Friday 24 May 2024

Director of Catholic Identity and Mission

  • Faith Formation Days
  • Special Person's Mass
  • Edmund Rice Homework Club
  • Faith Formation Days
  • Special Person's Mass
  • Edmund Rice Homework Club

Faith Formation Days

Term Two each year begins our series of Faith Formation Days for students from Years 7 to 11. Our first day was for our Year 11 students who gathered on the 30 April. The day was held onsite and students heard from the inspirational Michelle Newland and her mother Anne, about Michelle’s life journey. Our students were given the opportunity to reflect on Michelle’s extraordinary story and how it related to their own lives.

In the afternoon, Sr Therese Power provided an insight into her work with ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Human Trafficking). This was followed by a thought-provoking panel discussion, including Sr Therese and two Ave Maria College teachers. They were each asked to respond to several questions, including ‘What gives your life meaning?’ and ‘How does your work make the world a better place?’ The day ended with a prayerful liturgy prepared by the students.

On the 14 May, our Year 7 students engaged in their Faith Formation Day, focusing on learning about our four House Patrons, Mary, Mother of God, Francis of Assisi, Clare of Assisi and Helene De Chappotin. They learnt about the life story and key qualities of each of these inspirational people. The students each created a symbol of their patron which will be used to create a house collage.

Our students also learnt about the exceptional work of the Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project. They were left with the challenge of exploring how they might support this charity during this term. Finally, our year 7’s spend the afternoon learning about and creating their own set of prayer beads.

Special Persons’ Mass

On the 9 May, our Year 7 students participated in our annual ‘Special Persons Mass’. This was an opportunity for students to invite to the College an important person in their life. At the end of the Mass they presented their special person/s with a thank you card in recognition of how important they are to them. Fr. Tony Doran spoke to our students about how important it is to stay focused on the key relationships we have, as they are central to living a hope filled and fulfilling life.

Edmund Rice Homework Club

The College continues its work in supporting the community, with staff and students participating in the Edmund Rice Homework Club. A small group of senior students and staff have undergone training and are now attending the St. Albans community centre each Monday afternoon. Our students assist primary school aged children complete homework task with the support of the educators from Edmund Rice Community Services.

Franciscan Charism

The College continues to look for ways to support the faith formation of staff to enable a deeper and more sophisticated understanding of the Franciscan charism. A short course called ‘Enduring Presence’ explores the early period of Franciscan history, focusing on key lay members of the Franciscan communities from the 13th century. Several staff members are participating in this online course, along with teachers from several other Franciscan schools across Australia.

One key member of the early Franciscan community was Lady Jacopa, an important financial support and close friend of St. Francis. The book ‘Enduring Presence, by Darleen Pryds, includes the following description of the importance of Lady Jacopa to the early Franciscans and the beginnings of the key element of hospitality as part of the Franciscan charism.

‘As a wealthy and powerful women, Jacopa was a significant patron of the order as a whole and of Francis own ministry. She models the role laity have in choosing to use their wealth, power and other resources to support Franciscan ministries. In addition, as a spiritual friend of Francis, they cultivated an intimate friendship that can be symbolized by the famous almond cookies. (Jacopa would make these for the friars) They represent the origins of a significant feature of the Franciscan tradition that gets boasted and claimed today: namely, Franciscan hospitality. ‘

Mr Patrick Hogan
Director of Catholic Identity and Mission