From the Principal
The calendar in Term 2 is somewhat crowded, with much being packed into a nine-week term. Reconciliation Week last week provided our students with some wonderful activities to appreciate, and later this month we will participate in events to acknowledge Refugee Week, which has had a special focus in our community for many years.
Rather less known though has been the focus in South Australia this week on Catholic Education. With well over 100 schools in the state, our Catholic network does much to contribute to the fabric of our society. Abuses in our Church and an increasingly secular view of our world have no doubt placed new pressures on Catholic Education, but I believe we still have much to celebrate.
In the ‘Finding God’s Traces’ prayer book presented to our Year 12 graduates at Valete each year, there is a specific reference to the early church in Australia. In part, the author, Michael McGirr, writes … Catholicism was still banned in England at that time (1817) and Mass was not officially sanctioned until the arrival of Fr Therry in 1820. Therry was tolerated because his ministry was thought to improve law and order among his congregation. Most of the Catholics in the young colony were convicts. Even the free Catholics were to be found at the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum. Catholicism in Australia had a rocky start. For almost forty years, it was kept alive by a small group of lay people for whom their faith was worth taking risks …
I suspect that many current Catholics in Australia may feel that our Church is still in a rocky place, but I pray that within our community, there are also many still willing to take risks in support of our faith.
Catholic Education Week quite rightly focuses on all the good that is present in our schools – not to ignore past hurts, but at the same time, not to neglect the enormous positive contribution made in the formation of our young.
It is through this formation that we work to ensure that our world, God’s creation, flourishes.
Mr Peter Coffey