Each year students continue to amaze me in how they can rise to an occasion and perform beyond their own expectations. August has been a time to celebrate and acknowledge students who have achieved in a variety of academic and cocurricula activities. These moments provide all students with a sense of belonging to something great and thus contributing to the traditions established sixty years ago. Throughout the month the wider community engaged in a variety of events that provided us with an awareness of our role in the Church and how we can provide hope to a Church that is hurting.
Vocations Awareness Week (4th – 11th August)
During National Vocations Awareness Week, we were reminded to pray for vocations of all those who are baptised. We, the Laity (those baptized Christians who do not profess vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in a religious community or who are not ordained deacons, priests or bishops) hold an important role in the life of the Church. We, the laity, are encouraged to use the unique gifts God has given us to bring Christ to those we encounter and share in the mission of the Church.
Following you is a bit like jumping in at the deep end.
Help me as I discern how I can best be me.
Be close to me as I search out which way of life is best for me.
Give me your grace to trust in God, your Abba, and to walk the path that draws me closer to you.
You know my deepest desires.
Give me the courage to follow with a ready will and open heart.
St. Mary MacKillop Feast Day – 8th August
“God Will Take Care of Us All.” We remember St. Mary MacKillop, Australia’s first saint, for her dedication in caring for the poor and destitute. Underpinning all of her activities was her faith in divine Providence. In all the challenges she faced, and the crosses she endured, she never doubted the unceasing protection of ‘our good God’.
Prayer to St. Mary MacKillop
Ever generous God, You inspired Saint Mary MacKillop to live her life faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
and constant in bringing hope and encouragement especially to those who were disheartened, lonely and needy.
With confidence in your generous providence and through the intercession of Saint Mary MacKillop we ask that you grant our request.
We ask that our faith and hope be fired afresh by the Holy Spirit so that we too, like Mary MacKillop, may live with courage, trust and openness.
Ever generous God hear our prayer.
We ask this through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Feast of the Assumption – Holy Day of Obligation
On Thursday 15th August, the College celebrated the Feast Day of the Assumption of Mary at our annual mass. Mary was an inspiration for Edmund Rice and the Christian Brothers and she continues to play a significant role in our lives today for she is the true embodiment of faith. Let us be more like Mary and bring Christ to those around us.
I would like to inform the community that during Week 7, 8 and 9, I will be on Long Service Leave. During my absence Mr Walsh will be the Acting Principal while Mr Borg will be the Acting Deputy Principal. I will be returning in time to acknowledge and celebrate Year 12 during Graduation Day.
It is with great sadness that I inform the College community that our beloved Director of Curriculum has accepted a senior position at Freeman Catholic College, Bonnyrigg for 2020. Mr Gorton has been a valued member of the College for the past eight years. During this time he has had numerous roles such as History Coordinator, Director of Administration and his most recent role of Director of Curriculum. Not only will we miss Mr Gorton’s leadership of this significant portfolio, we will miss his expertise in Ancient History where he has successfully lead numerous students in gaining a Band 6 in their HSC. We will officially farewell Mr Gorton at our Annual Awards Evening in December.
Class of 1974
The College was honoured recently by the return of the Class of 1974. For many of the men, it was 45 years since they last entered the gates of the College. The memories and stories were being shared amongst the 25 men who reminisced of the great time they experienced at the College. We commenced with a liturgy in the Christian Brothers Chapel, followed by morning tea with the staff. Then our students took over with tours of the College. As I walked around with these men and our students, it was if I were a proud father showing off his sons. The compliments from these men made me even prouder because we were maintaining the traditions that they had been part of during their time at the College. How reassuring they were, that we are doing great things with our students. Special thanks to Ms Powell and Mr Culican for their support of this event and all our alumni.
On Friday 23rd August, the annual Winter SleepOut was held on a cold Friday night that saw temperatures plummet to nearly 0 degrees. The student body was well represented with over 40 boys from Y7 – Y12 raising an awareness for those who are homeless. The boys made some interesting shelters for the evening but I am positive there were great learnings from the experience. Being able to sleep one night without all the luxuries of home provides an insight into the life of the homeless. Thanks to Mr Culican, Ms Lister, Mr J Hall, Ms Cook, Mr Margerison, Mr Kennedy-Gould, Mrs Torpy, Mr Walsh, Mr Kilbourne, Mrs Fogliani, Mr Cummins, Ms Shaw, Mr Levy, Ms Shankar and Ms Ede for their willingness to support our students in this worthy initiative.
Father’s Day Liturgy
Thank you to all the Fathers, Grandfathers and significant figures for their attendance at the fourth Father’s Day liturgy at the College. Over 180 joined us in our liturgy. The liturgy provided an opportunity for all our sons to express their appreciation to their father, grandfathers or significant role model. After the liturgy, breakfast was served by our 2020 College Prefects who cooked up a storm with their egg and bacon sandwiches. Thank you to Mr Levy (Y11 Pastoral Coordinator) and Mr Jansz (Director of Pastoral Care) for their support with the breakfast. To Mr Wilson for expertly conducting the College Band and to Miss Ede and the College Choir, thank you for the loving music that make these occasions very special. Special thanks to Mr Culican for the organisation of the liturgy. It was a great way for the College community to celebrate Father’s Day in our sixtieth year.
On Monday 5th August, the College acknowledged the academic success stories from Semester One reports. Over 350 students (approx. 45% of the student population) were recognised for their semester one achievements. Students received a certificate for Academic Excellence (First in Course for Y11 and a Grade “A” for Y7 – 10), Academic Commitment (for a DSE score of above 90%) and Academic Improvement (significant learning gains from Term 1 to Term 2). It was a great celebration of learning within the College and all students should be proud of their achievements. I would like to thank Mr Gorton (Director of Curriculum), Miss M Horne and all our Support Staff who helped bring this significant day together. Thank you to those parents who were in attendance to support their son. Students were challenged to either continue on their successful path or improve on their application over the course of semester two.
Kaimei High School
During the month of August we welcomed over sixteen Japanese students from our partnership school – Kaimei High. A number of our families billeted these students for approximately two weeks. This has become a significant opportunity for many of our students to immerse themselves in the Japanese culture but more importantly they are providing an insight for our guests into life at St Dominic’s College and the experience of living in Sydney. I would like to thank Mrs Baluch for all your organisation in supporting our Japanese guests and for providing this wonderful opportunity for many of our students and their families.
Congratulations to the 2019/2020 College Prefects. During the past five weeks the Year 11 students have been contemplating whether or not they would be suitable to be a member of the next group of College leaders. Year 10, 11 and 12 students voted for the students they considered would lead the College during the next 12months. We were blessed with so many quality candidates who would have all successfully lead the College. I would like to publicly acknowledge and congratulate all the nominees who presented themselves for a leadership role.
However, only fourteen prefect positions were available and it is with great pleasure that we announced these successful applicants to the College at a special assembly. Congratulations to Mitchell Baragry, Jack Benson, Issac Coldicott, Anthony Farrell, Matthew Farrell, Cameron Gill, Riley Ginger, Daniel Goddard, Cooper Hill, Kassem Khanafer, Liam Kroon, Blake Lawson, Alexi Pepper, Trent Whitbread.
These fine young men have the great responsibility to lead the student body in 2019/20.
During the announcement of the 2020 College Prefect assembly, I mentioned to all the students that the development of a leader didn’t start five weeks ago when we commenced the process but rather it commenced five years ago when the students first arrived at St Dominic’s College. All students have carriage of the traditions and leadership of this great College and that they have a definite role in ensuring the leadership of the College is maintained to the high standards set by all the previous students who have walked through the College gates. The challenge for all students is to stand up and be the leader we are seeking for our future.
Following this announcement, Mr Levy, Mr Jansz, Mr Culican and myself had the privilege to host the Leaders Retreat for our newly elected College Prefects. The retreat provided an opportunity for the students to reflect upon their decision to accept their role as leaders. It also allows the students to commence sharing ideas and thoughts into how they will best serve the St Dominic’s College community during the next eighteen months. The elected leaders are most impressive and will confidently continue the great work of all the leaders who have come before them and thus contributing positively to the College. I would like to also thank Mr Walsh and the current College Prefects who shared their insights into their leadership of the College during a reflective session after school on Monday. It was obvious that there is a special bond between members of these two groups. The student leadership of the College is in safe hands.
A reminder to all parents that the optional Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews will be held on Wednesday 11th September. 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. Year 12 parents are particularly encouraged to attend as this will be the last formal opportunity before your sons complete the Year 12 course and prepare for the HSC examinations in term 4.
The Creative Arts and Performing Arts Showcase will be held on Wednesday 4th September 6pm. This is a significant event where boys from the creative and performing arts department display their talent. The Visual Art and Visual Design exhibition will commence from 6pm in the Br Treacy Centre while the Music performances will start from 7pm in the Music Centre.
The College Athletics Carnival provided an opportunity for the future Olympians to show us their talent and for students to immerse themselves in the culture of the College. The day proved to be highly successful with many outstanding performances both in the competitive arena and the novelty side. It was apparent that students were having a great time and really contributed to the success of the day. These College events foster College spirit and promote student engagement in the life of the College.
Congratulations to all members of the MCS Athletics team for their outstanding effort last week at the Annual MCS Athletics Carnival. There were numerous individual performances throughout the day that saw St Dominic’s finish second, again. The relays were a highlight with St Dominic’s winning 4 of the six events. A true testament to the spirit of the team. We displayed true sportsmanship by waiting until all presentations were completed regardless of our second place finish. Special congratulations to our Athletics Captain Lachlan Camilleri who was U18 age champions. Thank you to Mr Peake, Mr J. Hall, Mr B. Hall, Mr Kilbourne and Miss Cook for preparing the team for the carnival and for modelling true sportsmanship to our athletes.
As we approach the second half of the term, let us continue in our own improvement by challenging ourselves to do our personal best.
Let Your Light Shine
Mr M. Ronchetti