There is a multitude of end of year celebratory events in Term Four. Over the past month, we have acknowledged the talents of our students in music, drama, sport and the visual arts. Of course, the culminating event was this week’s very successful Presentation Night. Many thanks to Vice Principal Mrs Kath Negus for coordinating the night and a big thank you to all the students and staff involved in such a successful occasion.
My address acknowledged the outstanding successes of our students but also alluded to some of the issues facing the Church.
For the Catholic Church, 2017 has been a challenging year. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been confronting for all involved in the work of the Church.
There are two obvious requirements for the future:
- Our prayers and support for the victims and their families.
- The need for our Church – including Catholic schools – to make changes.
A Code of Conduct for staff has been introduced in all Western Australian Catholic schools this year and it is an excellent initiative to assist in safeguarding our children and staff.
The changes to the Marriage Law and the issue of same-sex marriage in general have also provoked much debate around the country. I commend Archbishop Costelloe for ‘proposing’ rather than ‘imposing’ a position. The respect and dignity of all people should be at the forefront of conversation.
Over the past two years I have learned much from being part of the national Loreto and Jesuit networks. Earlier this year I asked a Jesuit priest about the declining numbers of priests, brothers and sisters.
His response was reassuring: ‘We are a Church of the laity’.
Our post-Royal Commission Church places significant responsibility on Catholics around the country to ensure that change occurs via respectful and meaningful dialogue and this is certainly something that we foster at all levels of the College.
I look forward to further engagement with members of our community on these issues.
Congratulations to all our students for the excellent recognition they have received over the course of this academic year. Our Presentation Night was an outstanding celebration of this year’s events. In the year of our 40th anniversary, it was wonderful to welcome back our class of 1977, Head Girl, Mary White. Mary’s interesting and entertaining address provided a delightful insight into the exciting times of the late 1970s with the amalgamation of Loreto and St Louis.
Together, let us seek justice.