Lent has come and gone but the message of Easter is constant as we respond to the invitation of living the gospel in our daily lives and welcome the new possibilities for living our shared mission. Jesus proclaimed a message of justice, peace and forgiveness. As witnesses of this message, we are challenged to bring this message to life through our own lives. “Peace be with you,” are words that lie at the heart of Christianity. This is the Lord’s gift to us. These words are easy to say but they can seem like empty words to those who have no peace in their lives. Therefore, Easter teaches us that our mission is to bring about a community and a world built on human dignity and peace for all people. As the first Easter told us, Love will always prevail.
As we approach the month of May, we are reminded of the lives of Mary, our heavenly mother, Blessed Edmund Rice and St Dominic Savio who were challenged to proclaim the message and openly became witnesses to the message through their own lives. Let us live Jesus in our hearts as we follow in the footsteps of Mary, Edmund and Dominic.
As we commemorate ANZAC Day as a College community, we are reminded that we do not celebrate ANZAC Day, as war is not a theatre that we should celebrate, but rather we remember (commemorate) all those who have served our country for the better good of all. We especially remember those who have paid the ultimate price of war. It is also a time to reflect upon the positive Australian values that are exemplified on ANZAC Day. Values such as self-giving, resilience, courage, generosity, love, care and mercy but to name a few. We have been dethroned with the responsibility of ensuring these values are maintained in our current society so that the lives of so many fine young men and women did not die in vain. As Christians, ANZAC Day is sacred because all human life is precious in God’s sight. The life and fate of each solider who died at Gallipoli and other wars matters to God. Lest we forget.
I would like to thank Mr Rawding, former student Oliver Masters and our student leadership team who assisted the College in commemorating ANZAC Day. Therefore, I pray that all the ordinary men of St Dominic’s can achieve extraordinary feats in their lives. May all our sons demonstrate the values that exemplify the ANZAC’s throughout this term and the whole of the year.
The first term Diligent and Sustained Effort Reports have provided families the ability to review the current progress of our sons. I will be reviewing these over the next few days so I am hopeful that most students have performed at least to the best of their ability, if not beyond their expectations. These reports provide a great opportunity for all students and parents/guardians to evaluate their goals set at the beginning of the year. Setting revised achievable goals for term 2 will provide students with a greater sense of purpose and motivation to continue their learning journey. I would encourage all parents to maintain communication with their son’s teachers if they have any concerns or if they wish to have updates of their sons progress throughout the term.
As you re-evaluate your son’s goals, a reminder that the Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews are the first formal opportunities to meet with your son’s teachers. I do encourage parents to contact your son’s teachers before this day if you have any concerns as it is important to maintain an open dialogue if we are to get the best out of our sons. For Y11 and Y12, Parent/Teacher/Student Interview afternoon is on Wednesday 1st May (3.30pm – 8.00pm). This is a great opportunity for parents to arrange to meet their son’s teachers and discuss the son’s current progress in either the HSC Preliminary course or the Semester One Reports for Y12.
Bookings for all Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews are to be completed on line.
The annual Mother’s Day Mass will be once again celebrated on Wednesday 8th May. This mass has become an integral part of the College and I would encourage all mothers, grandmothers, aunties or any significant women in our son’s lives to be part of this celebration.
When I reflect on my own schooling, the memories that stand out the most are those that I shared with my friends and other members of my school community whether it was on trips away, excursions or retreats. One of these memories, happens to be a football match against St Dominic’s, at St Dominic’s College in 1974. I cannot remember who won but memories of the bus trip, the fact that St Dominic’s had their own ground and meeting another Christian Brother school, lives long in my memories. Over the holidays, two groups represent the College, nationally and internationally. The EREA Football team were exceptionally gallant in this national competition by losing only one game, the semi-final, by penalties. While the Italian Tour visited some of the most historical sites of the world in what was an unbelievable experience. In both cases, the teachers could not have been more complimentary of how the boys represented the College. These young gentlemen were outstanding ambassadors for St Dominic’s. I would like to personally thank all the boys for maintaining the high standards set by the student body. A special thanks of gratitude to all the staff: EREA Football Tour teachers Mr J. Hall, Ms D. Lister, Mr D.D’Sousa; Italian Tour Teachers Mrs S. Baluch, Mrs N. Pritchett and Mr S.Lewis. Your generosity in providing these experiences for our students will hopefully live long in their memories and become talking points for our young men when their have their reunions.
Term 1 was extremely productive with most students settling into the routines of our blended learning environment. Throughout the term, I have made several visits to different classrooms and have been very pleased with the diligent application students have demonstrated towards their studies. It is always great to be able to walk into a classroom and witness how engaged students are in their learning. The BYOD program has been challenging but most rewarding as boys look to learn in an environment that uses technology to foster and support the teaching and learning. Congratulations to all students who have applied themselves to their studies and who have embraced the essence of our College Learning Statement of achieving their personal best, self-directed and creating opportunities for all to learn.
Let Your Light Shine
Mr M. Ronchetti