You will have seen media reports of the conviction of Cardinal George Pell. The Archbishop of Brisbane, and President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, the Most Rev. Mark Coleridge has released a statement to the Catholic community. A copy is attached below for your information. There is no doubt that news of this verdict of Cardinal Pell will bring with it a range of emotions. The legal process will now run its course. If you or your child requires support, please contact your School Principal. We should never forget, that in any matter of this nature, our concern and prayers are with victims and their families. Please be assured that our school system works tirelessly to ensure the safety of every child in our schools, and will continue to do so as together we share the responsibility for the well-being of your children.
Before Jesus began his public ministry he was drawn by the Spirit into the desert for forty days and nights to fast, to pray and to give himself over completely to God. Each year the Church invites us into the ‘desert’ of the season of Lent to fast, to pray and to give alms (a symbol of our desire to give ourselves over completely to God). The call to fast, to pray, and to give alms is an invitation to conversion—to embrace the grace of God that seeks to take root in us and transform us ever more deeply into his holy people.
One fallacy of our Lenten practice as Catholics is the idea that Lenten practices are simply meant to be temporary. I “give up” chocolate for Lent only to indulge evermore deeply in my life as a chocaholic once Easter dawns. Or I will spend more time with the Lord in prayer during Lent, only to return to my normal intermittent pattern of relationship with God once the forty days are over. While the specifics of a practice may not always continue after the Lenten season is over, the effects of conversion are meant to live in us. We are called to be made new by the Lord’s love manifested for us in the death and resurrection of Jesus, his Son.
So, this Lent, what is the conversion that the Lord desires for you? That is the question that was asked of the whole College at the Ash Wednesday liturgy. While every individual responds differently, the essence of the answer should hopefully be the same. A deeper relationship with our Lord.
As a Catholic College, members of the McCarthy Catholic College community traditionally devote their energies during Lent towards raising valuable funds for Caritas Australia. In recent years that fundraising has taken the form of regular small cash collections each morning during Mentor Group. While that whole school process will continue in 2019, the Year 12 group have decided to take on the Caritas theme for Lent, “Give Lent 100% - Lives change when we all give 100%”, in a unique and active way. The Leadership Team have decided that with the written permission of their parent/carer, an individual Year 12 student may nominate to shave their head or colour their hair under the banner - “100% - $100 for Caritas”.
To qualify for the ‘shave’ or ‘colour’ privilege the Year 12 student must ensure all of the following:
Be a currently enrolled Year 12 student at McCarthy Catholic College
Have returned a signed parent/carer permission note by Friday 29 March
Have raised a minimum of $100 and deposited the funds with the College by Monday 8 April.
All students who satisfy this criteria will then qualify to have their head shaved by a qualified hairdresser at lunchtime at the College on Thursday 11 April. Students who qualify and choose to colour their hair may arrive at school on Thursday 11 April with their hair already coloured.
Please note that this type of active support for Caritas is not compulsory for all Year 12 students and there is no compulsion to participate. It is completely voluntary and Year 12 students can continue to support Caritas in the traditional manner by donating through Mentor Group collections.
The expectations for students who participate is that they would arrive back to begin Term 2 with the hair colour removed and return with normal hair colour and normal regrowth for those who shaved their heads.
I commend the Year 12 students for their initiative and hope that they are well supported to raise valuable funds during Lent for Caritas Australia.
Congratulations to everyone who participated and supported another wonderful Twilight Swimming Carnival at Scully Park Pool. Attendance figures would suggest a comparable proportion of students attended compared to 2018 and the House spirit on the day was indicative of a happy bunch of swimmers and cheerleaders giving their all for their House. Enormous thanks to Mr Brad Mitchell and the staff for their prior coordination and hard work on the day and into the night. Congratulations to MacKillop who again raised the Swimming House Shield for the fourth consecutive year!
Stage 6 Information Evening
Thank you to those who attended the Stage 6 Information Evening this week. As an initiative designed to inform and support parents and carers about the specific nuances of the Stage 6 curriculum, pastoral program, faith formation initiatives and advice for parents wishing to actively support their Year 11 and 12 sons and daughters, the presentation left the small group of parents and carers much better informed. I offer deep thanks to the Leadership Team members for their work in preparing and presenting. I encourage all parents and carers of the following stage groups to attend the upcoming presentations that are specifically tailored to the needs of the particular cohort.
Stage 5 (Years 9 and 10) 18 March - 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Stage 4 (Years 7 and 8) 1 April - 5:30pm - 7:00pm
New Uniform Consultation
We are in the final stages of community consultation regarding potential changes to the McCarthy Catholic College Uniform. Included in this newsletter is a link to the summary sheet displaying all of the potential uniform items. There are also life-size mannequins in the foyer of the College Hall for families to check out the samples provided by our uniform supplier - Lowes. Note especially that we are providing contemporary uniform options for our girls that include shorts, slacks and tights to complement a skirt (to knee length) and blouse combination.
We seek written feedback from families by the end of the term please.
Once final feedback is received we will begin a phase in period of 2 years from 2020. That is, the existing uniform options can be worn throughout 2020 and 2021 prior to the new version being fully implemented in 2022.
Association Annual General Meeting
This is official notification that the Annual General Meeting of the McCarthy Parent Association will be held on Tuesday 19 March 2019 beginning at 7:15pm in the staffroom. All Executive Committee roles will be declared vacant on the night and elections will occur at that time. I encourage current and new members of the Parent Association to consider taking on the roles of President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer.
Enrolments for Year 7 in 2020 close Monday April 8 2019
McCarthy Catholic College extends an invitation for students seeking enrolment into Year 7 in 2020. The only round of Year 7 applications for this year will close on Monday 8 April. Fully completed application forms and the $100 application fee need to be lodged at the College on or before Monday 8 April. Open Day will be held on Saturday 9 March from 10:00am until 1:00pm.
Please contact the Enrolment Officer, Mrs Jo O'Brien, on 6761 0802 or [email protected] for an application pack and/or more information.
Armidale Diocese System Well-Being Conference
The Catholic Schools' Office will be hosting a whole diocesan System Well-Being Conference for all staff on Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 June 2019, following the June Long Weekend on Monday 10 June. Please note the College will be closed on these days.
We welcome Sophie McCulloch (Year 11) and Aimee-Lee Barry (Year 9) and their families to the McCarthy community.
Mr Geoff McManus - Principal