May Day 2017
On Wednesday the whole school community from K to 12 celebrated May Day. May Day is a Loreto tradition to honour Mary, mother of God, during the month of May. Mother Gonzaga Barry wrote about this tradition in homeland, Ireland, where children gathered flowers from the fields to decorate shrines dedicated to Mary. May Day with its flowers and procession has always been a part of Loreto Kirribilli. Mary Ward, the founder of the IBVM sisters, had a special devotion to Mary. She often visited the House of Loreto in Italy (Santa Casa – the ‘holy house’) which is said to have been the house of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
May has traditionally been ‘the month of Mary’ in the Catholic Church. Prayers (particularly the Rosary) and songs to Mary are used much more often in this month. The name of the month, May, comes from the Latin goddess of the earth, Maia. During the early years of growth of Christianity, the church substituted appropriate Christian ‘holy days’ where ‘pagan’ spring festivities were celebrated so honour of Mary replaced the pagan Queen of the May fertility goddess. Devotions to Mary in May month were well known by the end of the sixteenth century. We also celebrate Mother’s Day in May – perhaps this is connected to the importance of Mary as the mother of God.
The whole school K-12 gathered in the Centenary Hall after the traditional procession through the school, where students placed a single flower near the grotto of Our Lady. During our liturgy, our statue of Mary was crowned by the youngest student in our school. Each Circle Class organized a bouquet of flowers, which was incorporated into the May Day liturgy to decorate our sacred space. After our liturgy, these flowers were presented by our SRC Representative to the people in James Milson Village, a retirement home close to our school. On this day when we celebrate Mary and enjoy the beauty of the flowers, we want to share our joy with others.
Finally, thank you for your $20 contribution to Mary Ward International Australia. At the time of print over $16,000 has been raised. Final amount will be published in the next newsletter.
Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal 2017
On Sunday May 28, the national Salvation Army Red Shield Door knock Appeal will have Loreto Kirribilli as one of its meeting points for collectors. The collection area is called the Neutral Bay zone and we, along with local community members, are responsible for door knocking in the southern area of this zone. Students in Years 11 and 12 are invited to participate in this event and we require a minimum of 40 student volunteers to act as collectors.
Each collection team is made up of 5 people – one adult driver and four student collectors (who work in pairs). Check in time is 8:30am on the Front Drive and most teams should finish by 11:30am. Please contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Monday 22 May, if you are willing and able to participate in what is always an uplifting day.
May we commence Term 2 aware of the glorious celebration of new life upon us through the death and resurrection of Jesus. It brings hope for change and renewal for all of us. I wish you and your family a most peaceful May as we honor the month of Mary in the Catholic Church.
Director of Mission (K-12)