What’s Been Happening in Religious Education
Last week, we celebrated World Environment Day. We recall Laudato Si’ – Our Common Home where Pope Francis continues to exhort us to focus on our responsibilities to care for our fragile environment. I have shared a link to an examen which is challenging and gets us thinking outside of our comfort zones. It is only short and will take just a minute or two to read, but the questions are something to ponder and reflect upon. Our welfare depends on respectful relationships with other people and the natural world, and especially the most vulnerable. If competition and exploitation dominate, individuals and groups will become wealthy and powerful at the expense of the natural world. But eventually the damage caused by gross inequality to relationships between people and the world will fracture the trust on which economic growth depends. This will leave our children a divided society and a damaged world.
“Care for the environment demands a vision of one another and of the world as inextricably linked so that we take personally the exploitation of the environment and of vulnerable people.”
As continuing tales of terrorism pervade our airwaves, it is difficult to reconcile the violent acts occurring across our world. Pope Francis calls us to pray for the intentions of the world and I have shared below a prayer from Pope Francis that is very pertinent for our time:
Lord, our Father,
the beautiful and harmonious world that you have created for your children
has strayed so far from your dream.
Wars and division are still present,
And are often caused and maintained only because of money.
The arms trade is one of the main reasons for the prolongation of these wars,
so often supported by the rulers themselves.
Lord, touch the hearts of the rulers,
blinded by the arms trade,
and may they consider the consequences of their greed:
the destruction and death of so many innocents.
Convert our hearts to the peace and good of every human being.
Click here to watch the Pope’s video and call to prayer for the intentions of the world.
Australian Catholic Youth Festival
Further to our previous newsletter, I have some more updates about the Festival. On the final night (Saturday 9 December), all of the participants pilgrims will be celebrating mass in the Domain. This is a public event and everyone is welcome to join this fantastic celebration. The Cathedral will also be showing its Christmas light show at this time, so this could become a wonderful family experience celebrating both occasions.
Year 12 have been offered the opportunity to participate in the Festival and have been offered a subsidy from Sydney Catholic Schools if they would like to attend the three days of the Festival. If any Year 12 student is interested in attending, Ms Mirabello has shared with them a document that they will need to add their names to. Sydney Catholic Schools will be in contact with any Year 12 student directly who has registered their interest and will register them as one large group. As these students will have already graduated from Bethany, it is wonderful that our system of schools is able to continue to support them in developing their faith and experience of Church. If anyone would like further information about the Australian Catholic Youth Festival, please use this link to gain more information. Alternately, please feel free to call me at the College and I am happy to answer question that you might have.
Year 12 Retreat
As promised in our last newsletter, I have attached some more photographs from the Mulgoa Retreat.
Leader of Religious Education and Mission