As I reflect upon 2020, I am amazed how we, as a community, were able to navigate through such a challenging year.
From the fear of contracting the Coronavirus, to the numerous COVID-19 communications ensuring our College was safe, to the restrictions enforced upon us, not only as a school but as a community in general, we were able to collectively navigate the challenges with great patience and understanding. I would like to sincerely thank our community from staff, to students, to the parents, for helping make this year a memorable one, not because of the virus, but how we as a community were able to support each other through the rough seas and finally reach calmer waters.
I am not sure what the beginning of 2021 will look like, however I am confident that our community will once again be ready and willing to what is right to making our world a better place.
The Christmas Season always encourages joy and happiness. This year, in particular the good will of the season is needed more than ever. The season also reminds me that this is not always a reality for all our community especially the lonely, the marginalised, the poor, the homeless. I do hope that through our prayers and love, all people across the world receive a little of the blessings of Christmas. May we all receive the greatest gift this Christmas, the gift of Christ’s love for all of us. Perhaps we can set a place for Him at our Christmas table as we celebrate his birth.
I would like to wish our community a holy and joyful Christmas and may 2021 be filled with laughter and happiness. Keep safe and healthy over the Summer Break and I look forward to welcoming our community back in 2021, especially the new staff and students.
I BELIEVE that Christmas is more than a time for parties and ornaments; it is a time for remembering Christ and the incarnation of God’s love in human flesh.
I BELIEVE there are gifts more important than the ones under the Christmas tree, the things we teach our children, the way we share ourselves with friends, and the industry with which we set about reshaping the world in our time.
I BELIEVE that the finest carols are often sung by the poorest voices; from hearts made warm by the wonder of the season.
I BELIEVE in the angel’s message that we should not be afraid—that the Child of Bethlehem is able to overcome all anxieties and insecurities.
I BELIEVE in prayer and quietness as a way of appropriating Christmas—that if I wait in silence I will experience the presence of the one born in the manger, for he lives today as surely as he lived then.
I BELIEVE in going away from Christmas as the wise men went: “another way.” I want to be different when these days are past—more centred, more thoughtful, more caring.
And I believe God will help me. Amen
It has been a week since our students finished for 2020. Our Awards Ceremonies last week were a fantastic acknowledgment of the outstanding achievements of so many fine young men of our esteemed College. Their achievements this year were even more extraordinary because of the challenges presented by COVID-19, however, with the support of teachers and parents, our young men took every opportunity and excelled in so many different areas. On behalf of the College, I would like to thank staff, students and parents for being resilient in continuing our learning agenda and providing the best learning environment possible. Well done to all.
The College Theme for 2020, “Voices for a Better World” called us to be the voice for the voiceless by faithful followers of Christ, by being positive influencers, by sowing love, and bringing happiness to those around me, by expressing forgiveness to those who have hurt me and by being an instrument of God’s peace in the world. If we were able to advocate for those on the margin in this manner, then we have been active voices in ensuring we make a difference in a world that has faced adversity in 2020 with resilience and determination to support all people. As you prepare for the Festive Season, prepare also for the birth of our saviour Jesus Christ who was, and always will be, a constant voice for the marginalised, the refugees, the poor, the victims of domestic violence and crime and the struggles of women. Through his intercession we can continue to be this voice in 2021.
In 2020, we farewell three longstanding staff members of the College. These men have been part of the St Dominic’s landscape for a combined total of 54 years and each one of them has played a significant role in the development and improvement of the College.
Mr Brad Gordon has been a member of the College for the past 14 years. As the College Accountant, Mr Gordon, has been instrumental in supporting the financial sustainability of the College. On behalf of the College I would like to thank Mr Gordon and wish him peace and joy as he commences his retirement.
Mr Mark Levy has been a significant member of the College over the past 19 years. During this time Mr Levy has been an inspiration for so many young men through his gentle but firm leadership. It is this fair and just manner that students really appreciate. Mr Levy, we wish you well in your retirement and thank you for all that you have done for the students in your care over the years. Though you are moving to Queensland, I know you will continue drinking your lemonade and supporting the mighty NSW Blues. Thank you Mr Levy.
Throughout your life journey, you meet people who leave a lasting impression. Mr Barry Walsh is such a person. Mr Walsh has been a loyal member of St Dominic’s for the past 21 years. During this time, he has had the position of Pastoral Coordinator, Mathematics Coordinator, Director of Administration and Deputy Principal. It has been as Deputy Principal that he has been able to have a significant influence on the improvement agenda of the College. Through his love for the College and its students, he has initiated many projects that have now become engrained in the culture of the College. This is a true indication of the influence of this honourable man. I will personally miss his friendship, and I know the College will miss his wealth of experience and knowledge. Mr Walsh, thank you for all you have done for St Dominic’s and we wish you every success at our brother EREA school, Edmund Rice College, Wollongong.
I would also like to acknowledge the services of Mrs Thompson, Mr McGillicuddy and Mr Keightley who have elected to pursue other endeavours outside of school. On behalf of the College I would like to thank them for their contribution to St Dominic’s and we wish them every success in their future endeavours. God bless them all.
To Mrs Amore and Mrs Stanley who will be taking Maternity Leave and preparing for the birth of their first child, I pray for both of you during this exciting time of your lives and look forward to seeing your beautiful child once born. This is a special time in your lives, so enjoy and may God keep you in the palm of his hands.
I wish you every success as you prepare for next year and hopefully in 2021, we will return to some normality as we continue in our formation as young gentlemen of this great College.
Let Your Light Shine
Mr M. Ronchetti