Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way: people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport.
What a beautiful quote from Pope Francis as we all move into the busiest time of the year.
Advent begins next Sunday and marks the start of a season of preparation that looks forward to the celebration of Christmas and the second coming of Christ. It is a time of reflection in preparing our hearts for the coming of Christ—we remember how our Savior humbled Himself to be born as a baby and live among those He would save. We remember the perfect life He lived doing the will of His Father, His sacrificial death on the cross, and how He was raised from the dead three days later, having paid the penalty in order to save all who would believe. Christians remember Jesus' promise to return again one day and restore everything fully. This season invokes feelings of expectation and hope! This week the Advent wreath will be placed in our front foyer.
Why Do People Celebrate Advent with a Wreath & Candles?
The Advent wreath first appeared in Germany in 1839. A Lutheran minister working at a mission for children created a wreath out of the wheel of a cart. He placed twenty small red candles and four large white candles inside the ring. The red candles were lit on weekdays and the four white candles were lit on Sundays.
Eventually, the Advent wreath was created out of evergreens, symbolizing everlasting life in the midst of winter and death. The circle reminds us of God’s unending love and the eternal life He makes possible. Advent candles are often nestled in the evergreen wreath. Additional decorations, like holly and berries, are sometimes added. Their red color points ahead to Jesus’ sacrifice and death. Pinecones can symbolize the new life that Jesus brings through His resurrection. Families can begin lighting a candle on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, and light another candle each subsequent Sunday.
- The first candle symbolizes hope and is called the “Prophet’s Candle.” The prophets of the Old Testament, especially Isaiah, waited in hope for the Messiah’s arrival.
- The second candle represents faith and is called “Bethlehem’s Candle.” Micah had foretold that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, which is also the birthplace of King David.
- The third candle symbolizes joy and is called the “Shepherd’s Candle.” To the shepherd’s great joy, the angels announced that Jesus came for humble, unimportant people like them, too. In liturgy, the color rose signifies joy.
- The fourth candle represents peace and is called the “Angel’s Candle.” The angels announced that Jesus came to bring peace—He came to bring people closer to God and to each other again.
- The (optional) fifth candle represents light and purity and is called “Christ’s candle.” It is placed in the middle and is lit on Christmas Day.
Excerpt from Advent Wreath & Candles by Laura Richie
With another intensive swimming program over for the year, I would like to thank parents and staff for making this such a fun and enjoyable week for the students. We have had some great feedback from the students who demonstrated resilience and perseverance over what was a very tiring and busy week. A special thanks to …. For ensuring the smooth running of the program, with expert instructors and a warm welcome each day. We look forward to the Swimming Carnival for Year 3-6 which will be held early in Term 1 2020.
Last Wednesday two parent and child Seminars were held on Sex Education and were well attended by many families across the Federation. We have had very positive feedback from those families who attended.
A reminder to all parents:
We have a pick up and drop off zone in Riddle St that needs to be used according to the road rules. This is a 2 minute zone and is exactly the same as ‘Kiss and Go’ - the same rules apply.
The 'no parking' sign, means you can stop for 2 minutes in that area:
- if you are picking up or dropping off passengers or goods
- you stay within 3 metres of your vehicle.
If you stop in, or partly in, an area showing a no parking sign and you are not picking up or dropping off passengers or goods, or you stay for longer than 2 minutes you are considered to be parked and can be fined.
This works efficiently if everyone abides by the time restrictions and moves on. If your children aren’t ready when you arrive, you need to move on and let others use the facility.
Other issues that we are having:
Double Parking – when cars pull up alongside legally parked cars and allow their children to jump out or in the car, holding up traffic behind them and risking the safety of their children.
Parking in or across driveways – parking over or in nearby driveways not only causes disharmony between the school and the neighbours, but is illegal.
Driveways are used by pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles and must be kept clear.
Parking too close to intersections – parking too close or within an intersection makes it difficult for other vehicles to enter and exit the intersection. It also makes it difficult for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to see oncoming vehicles, making the area UNSAFE for all users.
(All this information was obtained from the Vic Roads Website)
I ask that all parents who use the pick up and drop off zone to read the above information carefully. Child safety is our number one priority.
The driveway beside the Church is not to be used by parents - we had a incident last week that was both dangerous and frustrating for parish staff. So please do not use this driveway to drop children off or the driveway in front of the Church.
School Closure Day
A reminder that this Friday is a school closure day as we set the day aside for curriculum planning for 2020. I hope you all enjoy a long weekend.
Celebration of the Sacraments
On Tuesday morning the students from Year 3 and 4 will be attending the Parish Mass at 10am to celebrate the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist that they have received this year. A special pizza lunch will follow as we celebrate together.
Parents are most welcome to attend.
Due to the change of date for our school concert which was moved to Term 4, the Carols will be part of our end of year Mass on 17 December at 10am. I hope many of our parents and families can join us.
It is a busy week for excursions which are all linked to our inquiry units for this Term.
Yr 1 & 2 will be exploring Cranbourne Gardens -
Yr 5 & 6 will be participating in a Robotics workshop -
Yr 3 & 4 will be going to IMAX -
New Preps for 2020 will be coming to have ‘Story Time’ in the Library.
Another busy week ahead as class lists are being finalised, reports are being checked and staffing is being finalised for 2020.
Wishing you a wonderful week ahead. Only three and a bit weeks to go!
Governance of Catholic Schools.
As parents are currently aware the Governance of each Catholic Primary Schools is the responsibility of the Parish Priest. Following a recommendation from the Royal Commission this governance structure must change by 2021. The Archdiocese of Melbourne and Catholic Education Melbourne are in consultation currently with schools and Parish Priest around what this new Governance Model will look like. The following thought from Archbishop Peter Commensoli’s message at the outset of the process expresses an important consideration in our current endeavours: ‘Our parents and families of Catholic school students deserve the best and the safest learning environments we can offer for their children, and good governance is one of the ways we can ensure the future of Catholic education in the years ahead.’
The proposed model under consultation is:
A Steering Committee has been establish that includes:
Acting Executive Director
Fr Michael Gallacher
Fr Mark Reynolds
Principal Advisor to Archbishop
Director – Finance & Corporate Services
Primary Principal – St Brigid's School
Secondary Principal – Catholic Regional College
Acting Assistant Director, Enterprise Services
Director, Catholic Leadership and Governance
Timeline and Process
October 2019 to June 2020
- Regional Forums with PPs and Principals
- Working Parties develop a framework
- Website with Fact sheets, FAQ, regular updates
July 2020 to January 2021
- Constitution of Company Ltd. established
- School advisory committee charters written
- Employment, assets and liabilities, lease arrangements transfer to Company Ltd.
- All responsible persons registered
- All principals attest to regulatory compliance
- January 2021 all 292 schools come under the new governance arrangements
I will keep the School Board updated on matters regarding Governance over the next 12 months.
My mother used to say that if you were feeling a little depressed just watch the SBS
nightly news and you may feel that things are a little better compared to the rest of
the world. My mother was right in many ways. Last week as I drove to School I was
listening to the 7am news. It began with the news of a road death in Melbourne and
then two shootings in the USA. It then talked about the fact that 50% of workers
have experienced some kind of mental health issue due to workload and due dates.
Mental Illness is a name or title which describes many different conditions. Within
the umbrella of this illness there are many different categories as well as levels that a
person suffers mental illness.
What is good now is that people do not have to suffer alone in experiencing and
dealing with mental illness. Our society has come a long way.
Does working in a Catholic School make it easier to deal with mental illness? Of
course the answer is NO. But hopefully our Catholic values and ideals assist. In a
Catholic School we use words such as Hope, Love, Respect and Journey to
describe the Community we are part of. These words are at the heart of the Gospel
message of Truth.
But does this make it easier to deal with mental illness? Again the answer is NO
BUT hopefully within a Catholic School we openly acknowledge that some people in
our Community suffer illnesses which are hard to understand fully. We acknowledge
with no judgment.
In a Catholic School we say we are different to other Schools. The only reason we
are different is that everything we do is underpinned by the Gospel message of Truth
proclaimed by Jesus.
When Jesus sat at the well and accepted a drink of water from a Samaritan women
he knew he was breaking the religious law of his time. But what he was in fact doing
was listening to a person who was suffering. In listening Jesus welcomed this
person in ways no one had welcomed her before.
May our Catholic Schools be truly welcoming to others and particularly minorities.
In thinking about this piece I came across a beautiful prayer by a mother whose son
is experiencing mental illness. You might like to read this beautiful prayer and pray
for all those in our Community who are suffering in ways we are unaware of.
Edward Dooley (Mission and Faith Leader)
A Mother's Prayer for Mental Illness
As I stumble from my bed this morning, help me to remember to be gentle and kind.
My child's mind is shredding into a million pieces. He lives in a constant state of
atrocious fear. I can see it in his eyes. Give him peace.
Guide me as I hold him in my arms. Help me to know what to say. What to do. Fill
my heart with healing love, understanding, and empathy.
Give me the strength of a thousand angels to hold back my tears. My heart is broken
and a tidal wave of grief is overwhelming me with the need to cry. Give me the
strength to bear it long enough to keep it from disturbing my child. Help me find
someone I can safely bring it to.
Help me answer my family's questions with the same amount of compassion I would
want for my self. Help me remember they are hurting too. This is an unwelcomed
assault on an entire family. My heart is not the only heart that is broken. We all need
time and each other to heal.
As my journey becomes more and more isolative and lonely, remind me that the lack
of involvement on the part of family and friends is not always because of the stigma
and the ignorance. For many, it is because they are hurting too. They have the
privelege of turning to their own lives. This is my family's life now. I must deal with it
whether I am hurting or not.
Send me your best physicians and healers. Give me presence of mind, as I walk
through the exhaustion of my grief to not settle for just any one no matter how
tiresome the journey becomes.
Help me adjust to the idea, that although it appears my son is gone, there will be no
goodbye. And that he is still inside somewhere waiting for us to find him.
Infuse the creative part of my mind with solution oriented thinking. Give me hope.
Even if it is just a glimmer of hope. A mother can go for miles on just one tiny
glimmer. Let me see just a flicker of the sparkle of joy in his eyes.
Guide my hands, calm my mind, as I fill out the multitude of forms for services. Then
help me do it again over and over.
Provide me with the knowledge. Lead me to the books I need to read, the
organizations I need to connect with. As you work though the people in my life, help
me to recognize those that are here to help. Help me trust the right ones. Shine a
light upon the right path.
Give me the courage to speak my truth; to know my son's truth. And to speak for him
when he is unable to do it for himself. Show me when to do for him what he is not
capable of doing for himself. Help me to recognize the difference.
Help me to stand tall in the face of the stigma; to battle the discrimination with the
mighty sword of a spiritual warrior. And to deflect the sting of blame and faultfinding
from the ignorant and the cruel.
Preserve my love for my family. Shield my marriage with the wisdom of the love that
brought us together.
Protect him from homelessness, loneliness, victimization, poverty, hunger,
hopelessness, relapse, drugs, alcohol, suicide, cruelty and obscurity.
Lead us to the miracles of better medications, better funding, better services, safe
and plentiful housing, meaningful employment, communities who care,
enlightenment. Help us to find some way to replace all the greed with humanitarian
work and intrinsic reward again.
Most of all, give me the strength to deliver whatever I can to the work of unmasking
the man made ugliness of this disease and revealing the human and all of it's
Finally, when it is my time to leave my son behind, send a thousand angels to take
A meeting will be held at St Paul's Hall tomorrow night - Tuesday 26th November at 7pm. This meeting is to arrange the delivery of Christmas Cards created by the children of St Paul's and St Catherine's schools. Parishioners/school families will be asked to deliver (by door knocking) 10 -15 addressed envelopes containing the Christmas cards. A good ADVENT family exercise.
STATE TEAM TRIALS 2020
School Sport Victoria conduct State team trials for the sports listed (below) along with other sports that can be found on their website; AFL, Netball & Soccer nominations open on December 1st and close March 1st. There will not be District trials, instead elite & outstanding performers in each specific sport can only apply via the School Sport Victoria website. The expectation is that students nominating would have won at least a Best & Fairest or MVP in their chosen sport at the highest level of competition offered at their club, preferably finished high in League voting, along with being very fit, most likely in Cross Country and Athletics teams as well as being outstanding players in our Inter-school Sport Program. Any parent considering nominating should consult Mr Danny Maher prior to paying the nomination fee to assess the student's suitability. The closing date for initial school (not SSV) nominations to ensure your child's participation is Tuesday 10th December.
Should your child ultimately be successful, there may be multiple days of trials & camps requiring parents to transport / attend with their child in order to be involved. There are also significant monies required if selected. Parents must be committed to the entire process and understand this is not a come and try activity. Sending students without the necessary skills / talent could not only undermine their confidence but will also increase numbers at the trial making the selectors job a lot more difficult. If there are more than 3 students nominated in a chosen sport a school based trial may be required. Generally these trials are for Year 6 students or exceptional Year 5's. (Top 3 in League B&F standard)
After consideration and consultation, if you think your child is ready for State Team selection trials .. .. Parents can then Google School Sport Victoria or go to http://www.ssv.vic.edu.au/team-vic
for more information and should monitor this website for closing dates and relevant information.
There is also a link to SSV home page on our Bentleigh District web page.
12 Years and Under Sports Sports include but not limited to :
Australian Football (Boys / Mixed & Girls) , Baseball , Basketball, Football (Soccer), Hockey, Netball, Touch Football and Cricket which has a different process (see SSV site for details).
Check the website for all other sports noting some years State Swimming and Athletic teams are chosen via external competitions rather than through school based District / Division/ Region/State Competitions, Cross Country is done via Bentleigh District Carnivals and beyond. When nominating your child for more than one sport you should also note that trials for AFL, Soccer, Netball & Basketball may be on the same day, therefore eliminating the possibility of going through for more than one main stream sport.
Phys Ed & Sport Coordinator