What’s Been Happening in Religious Education
The beginning of the new school year always brings many hopes and aspirations for both academic and personal growth. 2017 is no different for all of our students as we begin the new year with new teachers, new friends and new goals for our learning. Many of us may have made New Year’s Resolutions that will enable us to be better people and enhance the quality of our lives for ourselves and for others. Pope Francis also made a list of New Year’s Resolutions that I would like to share with you:
- Don’t gossip
- Finish your meals
- Make time for others
- Choose the “more humble” purchase
- Meet the poor “in the flesh”
- Stop judging others
- Befriend those who disagree
- Make commitments such as marriage
- Make it a habit to “ask the Lord”
- Be happy
This is a practical list with many things that can be easily adopted into the choices and decisions that we make. Pope Francis is definitely a practical and down to earth leader whose suggestions and recommendations are certainly worth thinking about. As our new school year is beginning, perhaps these could become a part of what we could focus on and add to our own goals and resolutions for 2017.
We have also had a very busy start to the Year with both our staff mass and whole school mass to welcome the beginning of the 2017 school year. As a Catholic school, it is always fitting to begin with prayer and the celebration of the Eucharist as a community is a most appropriate way to come together and welcome our new staff and students to our College. Both of these masses have been beautiful celebrations and a testament to the shared spirituality of our staff and students. This term, we are fortunate to be able to celebrate four liturgical celebrations together – our opening school mass, Ash Wednesday, Bethany Day and our Easter liturgy. Please look out in future newsletters for more details about these celebrations.
This year, we are weaving a spiritual theme into our masses and liturgies. The focus this year is “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14). We have all been privileged to have been called and chosen through our baptism. The promises that we made (or were made on our behalf by our Godparents) come with a responsibility to proclaim the good news of Jesus. It means that we have a responsibility to live our lives by modelling Gospel values and to show others, through our actions, words and deeds, what it really means to be a Catholic. As part of our ongoing journey to live out Gospel values and to acknowledge the charisms of both the Sisters of Charity and the Sisters of St Joseph, we have allocated to each year group a Gospel value that they will be encouraged and challenged to incorporate more fully into their daily lives. At each of our liturgies and at other appropriate times throughout the year, the students will have an opportunity to engage with the value allocated to them and to explore ways that they can be models of living Gospel values. The Gospel values allocated to each year group are listed below and I encourage you to speak with your daughters about how they can integrate these into their daily lives:
Relationships – Year 7
- We value positive relationships
- We know that our relationships are bound together by our love of God
- We aim to be spiritual friends bringing out the best in each other
Acceptance – Year 8
- We keep our school to be a place that is safe and supportive
- We place the dignity of the human person – spirit, soul and body – at the centre of every thought and action.
- We protect one another from harm
Justice – Year 9
- We treat each person in our community fairly
- We strive to do the work of God each day
- We reach out to those in need and be agents of change in the world
Welcome – Year 10
- We have a commitment to openness, inclusion and hospitality
- We welcome, in Jesus’ name, all who visit Bethany College
- We work hard to understand others
Service – Year 11
- We lovingly care for the needs of others
- We are the hands of God
- We lovingly serve God in the service of others
Wholeness – Year 12
- We acknowledge that every human being has the potential for complete wholeness and humility.
- We believe that each individual, made in the image and likeness of God, respects themselves and others.
- We believe in restorative practices that promote wholeness.
I wish you all the very best for a wonderful 2017 and very much look forward to working with your daughters.
Leader of Religious Education and Mission