Once Jesus was in a certain place praying, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples. He said to them, ‘Say this when you pray:
“Father, may your name be held holy, your kingdom come; give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive each one who is in debt to us. And do not put us to the test.”
This gospel reading by Luke provides the foundation for The Our Father prayer. As Jesus explains to his disciples what to say when praying, he introduces us to the ‘Our Father’. Thomas Aquinas stated:
“The Lord’s Prayer [the ‘Our Father’] is the most perfect of prayers… In it we ask, not only for all the things we can rightly desire, but also in the sequence that they should be desired. This prayer not only teaches us to ask for things, but also in what order we should desire them”
Jesus tells us that we must persist in prayer, to continue to pester God. He then gives us very good news, a very consoling piece of information: He says:
“Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
This sounds perfectly fine, but the challenge is believing and that comes down to faith. Believing in God brings hope. Hope in the fulfillment of his promises. The more we pray, the happier we become. The more we pray, the less anxious we become, and we are filled with a greater peace of mind and heart. The more we pray, the more we understand ourselves, for we come to know God more intimately, by experience and we really only know ourselves to the degree that we know God personally. The more we pray, we begin to see the hand of God in our day to day life, that is, we see Him acting in our life. We begin to see that He loves us, personally. That makes life so much more meaningful. May we be strengthened by prayer and hope as it strengthens our relationship with God and all those around us, especially as we are faced with the challenges and uncertainties of a society living in a pandemic.
When faced with adversity we look to others for support and guidance. During these challenging times, it has been the overwhelming support of the St Dominic’s community that has provided us the strength and resilience to overcome what this pandemic has thrown at us. Whether it be isolation from family and friends, concerns for the elderly, loss of job, financial hardship, anxiety of contracting the virus, stress of completing HSC major works, catching the school bus or living with constant uncertainty, we have remained hopeful and optimistic knowing we have each other. As a community of the Church, let us pray for those who are suffering and deeply affected by the pandemic. May the joy and love of Christ be with everyone.
The pandemic has encouraged us all to think creatively and consider the alternatives to how we would usually communicate valuable information. The Y10 Subject Selection process has been challenging however, the creativity of Mr Borg, Mr Gerlach, Mrs Michaleris and our faculty Coordinators have produced informative promotional videos for their departments. All Key Learning Coordinators addressed Y10 to outline their departments courses for senior study. These presentations and the video clips will help students and their parents make informed decisions about the course of study for 2021/22. I would encourage all students to discern carefully and choose wisely.
As we returned for Term 3, I was very hopeful that we could be able to continue with many of our sporting and co-curricula commitments. With the increasing number of COVID-19 positive cases across Sydney, it became obvious that this returning to ‘normality’ was not going to be as smooth as we hoped. Last week we remained hopeful when our two Open Rugby League and Football teams played Holy Cross Ryde in a friendly match. Both teams performed exceptionally well and were outstanding in their sportsmanship and ensuring they followed the safety measures implemented by both Colleges. The opportunity to wear the blue and white and the honour it provides each player was obvious in the way the players approached the game. Unfortunately, this will be the last time the Year 12 students, from the Open Football team, will be able to represent the College. It has been an honour that you have participated in representative sport for the College over your six years. The Open Rugby League team has another game next week in the Schoolboy Trophy. We wish them every success against St Patrick’s, Blacktown.
Unfortunately, besides these games, the MCS has cancelled all representative sport for Term 3. This was very disappointing news for all our AFL and touch players, coaches and managers who have been training enthusiastically over the past two weeks. I am saddened that our Year 12 athletes will not be able to complete in a carnival that they have represented the College so proudly since Year 7. Challenged by these disappointments has become more frequent, of late, but it doesn’t mean we are not frustrated and disappointed.
On the positive side, Year 11 Geography had a field trip to the Blue Mountains, White Card training was conducted, incursion for Year 9 Visual Art students and Year 12 enjoying science practical lessons.
The St Dominic’s community continues to grow and recently we were blessed with the arrival of three beautiful babies. Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Zammit for the birth of a beautiful daughter, Clara; to Mr and Mrs Chapman for the birth of Zeke Aleksander and to Mr and Mrs Churchill for their daughter, Willow Joan. May God bless and look over both our new members.
Celebrating and acknowledging success is something we at the College do very well. We also enjoy in the successes of students once they leave the College. Congratulations to Nicolas Milanovic, class of 2019, for signing a professional football contract with the Western United in the A-League. May God protect and guide Nicolas as he commences his career in football.
Academic Awards Ceremony will also look differently in 2020. Normally, we would acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding achievements as a whole community but due to the restrictions we will be having year-based assemblies. It is important that we still recognise these achievements because the students have had to work differently while online. New skills and learning habits have been achieved and under these difficult conditions these young men have completed the Semester One studies with distinction. Not celebrating these achievements would go against our culture of recognising these learning achievements.
All students should have received their Semester One report. I encourage all families to review their report and reassess their goals for Semester 2. Setting new targets will assist all students to continue on a positive learning journey. There may also need to be some difficult conversations around the necessary improvement for a number of students. I would also encourage parents to discuss any concerns with their son’s teachers so that, in partnership, we can attain the required outcome. The Parent/Student/Teacher interviews for Year 7 – Year 10 scheduled for Week 2 and Week 3 is a great opportunity to share either your joy or concerns with your sons teachers. These online meetings proved very successful for Year 12 and as I walk around this evening, Thursday 29th July, it once again appears to be successful. Though the human interaction is something we prefer, the online interaction was informative and important in providing the appropriate feedback for students to know what they have to do to continue on their learning journey.
Many great things are happening at the College and I encourage all families to visit our website to view the extraordinary work by the students. The St Dominic’s carnival -flashback video reminds all of us of the fun we have as community at an athletics carnival. So many great memories to enjoy.
Continue to stay safe and healthy throughout the term.
Let Your Light Shine
Mr M. Ronchetti