Through the media we often receive mixed messages about adolescents today. For those of us gifted the privilege of engaging with adolescents on a daily basis through education, we see great hope for the future. Recently we had the opportunity to attend the St Brigid’s and St Louis' Year 5 Faith Formation evening. It was a joy to listen to Caoimhé Conlon (Kilbreda College Captain, 2013) speak of her experiences at Kilbreda that have contributed to her passion to make a difference in the world. She spoke of her time in the rural mountain village of Remexio (East Timor) and the words of Padre David, "We may not be from the same place, we may not speak the same language, but we all have one thing in common, and that is love". Caoimhé continued to say, “It was as true for me then as it is now. How else could we have bonded with those children that made saying goodbye so heart-wrenching, when neither of us nor the kids spoke a common language? It was love that took us to East Timor in the first place, it was love that bonded us and it is love that continues to drive us to do good for others. Love is truly at the core of it all.” Along with Caoimhé, Sharon Stynes (mother of Ashlinn Reilly, Year 7), spoke of her lived faith through her work with the Reach Foundation and more recently as Manager of Very Special Kids. Kilbreda girls are called to be girls of action.
We have also had other opportunities over the last couple of weeks to visit and learn about our feeder Catholic primary schools. St Patrick’s recently held staff and parent Cyber Safety information sessions which some of our staff attended. On Wednesday we attended the induction of the FIRE Carriers (Friends Igniting Reconciliation through Education) at Our Lady of Assumption (OLA). Year 7 classes have commenced their visits to OLA to join with parishioners and primary students there for Wednesday morning Mass. We are grateful to these schools and parishes for welcoming us into their communities and look forward to opportunities to visit other schools next term.
We extend a heartfelt thank you and congratulate all staff, students and parents on the outstanding performances of The Little Mermaid. There are so many people to thank for their time, effort, commitment and energy that contributed to the success of this year’s junior school production. Co-curricular opportunities help build community and friendships and allow our girls (and the St Bede’s boys) to develop confidence in and extend their own abilities, share their talents and develop new skills which will benefit them in the years to come. The feedback received both in writing and verbally has been glowing of all involved. The production team and students led by our talented Director and Producer, Ms Keryn Holden, can all take a bow on this wonderful achievement!
Arts Week was held last week and along with the many engaging activities offered, it was wonderful that past students had the opportunity to be welcomed back to the College again and present on their chosen studies across the areas of visual arts at the Art Soirée. We are sure the audience of current Visual Art students were inspired by what they had to share. On the same evening in the Music Room, the VCE musical recitals were also happening and provided an amazing showcase of talent and commitment from music students in Years 10-12.
This week we farewell Chris Ryan as he begins his role as 7-10 Curriculum Leader at Parade College. We are thankful to Chris for his care, support and encouragement of Kilbreda students and staff particularly in his role as Year 9 Coordinator since commencing in 2013. Chris has made a significant contribution to developing and implementing the BRIDGES Program in its current format. Next term we will welcome Ms Jaime Wallace to this role. Jaime brings to this role leadership experience in both year level coordination in a Catholic girls’ school and experiential based learning programs. We are confident that Jaime’s experience, energy and enthusiasm will be a valuable asset to the Wellbeing Team and college community. We look forward to welcoming her into our community when she commences at the start of Term 3.
As we head into our holiday period we think of our Central Australia tour group and thank Mrs Sue Dempster, Ms Catherine Scott, Mrs Trish Moloney and Ms Bernadette Joseph for making this experience possible for our girls. We wish safe travels to all in our community who will be travelling at this time and look forward to our return on Monday 11 July.
Brigidine schools are known and stand out for their compassion for the marginalized. This week we recognize Refugee Week (19-25th June). This year’s theme, ‘With courage let us all combine’, celebrates the courage of refugees and of people who speak out against persecution and injustice. The United Nations' (UN) World Refugee Day is observed on June 20 each year. This event honors the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence. We are reminded of our College theme for 2016, Welcome All, and our call to action and to advocate strongly for justice in response to this global concern.
The links below are to two powerful videos related to the refugee crisis:
“The refugee boat hero who saved a child and stirred a continent” (TED talk by Melissa Fleming)
“The European Refugee Crisis and Syria Explained”
Loving and compassionate God,
No one is a stranger to you and no one is ever far from your loving care.
Watch over those who are separated from their loved ones and homeland;
those who fear persecution and hope for a better life in our community.
May we reach out in welcome to all those who arrive as refugees,
embracing one another so that together
your hope, O God,
will be our future.
We make this prayer through Christ our Lord.
At this time we remember in our prayers and thoughts the terrible events in Orlando last week as well as the continual loss of innocent lives around the world.