Friday 23 February 2024

Director of Catholic Identity and Mission

  • College Theme
  • Ash Wednesday
  • Year 7 Transition
  • Year 12 Retreat
  • College Theme
  • Ash Wednesday
  • Year 7 Transition
  • Year 12 Retreat

College Theme 2024

Through contemplation with God, I seek my purpose.

Our college theme this year is a quote from one of our Patrons, Helene de Chappotin. The following is an explanation of our theme.

All of us naturally wonder about the purpose and meaning of our lives. It can be difficult in a world of constant noise, words and images. Religious traditions have long taught of the importance of stillness and contemplation with God.

The Christian Gospels describe Jesus regularly taking time out to be in silence. He would often spend time in contemplation and prayer and encouraged his disciples to do the same.

Contemplation can be described as simply resting in God’s presence. It is a way of ‘looking’ at God and listening with the heart. Contemplation or sitting with God, is attentive waiting with God who is always present. It is like sitting with a friend. It is easiest to do this in the quiet moments of the day, such as during Stillpoint or prayer. We are invited, in these moments into a deep reflection with God, that goes beyond words.

Our College Patron, Helene de Chappotin, was known most of all as a woman of prayer who contemplated often on the passion or final days of Jesus life. She encouraged her sisters to spend time with God in prayer, as it was how to discover, “the greatness of your vocation, the purpose for which you were created.” Helene also wanted her sisters to imitate Jesus in his forgiveness, faith and love. We are called to do the same. In the person of Jesus, the fulness of life’s purpose is revealed.

Ash Wednesday

Ave Maria marked the beginning of Lent with an Ash Wednesday liturgy lead by our teachers during extended mentor. Our Year 12 captains, assisted by our sub-school leaders, distributed the ashes to each member of the college. All are to be commended on the reverent way this important time in the liturgical calendar was marked.

Year 7 Transition

As we begin our new College year, it is wonderful to see the enthusiasm of our new group of Year 7 students. Their transition into Ave saw them learning about our four College patrons, Mary the mother of God, Clare of Assisi, Francis of Assisi and Helene de Chappotin. To celebrate the week of transition, our Year 7’s participated in a liturgy where they were reminded of the importance of their own gifts and of recognising the gifts in others. We wish the new members of our community a successful year of learning and growth.

Year 12 Retreat

The annual Year 12 retreat, held from Wednesday 14 to Friday 16 February, saw a change of venue this year. For the first time, staff and students ventured to Rutherford Park Country Estate near Blampied. Our students participated in a range of activities designed to reflect on the theme: The God Within and Without. Students considered how God was present in themselves, through activities such as meditation, mindfulness and the creation of their own tote bag. They also reflected on God present and active in the world, by creating a landscape image of God’s creation and acknowledging in various ways, the gifts of those who have been a part of their journey. A prayerful liturgy was held on the Thursday evening, reflecting on God as the light that created the world and continues to guide us each day. Staff and students are to be commended on openness in which they entered into the experience. It is a time we will long remember with great fondness.

Mr Patrick Hogan
Director of Catholic Identity and Mission