Dear Parents, Carers and Friends of Bethany,

As we continue to live in a community where we have not had access to physical attendance at Mass and where this weekend attendance is somewhat limited, the notion of Pentecost Sunday becomes increasingly relevant. This Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost is a day of celebration occurring fifty days after Easter. It is a celebration of a new beginning for all whether it is for the celebration of the new church, a celebration for renewal of spirit within oneself and/or a celebration of the Holy Spirit giving God’s wisdom to the disciples. Churches throughout the world celebrate this day whether by the Jewish faith or Christian faith, Pentecost is a day of the new spirit, a day of a new beginning. 

With the return of all of our students this week, there really is a new spirit and a feeling of new beginnings. Bethany is the same site that students left in March, yet changes are in existence. Changes in the physical environment include markings on the ground, desks separated and seating dispersed. Our College has an increased feeling of gratitude as we share common yet separate experiences of isolation. As you continue to read this newsletter, I was particularly proud to read the feelings of gratitude expressed by students to parents. This initiative from our students embodies Bethany College. As we begin to unpack the COVID-19 situation and further adapt, I encourage all parents to discuss with your daughter learnings from the experience. Just as Pentecost is a time of renewal so was returning to school. The vigour and excitement of students and the renewed reminder of the importance of education and specifically our school and then further the value of relationships is a lesson not to be forgotten. The creative and independent thinking that staff and students alike experienced are potentially new learnings for us to build upon. May we continue to be guided by our faith as we venture further to new beginnings.

May the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

bring fire to the earth

so that the presence of God

may be seen

in a new light,

in new places,

in new ways.

May our own hearts

burst into flame

so that no obstacle,

no matter how great,

ever obstructs the message

of the God within each of us.

May we come to trust

the Word of God in our heart,

to speak it with courage,

to follow it faithfully

and to fan it to flame in others.

May the Jesus

who filled women

with his Holy Spirit

fill the world and the church

with new respect

for women’s power and presence.

Joan Chittister, OSB



Robyn Rodwell