration and a wider recognition of the important work of reconciliation in Australia.
Our students benefit greatly from exposure to essential elements of indigenous culture, and the current artist-in-residence, Cedric Varcoe, has also been a great blessing in this regard. I think that those who attended Tuesday’s VSM were fascinated by the smoking ceremony and will probably remember this celebration of the mass long after they leave school.
The third Mass for the week was this morning’s Year 8 Grandparents and Special Friends Eucharist in the Senior School chapel and, like the others earlier in the week, it was a special celebration mainly because of the congregation present.
I have written previously about the important role that grandparents and other elders play in the lives of our students – the impact of their shared wisdom, love, and generosity on our young people cannot be overstated. In some families they also take on roles as carers, emergency contacts, drivers, and general supporters in a variety of ways that add greatly to the formation of the young people in our care.
It was lovely to be able to honour them this morning and, whilst I am sure that the tour and morning tea was enjoyed by all, I would like to think that our Mass of Thanksgiving was also important for our guests.
In any given week there are many different events and activities that occur that contribute much to the life of the College, and this past week was no different in that regard. For me, though, I was able to witness the Holy Spirit at work in our community through our masses and be grateful for the many blessings we receive.
Mr Peter Coffey