Last week we commenced the season of Lent with our Ash Wednesday liturgy. The season of Lent provides us with the opportunity to reflect on our relationship with God through prayer, with others through service, and with self through sacrifice, thus responding both prayerfully and in action to God’s challenge for us to live in ‘right relationship’. Lent enables us to be renewed, re-committed, and reborn in grace and goodness to follow Jesus.
God of all peoples and nations,
You accompany us on our Lenten journey.
Through the life and mission of your son, You give us the gift of mercy.
May we learn to walk Your way of mercy and compassion with all Your people.
In a special way, we keep in mind our neighbours, the men, women and children
around the world who are most vulnerable to extreme poverty and injustice.
Bless our prayers, our fasting and our Lenten gifts to Project Compassion.
Through these actions, may our hearts be open to receive Your grace to love our neighbours as ourselves.
We ask this in the name of Jesus.
Whilst on the theme of relationships, last fortnight has provided many opportunities for positive relationships to be formed, built and nurtured. Our twilight tours, enrolment interviews for 2019, and our ‘New Parents’ Dinner’ are examples of new relationships being formed. Our wonderful senior school ‘Grandparents High Tea’ and our Father Daughter Mass and BBQ nurtured very deep and meaningful relationships between our grandparents, parents and daughters. Our Year 7 Camp provided a wonderful opportunity to build on new relationships that have been developing since the beginning of the year. Positive and supportive relationships underpin all that we say and do at Loreto as they help us live healthier, happier and more satisfied lives.
To mark International Women’s Day on Wednesday 8th March the Student Executive prepared a range of initiatives to engage the girls in a deeper understanding of the purpose of celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Please read Ms O’Keeffe’s article for further details. Our three Benenson Leaders represented Loreto at the UN International Women’s Day breakfast, while ten Year 10 girls attended a breakfast at Monte Sant’ Angelo College to mark the day and on Friday three Year 12 students attended a breakfast with the theme “Will you #BeBoldForChange?
This week we also welcomed students and staff for our Mary Ward Connect week. Our guests this year were from Loreto Ballarat and Coorparoo. It was wonderful to have the students and staff from our extended Loreto family spend time with us. We look forward to hearing about the wonderful experiences of our Year 10 students who attended the exchange and visited Loreto Ballarat and Coorparoo, accompanied by Ms Leahy and Ms Fowler. This annual program, organised by the Loreto Schools of Australia Committee (LSAC), seeks to foster links between our schools in a spirit of community learning and felicity.
As mentioned, on Sunday our fathers, grandfathers and fatherly figures gathered to celebrate Mass with their daughters, to pray and give thanks for the love that they share as fathers and daughters. Special thanks to Fr Senan Ward OSA for celebrating Mass, Ms Josie Ryan for supporting P&F Presidents Ian Yard-Smith and Danielle Crews in the preparation of the Mass and Ms Odell for accompanying the musicians and choir. Thanks are also extended to the many staff who attended. Once again members of our P&F Association were in full swing preparing the BBQ lunch; we are so fortunate to have a very active P&F and I thank them for all that they do, so ably supported by Ms Debbie Henry in her role as community liaison officer.
I also thank the many parents who attended the New Parent Dinner last week. This dinner provided our new parents with a wonderful opportunity to meet other parents who have joined the Loreto community. The School Executive and previous P&F Presidents enjoyed the opportunity to mingle amongst the parents and formally welcome them to our school.
Our enrolment period for Year 7 2019 has begun. The interview panel and I are enjoying interviewing prospective students and their parents. Our selection criteria are based on adherence to the school’s enrolment policy and we use the interview to search for congruence in school and family values. It is always a delight and a privilege to meet prospective parents and students.
Last week we hosted the last of a series of parent information nights. We are receiving constant feedback from parents about the professional presentations from Year Wellbeing Coordinators, House Academic Care Coordinators and members of the School Executive. We thank all staff involved for their preparation in presenting information to parents in such an engaging and informative manner.
We have had a number of successes in sport, public speaking and debating over the last two weeks. Please note that these are mentioned in the newsletter, so I encourage you to read all the articles so that you are able to join in the celebration of our students’ achievements. In summary, we congratulate:
- Isabelle Afaras who has been selected into the NSWCCC cricket team. She will compete in the All Schools Championships from 21 – 24 March.
- Our rowers who achieved great results at the Riverview Gold Cup with 10 first places, 6 second places and 8 third places.
- Our Waterpolo teams who are developing their skills with each and every game.
- Although the wet weather caused the cancellation of most of the tennis matches, those that went ahead had enjoyable games and had successes in both effort and achievement.
- Our ISDA Debating teams who are demonstrating great teamwork and debating skills. Congratulations to our Primary B and Year 7 who won their debates last week and our Year 11 and Year 7 teams who won their debates in Round 1.
- Three girls have progressed through to the next round in CSDA public speaking – Grace O’Donnell, Paris Scharkie and Raquel Gerber.
Anna Dickinson (Mrs)