College Principal’s Weekly Address
Monday 7th May
This is my commandment:
“I call you friends”. We often refer to Jesus by honorific titles, such as Lord, but do we always think of him, as he thinks of us, a friend? The Talmud (a Jewish sacred text) suggests that we should do two things: acquire a teacher and choose a friend. In Jesus we have both the best teacher and the best friend we could ever hope to have. As a friend, we can trust Jesus and reveal to him our inner most thoughts and love. Jesus invited us to show his love to all through our actions. As baptised Christians this invitation welcomes everyone into his love and therefore into the love of our Holy Father.
“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.”
–St. Augustine of Hippo
Those who keep his commandments ‘to love one another as I have loved you’ lives in God and God lives in them.
This is a special week in the life of the College as we celebrate the lives of both Blessed Edmund Rice and Saint Dominic Savio during. How amazing it is that the feast days of both our Founders’ is on two consecutive days: Blessed Edmund Rice feast day May 5 and Saint Dominic Savio’s feast Day May 6. These two blessed personalities play a monumental role in the identity of the College and the formation of our students.
St Dominic Savio expressed his love through his devotion to his religion and to those around him. As a young man his sole purpose was for the glory of God from the simplest of tasks to assisting his classmates in their spiritual life. Even though he knew he was dying his love for our Lord never wavered. St Dominic Savio knew what love looked like.
Blessed Edmund Rice was also invited to express his love especially after the tragic death of his wife, Mary Elliot. Through his brokenness, he was moved with compassion to recognise the brokenness of those around him. Through love he sought to liberate the young boys living in poverty while at the same time empowering them with an education that would liberate them from the current hopelessness. Indeed, Edmund Rice welcomed the invitation of Jesus Christ to love one another as Christ has loved us.
The Christian Brothers were drawn to this love of liberating the poor. Their work spread around the world helping all those on the margins. In Australia, they established over 120 schools all responding to God’s call to provide a liberating education for the poor. The Christian Brothers and other members of the Edmund Rice Network are now working in over 30 countries across the world. The work of the Christian Brothers continues to inspire and spread God’s love throughout our schools and across the globe.
Edmund Rice Education Australia continues and renews the response to the educational needs of the day. It is now EREA and those associated with them, that are charged with the responsibility to ensure the Edmund Rice charism lives on through their work with the love of our Lord as they guide those in their care to love one another.
The EREA Eastern Region Learning Conference provided teachers from three schools – St Dominic’s College Penrith, St Patrick’s College Strathfield and Edmund Rice College Wollongong. The professional development day provided teachers from all three schools to engage in professional dialogue about the learning environments provided at each College; staff were able to identify, develop and celebrate the significant areas of knowledge and skills across the Colleges and the staff began to develop a wider network of professionals leading learning in the tradition of Edmund Rice.
The Learning Conference was born of the idea that we do not operate in ‘silos’ but we are connected with the vision and charism of Edmund Rice. As an extended EREA community, we were able to share in professional dialogue, commitment to learning from each other so that we can bring the notion of liberation into a reality. The engagement with the curricular and pedagogy will hopefully equip our students to be more self-aware, skilled in critical thinking and willing to take their place in society as agents of change.
Throughout the course of the day a number of teachers from St Dominic’s College presented to the other schools. Thank you to Mr Meek, Mrs McCormick, Mr Gerlach, Mr MacKinnon, Mrs Peters, Mr Peake, Mr Kilbourne, Mr Bourke, Mrs Atkinson, Mrs Reid, Mr Lewis, Mrs Pritchett, Ms Polidano and Mrs Haydon. Special thanks to Mr Sheil who was the instigator of the Learning Conference and the main organiser of the event. This great learning opportunity for our staff will only benefit the students of our College.
Celebrating Mother’s Day at St Dominic’s has become one of the most significant days on our College calendar. The relationship between a mother and her son/s provides us with an insight into the remarkable relationship that our holy Mother Mary had with her son, Jesus Christ. On Wednesday 9th May, the College invites all mothers, grandmothers and guardians to celebrate the Eucharist in the company of their sons and grandsons to acknowledge this special relationship. The Mother’s Day Mass has become a special occasion in the College calendar. All visitors are invited to a morning tea after the mass. All RSVP’s were due by 1st May for catering purpose. If you have yet to RSVP please do so a.s.a.p. We look forward to seeing you at our special Mother’s Day Mass.
The Y12 Semester One Examinations results will provide our current HSC students with vital information of their current ranking thus informing them of want they need to do to continue along their learning path. The Y11 and Y12 Parent/Student/Teacher Interviews also provide an opportunity for parents along with their son’s, to develop a revised plan for Term 2. Online booking details will be distributed by Thursday.
The Summer Sport Assembly provided the College an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the outstanding contribution of all our players and staff to the summer sports commitments. The assembly acknowledged the following:
· Basketball – Y8, Y9, B Grade and A Grade MCS Premiers; Y10 MCS Runners-up
· Cricket – Y10 MCS Premiers; B Grade and A Grade Runners-up
· Rugby 7’s – U14 Runners-up
· Swimming Age Champions
· Cross Country Age Champions
· MCS and NSWCCC Swimming representatives
· MCS Baseball representatives
· MCS Softball representatives
· MCS Football representatives
· Cricket NSWCCC representatives
· Tennis NSWCCC representatives
· Softball NSWCCC representatives
St Dominic’s has a long tradition of success in both the MCS Rugby League and Football competitions. The College was again proud to present the 1st XV Rugby League team and the 1st XI Football team to the College community as they add their stories and successes to the history of the College. Thank you to Mr Peake and Mr Kilbourne for the organisation of the assembly and for their ongoing support of sport at the College. A special thank you to our MC’s for the assembly Jacob Cohen (Cultural and Sport Prefect) and Nicholas Thornton (Cultural and Sport Prefect) who were outstanding in their role.
A reminder to all parents/carers that our second P&F Principal Q&A Parent Forum will be held from 7.00pm – 8.00pm next Monday 14th May during Parent/Student/Teacher Interviews. The main focus of the evening will be Cyber Bullying. There will be a short presentation on how to best support your son with Cyber Bullying. We are hoping to have the Police Education Officer present to provide additional information on how to best support our sons.
Let Your Light Shine
Mr M. Ronchetti