Caring for our common home

“Praise be to you, my Lord.”  These were the words St Francis of Assisi in his wonderful song of creation.  He reminds us that the earth is our common home and that it is our responsibility to take care of our common home.  St Francis approached all of creation with awe and wonder.  He saw all creatures as sisters and brothers rather than viewing them as a mere economic commodity.  He felt compelled to care for all creation as though it were part of his family. To him, all creation was beautiful and couldn’t help but break into song with praise for it.  As a man of faith, St Francis saw creation as a window through which he also saw God.  Pope Francis in his encyclical encourages humanity to shift to a more sustainable approach to not only assist the environment but the world’s poorest people.  He encourages us all to not ignore the problem but to become part of a solution to the many ecological challenges the world is facing.  Let us be encouraged by Pope Francis and St Francis in doing our bit in caring for our common home for our children and our Grandchildren so that they, too, can experience the wonders of the world.


Reflection – The Canticle of Creation (by Saint Francis of Assisi)

O Most High, all-powerful, good Lord God,

to you belong praise, glory,

honour and all blessing.

Be praised, my Lord, for all your creation

and especially for our Brother Sun,

who brings us the day and the light;

he is strong and shines magnificently.

O Lord, we think of you when we look at him.

Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Moon,

and for the stars

which you have set shining and lovely

in the heavens.

Be praised, my Lord,

for our Brothers Wind and Air

and every kind of weather

by which you, Lord,

uphold life in all your creatures.

Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Water,

who is very useful to us,

and humble and precious and pure.

Be praised, my Lord, for Brother Fire,

through whom you give us light in the darkness:

he is bright and lively and strong.

Be praised, my Lord,

for Sister Earth, our Mother,

who nourishes us and sustains us,

bringing forth

fruits and vegetables of many kinds

and flowers of many colours.

Be praised, my Lord,

for those who forgive for love of you;

and for those

who bear sickness and weakness

in peace and patience

– you will grant them a crown.

Be praised, my Lord, for our Sister Death,

whom we must all face.

I praise and bless you, Lord,

and I give thanks to you,

and I will serve you in all humility.

Pope’s Message for World Mission 20th October 2019

World Mission Sunday in 2019 falls on 20 October. Instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1926, the annual day encourages prayers, cooperation and help for missions as well as reminding Christians about the fundamental missionary character of the Church and of every baptized person.

The theme of this year’s observance is “Baptised and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World.

 Please click here to view the full text of the Pope’s Message.

The Feast Day of St John Paul II – 22nd October.

St John Paul was a Pope for all people.  He served many different aspects of the Church including that as an advocate for peace.  As a Promoter of Peace he charted a path to peace and solidarity, proclaiming to the nations that we are all our brothers’ keeper and that we owe an obligation in solidarity to one another and, most especially, to the poor in all of their appearances. He wrote of authentic freedom as a freedom “for” and not just a freedom “from”, a freedom that must be bounded by truth and lived in accordance with the moral understanding of our obligation to do what is right.

 The commencement of any term signals an opportunity for all our students to reflect on the previous term and hopefully put into place strategies that will assist them in becoming better people and better learners. By reviewing their DSE reports students in Y7 – 10 are encouraged to immediately place these strategies into place as the end of their academic year is fast approaching.  Y10 in particular, only have two teaching and learning weeks before their examinations in week 5 and then their camp in week 6.  Y11, on the other hand, have just completed their HSC Preliminary course and commence the HSC program.  I encourage all students to become the great people we know they are and in doing so making St Dominic’s, great.


 The Blue and White Ball

Celebrating 60 years of St Dominic’s College was an glamorous affair. With the lights of the Harbour Bridge in the background, Doltone House at Jones Bay Wharf was painted blue and white so that the wonderful community from Penrith could celebrate the outstanding achievements of a small EREA school from the west of Sydney.  Those in attendance reflected upon the valuable years they spent at the College and the important role that St Dominic’s played in their formation as men and women.  I would like to sincerely thank all those who celebrated with the current community of teacher and parents.  Your stories are now folklore and part of the history of this great College.  Special thanks to Jennifer Walsh and Jacquie Powell who were instrumental in the organisation of this beautiful celebration.


Term 3 DSE High Achievers

As I reviewed the Term 3 DSE Reports it was great to see so many students showing improvement from their Term 2 Report.  I would like to congratulate the following students, in particular, for receiving 100% in their DSE score. This is an outstanding achievement.

 Year 7

Joshua Baldacchino  (Tench)

Christian Durante  (Rice)

Bailey Murphy  (Rice)

William Smith  (Surawski)

 Year 8

Kennedy Stoor  (Dharuk)

Year 9

Luke Micallef  (Rice)

Snehin Talusani  (Surawski)

Jarryd Torrevillas (Surawski)

Year 10

Jayden Divertie  (Surawski)

Anthony Manoukian  (Dharuk)

Jacob Zordoumis  (Dharuk)


Thank you Mr Sheil

College communities are always evolving with new staff and students providing great energy and enthusiasm when they commence their journey with us.  Departing from such an inclusive community is not only difficult for the individual but it can be very disappointing from the community at large.  Therefore, it is with great sadness that I inform the community that Mr David Sheil will be departing St Dominic’s after 11 years as a significant leader of the College Executive. His leadership in the transformation of St Dominic’s from a technological novice, to a College that can proudly stand amongst the best technological schools in Australia.  Mr Sheil will continue to the end of the year before he takes up his new position with the Parramatta diocesan.  We thank Mr Sheil for his contribution to St Dominic’s over his time with us and wish him ever success in his new endeavour.

Outside the normal teaching and learning activities that populate each day, there have been many College activities in the first three weeks of Term4, including: 

Naplan Results

Students in Y7 & Y9 have received their NAPLAN results with some outstanding group and individual achievements.  This is a one off set of exams thus making it difficult to connect to what students are learning at the time.  However, in does provide us with some insight to how well our literacy and numeracy intervention strategies may be tracking.  I was extremely pleased to read of the numerous success stories of students who have achieved beyond expected growth in one of more of the NAPLAN domains.  The numeracy results, in particular, are impressive. Though greater inspiration is required with our written responses our overall results provide us with great encouragement that our students are focused on their learning improvement.  There continues to be much to do and I encourage all students to continue to pursue their personal best in their pursuit of excellence.

Senior Retreat

Our Y11 students were actively involved in the Senior Retreat over the first three days of Term 4.  Unlike anything they have experienced previously, the senior retreat provides our young gentlemen an opportunity to contemplate life and the role God may play with their lives as they develop into men for the future.  There has been some honest and robust discussion which has been healthy for all especially for the boys to understand that everyone has a view and though it may be different to mine, they have a right to express their views.  This will be the last opportunity for our senior students to spend quality time together before the rigours and expectations of their final year commence. Special thanks to all the staff who facilitated these retreats.


Co-curricular Assembly

This was held on Friday, 18th October was another wonderful celebration, acknowledging the outstanding contribution of both staff and students to the co-curricular life of the College.  The positive nature of all reports clearly indicate the great relationships staff have with their students.  At the assembly, I posed the question “What does it truly mean to ‘raise the bar’ or maintaining the high standards?  Sometimes we take for granted that everyone understands these phrases but at times I am uncertain.  These questions encourages all to do their personal best whether it be Behaviour, Academic or Relationships (BAR), it is the responsibility of individuals to strive to be the best person they can be.  I encourage all students to be genuine in their effort to ‘raise the bar’ and to be honest with themselves as they become this good person.  Once again, congratulations to all our Term 3 teams and especially to all the individuals who represented the College at the NSW level.


Year 7, 2020

Welcome to the family, Y7 2020 students and families as they embarked on their St Dominic’s during Orientation Day and Parent Information evening.  Both events were an outstanding success especially the Orientation Day as it was filled with a variety of learning activities as well as an opportunity to be involved in some sport activities. The students also commenced their learning agenda with us as they engaged in a STEM and Embark activity.  I would like to congratulate our College Prefects and our Student Representative Council who supported the future Dommies boys throughout the day.  We look forward to formally welcoming the students in 2020.

Investiture of the College Student Leaders and the announcement of College Captain and College Prefect Portfolios

At our College Assembly on Wednesday 23rd October, Cooper Hill was inducted as the 2019 College Captain.  Cooper will be greatly supported by Isaac Coldicott who has been elected as College Vice-Captain.  This is a great honour for any young man. Cooper, Isaac and the whole Prefect body have the great honour and responsibility to uphold the outstanding reputation of not only the College but of all the Prefects who have gone before them.  I would also like to congratulate the College Prefects who have accepted the following Portfolios:


Cooper Hill


Isaac Coldicott


House Prefect

House Prefect

House Prefect

House Prefect

Jack Benson

Daniel Goddard

Riley Ginger

Cameron Gill









Alexi Pepper

Matthew Farrell

Liam Kroon

Anthony Farrell











Trent Whitbread

Kassem Khanafer

Blake Lawson

Mitchell Baragry


Year 7:             Daniel Goddard, Trent Whitbread, Alexi Pepper

Year 8:             Matthew Farrell, Blake Lawson, Riley Ginger

Year 9:             Mitchell Baragry, Liam Kroon

Year 10:           Kassem Khanafeh, Cameron Gill                                 

Year 11:           Anthony Farrell, Jack Benson                                         

Year 12:           Cooper Hill,    Isaac Coldicott

Year 11 Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews

A reminder to all Y11 parents that the Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews will be held on Wednesday 6th November. Bookings can be made through our online service.  This is a great opportunity for all parents to speak with their son’s teachers and discuss their son’s development especially as they move into their HSC year.


MCS Term 4 Representative sports

MCS Term 4 Representative sports commenced at the beginning of the term. Our cricket and basketball have made a successful start with most teams undefeated.  Representing the College is an honour and brings with it great responsibility.  Good luck to all our teams in their respective sports.

Congratulations to our Intermediate (Y9 & Y10) Basketball team who successful retained the NSW CCC Junior Competition on Tuesday 29th October.  The team did not seem to be troubled by any opposition and won the final by approximately 30 points.  Congratulations to all the players for their continued success.  A special thanks to Coach Kilbourne and Manager Mrs Birkett who have guided this team for a number of years. Unfortunately, our Junior team (Y7/Y8) finished an admirable third.  Congratulations to Mr Kilbourne (Intermediate coach), Mrs Birkett (Intermediate Manager), Mr Godsell (Junior coach) and Miss Cook (Junior manager) for their ongoing support of sport at the College.  For a third year in a row we hold the Intermediate and Senior NSW titles. This is an outstanding achievement by players, coaches and managers.

Could parents please attend to overdue school fees as soon as possible. Whilst many families have contacted the College Fees Office, a number of families are yet to do so. There are numerous ways in which you can pay you fees and these have been highlighted in previous newsletters and also appear on the back of your invoices. Families who are having some difficulties with their school fees can simple contact the College to discuss any financial problems that may have arisen and make arrangements that they can commit to. The College has a very clear process to follow for any families who may be encountering some financial hardship. I ask that you contact either Ms Powell or myself to discuss your fees should you be unable to finalise your account.

Dominus Mea

Let Your Light Shine


Mr M. Ronchetti – College Principal