The Feast of the Assumption, celebrated on Monday, is the oldest feast day of Our Lady, when, according to our Catholic faith, the Holy Mother, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory. All the feast days of Mary mark the great mysteries of her life and her part in the work of redemption. The Assumption completes God’s work in her. The Assumption is God’s crowning of His work as Mary ends her earthly life and enters eternity. The feast turns our eyes in that direction, where we will follow when our earthly life is over. The Assumption looks to eternity and gives us hope that we, too, will follow Our Lady when our life is ended.
Father in heaven, all creation rightly gives you praise, for all life and all holiness come from you.
In the plan of your wisdom she who bore the Christ in her womb was raised body and soul in glory to be with him in heaven.
May we follow her example in reflecting your holiness and join in her hymn of endless love and praise.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Our WYD Pilgrims have returned with wonderful experiences to share. We look forward to hearing from them over the coming months. Within this newsletter you will find an article about World Youth Day 2016 and also a reflection on the July holiday NASA experience for girls in Years 8 and 9.
Recently I attended a presentation by students from a number of schools who were involved in the “Youth Leading the World” (YLTW) Sustainability Congress during our July school holidays.Vanessa Tanudji (Year 8) was inspired to attend the congress and gave an excellent presentation at the forum. Click here to read the article she has written on this invaluable learning experience.
I encourage our students to keep an eye out for these wonderful learning experiences and consider becoming involved in them in the future. In line with the importance of each individual caring for the environment, I recently received an email from Sr Libby Rogerson IBVM who is requesting that Loreto parents and teachers be made aware of the urgent action needed in response to climate change. Sr Libby has written a letter stating: “In recognition that climate change “represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet” world leaders gathered at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris to negotiate a response to global warming. On 12 December 2015 the Paris Agreement was adopted. On 22 April 2016 Australia was among the 175 that signed the Paris Agreement at the United Nations. As of 3 August 2016, only 22 of the 180 States signatories of the Paris Agreement have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval.
It appears that our country has not done so to date. We hope that the Paris Agreement will be ratified during the Opening of the General Assembly this coming September. Without our ratification, and that of other nations, the Paris Agreement will not become a legally binding document and, once again, people will feel that their desire for a serious response to climate change has become nothing but an international talk fest. Action must be taken. In Paris, world leaders acknowledged the “need for an effective and progressive response to the urgent threat of climate change on the basis of the best scientific knowledge” by keeping global warming below two degrees Celsius and they agreed that climate change is the concern of all humanity. The leaders of industrialized countries recognized their responsibility to assist developing countries cope with climate change and promised to deliver at least $10 billion per year.
The people of this world look to our leaders to collaborate in the task of preserving our planet for future generations. The fate of our children and grandchildren lie in the hands of today’s world leaders. We look forward to celebrating Australia’s ratification of the Paris Agreement and our efforts to limit global warming.” An action that can be taken is writing a letter to the relevant minister expressing our hope that the Paris Agreement will be ratified during the Opening of the General Assembly this coming September. For more information, please contact Ms O’Keeffe, Director of Mission.
Special thanks and congratulations
Over the last two weeks we have exhibited students’ work in Technology and Applied Studies and Science.
- I thank Mrs Payne and our Technology and Applied Studies (TAS) team for the excellent display of students’ work at the TAS exhibition last week. I congratulate the students for their effort and expertise in producing the quality products on display. I also thank the TAS staff for providing a range of fun activities at lunch time to engage the girls in in TAS related subjects.
- Congratulations to all the students who participated in Science week, which culminated in the Science Fair. The aim of the Fair is to encourage students to undertake original scientific research, and then present their data and findings in both an informative and innovative way. Special thanks to Ms Pacheco, the Science faculty and to the parents, grandparents and members of the school community who gave their time and resources to encourage all of our young researchers. Passion for Science was definitely in evidence and I congratulate especially the girls in Years 8 and 10 for their innovative projects. We thank our Year 11 Science students who functioned as judges and also our guest Scientists Kylie Hewson the Program Manager for the chicken meat Research, Development and Extension program and Felicity Briody, the co-founder of Power of Engineering, a company which hopes to inspire the next generation of engineers to solve the world’s biggest challenges. I thank the Science team for all of the lunch time activities bringing Science week to life.
- I congratulate our Year 12 Visual Arts students on their superb bodies of work, which will be opened for exhibition from Friday evening. I thank Ms Costello and the Visual Arts team for all of their work in supporting our students create bodies of work of such a high calibre. We wish our girls all the very best in the marking of their HSC bodies of work.
- Congratulations to all the girls involved in the extension activity Write a Book in a Day. Special thanks to Ms Sabbadin for providing these opportunities.
- Special thanks to Ms O’Keeffe, Director of Mission, who has commenced preparing our Year 11 students for the election process for 2017 student leaders. Next week our student leadership election process begins in earnest. Please pray for our girls as they commence this most important process of discernment.
- I congratulate all students who participated in the IGSSA twilight Athletics Carnival and also wish our Netball teams all the very best in their upcoming semi, finals and grand-final events.
Youth Leading the World Congress
In the last week of Term 2, Ms O’Keeffe sent an email inviting us to consider attending the annual Youth Leading the World (YLTW) Sustainability Congress during our July school holidays. On reading the email, I was intrigued about what this program was all about. I went to their website and was inspired after reading a testimonial from a previous participant who decided to study Architecture at University after attending this Congress. I was nervous about attending on my own but decided that I might learn more about the environment. I love animals, and always feel sad when I hear and see pictures of animals suffering because of our lack of respect for the environment. I thought that I could make a difference by attending this Congress through sharing my knowledge with other students who were also attending the Congress.
YLTW Congress has been running for 4 years with students attending from Years 7-12. The Congress was facilitated by OzGreen volunteers and sponsored by North Sydney Council. It was held over 2 days. On the first day, we introduced ourselves and talked about what sustainability means as well as environmental issues. On the second day, we formed groups to work on presenting a topic at a Community Forum evening in August. We were asked to invite our School Principal, teachers, parents and Local Council Officers. I was grateful that a Willoughby Project Officer was coming and even more excited when Ms Dickinson said “Yes” as well.
I met students from other schools and worked with a Year 7 student from Willoughby Girls High School. We met a couple of times and discussed our presentation. We decided to focus on building awareness for our ocean. Therefore, our theme was ‘Ocean Care’. We wanted to make people more aware of the effects of mistreating our ocean environment. We wanted to find out how we can improve the sustainability of the ocean and its future. Some facts I learned through my research were that plastic bags will take 10-20 years to decompose, plastic bottles will take 450 years, and aluminum cans will take 200 years. Plastic bags and plastic products are particularly harmful to the marine animals because they can accidentally be swallowed or cause strangling. Solutions to reduce harmful chemicals to the ocean would be to use eco-friendly, bio-degradable products. Attending the Congress has increased my awareness of our Eco footprint to reduce harmful habits, such as overusing plastic bags or wasting too much water in the shower.
At the Community Forum, Project Officers from Willoughby and North Sydney Council spoke to me about their projects and invited me to share ideas. In the future, maybe we could have Sustainable Environmental Science activities or “Fun Green Day” at school. The YLTW Congress also offers opportunities for Senior students to take part as facilitators for the program.
I found this experience to be very positive for my personal development as well. I gained confidence by talking to students from other schools, I learned to collaborate with my group, I problem solved many issues during the workshop, and finally I presented my findings in front of an audience at the Community Forum. If you are interested in caring for your environment, I would recommend you to take part in next year’s Congress.
Vanessa Tanudji, Year 8
Anna Dickinson (Mrs)