Navigating through the term seems so much harder than in previous years. I cannot believe we have already reached Week 7 and students are frantically completing their first assessment tasks. I suppose this is the nature of our society but somehow, we need to ensure we can stop and smell the roses so that we appreciate the journey and all that it may bring.
The next few weeks are a very important period for Y12 students as they prepare for their Semester One HSC Assessment Block. This forms a significant part of their Semester One report and marks the halfway point for their HSC assessments. For all other students’, good routines now will support their learning for the remainder of the year. As I reflect over the past six weeks and the array of events that have consumed the College in a COVID-19 environment. I am totally grateful to the fantastic staff that have supported our students and the College during this time.
Though COVID-19 restrictions impact us daily, the College has made every attempt to continue as normal as possible. The Opening College Mass and Investiture of the College Student Prefects was a wonderful liturgical celebration signifying the official commencement of the College academic year. Unfortunately, only Y12 and Y8 were present at the mass however, we were able to invite the parents of the College Student Prefects which was a welcome addition to our celebration of the academic year and Y12 students.
We were blessed with our celebrate Fr Gregory Jacobs SJ, who encouraged all our students to ‘renew the earth’ by improving their relationships and interactions with those they encounter. He stressed this is a matter of choice therefore it is the responsibility of the individual to support all the community in making this world a better place.
In my address to the community, I too encouraged the students to make a difference, when I stated:
‘The beginning of a new school year provides great optimism and opportunity for every member of the College community. We need to unite and collectively support each other, for we have the power to liberate our hearts and minds so that we are inspired, empowered and ‘hope-filled’ for a better world in 2021.
As Pope Francis reminds us, “Many things have to change course, but it is we human beings above all who need to change”. So, as we listen to words of Pope Francis, let us be open to changing ourselves from within, for greatness lies within each and every one of us.
We must play our role, and it is not an option, we must renew the earth with conviction, determination and dedication; therefore, it is in the College motto, Dominus Lux Mea, that we must trust so that the light of Jesus shines brightly within our hearts, as we renew the world, walking humbly with our God.’
As we pass the halfway mark of the term, I hope that our community has commenced well in making a difference.
I would like to acknowledge our special guests who were able to be present with us at our mass:
To Br Michael Hoffman and Br Jeffrey Regan (two former Principals of the College). Your ongoing support of the College has been reassuring to me and the community as we maintain a connection of our past leaders and to the Christian Brothers. To Mr Rosato, Principal of Bethany Primary School. Our connections to the local Catholic primary schools are essential as we endeavour to educate our children in a Catholic environment spreading the Good news. To all the Y12 parents who were able to attend their last Opening College Mass and to those who viewed the mass via our livestream. This may have ignited several emotions especially if this year signifies an end to a long association with the College. Thank you to all parents for their ongoing support and I look forward to working in partnership throughout as we support all our sons achieve their personal best. To our wonderful staff who made The Opening College Mass such a special Eucharistic celebration:
- To our musicians lead by Mr Wilson and our singers lead by Ms Ede. Thank you for your continual support and encouragement of all our boys.
- To Mr Hine and the sound and lighting crew. Thank you for ensuring our assemblies/masses run as smoothly as possible.
- My thanks to all our support staff and in particular Mrs Tyrrell and Mrs Michaleris who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to bring the mass to fruition.
- To all our maintenance team, Mr Henderson, Mr Browne and Mr Powell who dedicated many hours to ensure the Br Warner Hall is presented as our sacred space.
- To our wonderful staff, for being so accommodating in supporting our Opening College Mass and for your continued support of our students and their aspirations,
- A special thanks of appreciation and congratulations to our Director of Identity, Mr Culican, who worked diligently for many weeks to ensure we had a meaningful liturgical experience.
Over these first six weeks, staff and students have been actively involved in numerous events that are typical for this time of the year. We have:
- Celebrated the 2020 HSC High Achievers
- Welcomed Y7 and their parents at our Y7 Welcoming Liturgy
- Provided support for our Y12 parents at our informative Y12 Parents Surviving the HSC evening
- The Y10 Record of Student Achievement (RoSA) information evening
- The Y7 camp was a fantastic experience for all our students. The friendships and memories from this experience will remain with all the students and become part of their folklore when their have reunions in the future
- The College Swimming Carnival
- Cooked our annual pancakes for Shrove Tuesday and raised over $300. The prefects were outstanding in their cooking of these pancakes. They were ably supported by Mr Jansz and Mr Culican
- Commenced our Lenten period with Ash Wednesday Ceremonies.
These are but some of the main activities that have populated our College calendar. Please refer to the College Website to read more about these events.
The College Open Day (Sunday March 7 and Monday March 8) is an extremely important event in the College calendar as it provides prospective families an opportunity to visit and experience the College. Though this year we were limited by numerous restrictions, we were able to provide over 500 families, over the two days, the opportunity to experience our wonderful College and interact with many students and teachers. It was once again the tour guides, our student volunteers, and the classroom presentations that truly influenced the prospective boys and their parents of the quality that exists here at the College and why they should apply to be enrolled into this great College. Many thanks to the staff and students who gave up their Sunday and Monday evening to assist in presenting this great College.
A reminder to all prospective families that enrolment applications are due by Thursday 1st April.
MCS representative sport completes a summer season in the middle of COVID-19 restrictions.
I would like to congratulations all our MCS representative teams for ensuring we were able to complete the season considering some of the restrictions that were enforced. Special congratulations to our 2020/21 Premiers:
1st XI Cricket: Mr McKay and Mr Ahern
Y8 Cricket: Mr Rawding and Mr MacKinnon
1st V Basketball: Mr Hine and Ms Atkinson
2nd V Basketball: Miss Cook and Mr Kennedy-Gould
Y10 Basketball: Mr Bourke and Mr Godsell
Y8 Basketball: Mr Kilbourne and Mrs Birkett
The Football and Rugby League representative teams are preparing for the new season. The Football teams commence their season on Thursday 11th March while the Rugby League teams will commence their season on Thursday 18th March. At this stage, The Metropolitan Catholic Schools Association have indicated that no spectators are permitted to the games.
As we move into the second half of the term, I look forward to seeing some exceptional Term 1 results that hopefully we transfer into a positive learning experience for all.
Dominus Lux Mea
Mr Michael Ronchetti
St Dominic’s College Principal