News

Bishop Brian Mascord on the Bushfire Emergency Response

Posted 3 January 2020 by Bishop Brian Mascord

My Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I write these words at a time when many within your communities have lost so much and many grieve the loss of friends and family. There are really no words that can be said that can take away the pain or the loss that you are suffering at this time...

Read more from Bishop Brian inside.

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Corpus Christi Spreads Christmas Spirit to Vulnerable Families

Posted 20 December 2019 by Catholic Education

It’s a time for giving gifts to our loved ones, but how can we extend the Christmas spirit to those in need? This December, Corpus Christi Catholic High School Oak Flats are brightening the season of goodwill for families in the Shellharbour region through their generous donations of hampers to the St Vincent de Paul Society's Christmas Hamper Appeal. 

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Smart Solution for Mathematics Teacher Shortage

Posted 18 December 2019 by Catholic Education

To inspire and support teachers to expand their knowledge to provide the optimum education for students, a new initiative has been implemented by the Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) in partnership with the University of Notre Dame, Australia to increase the number of specialist mathematics teachers in the diocese.    

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St John's Nowra Student Ideas Take Flight

Posted 13 December 2019 by Catholic Education

Giant catapults, racing airplanes, bionic hands with moveable fingers and intricate light coding – in an exciting day of learning Year 9 students at St John the Evangelist Catholic High School Nowra challenged their imaginations in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) during their immersion day.

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St Anthony’s Picton in pole position for F1 in Schools success

Posted 11 December 2019 by Catholic Education

St Anthony’s Picton primary students feel the need – the need for speed! They’ve jumped into the F1 in Schools competition for the first time with full gusto, matching it with high school teams from across the state to collaborate, design, build and race the fastest Formula 1®​ Cars of the Future.

Read about the teams' impressive performances at the recent NSW State Finals, taking the competition up to students five years their senior.

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‘The potential is incredibly exciting’: Multi-million dollar new TAS & VET facilities at St Joseph’s Albion Park

Posted 6 December 2019 by Catholic Education

It’s every TAS, VET and trades student’s dream – multi-million dollar, modern facilities to learn skills, design and practice your craft; tailor-made training spaces for a range of specialities, state-of-the-art equipment and the highest quality resources, all at your fingertips for the best possible learning and outcomes. New major upgrades at St Joseph’s Albion Park now provide this potential for its students, all right at school.

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Smoke Advisory: NSW Bushfires

Posted 5 December 2019 by Catholic Education

Smoke from bushfires is affecting large areas of NSW.

Very heavy smoke is affecting the Sydney area. Smoke is also affecting areas including the north coast, Central Coast, Hawkesbury, Wollondilly, Queanbeyan and Shoalhaven areas.

Smoke will settle in many areas through the morning and likely to settle throughout the day. If you are easily affected by smoke, take precautions to protect your health.

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Catholic Development Fund Diocesan Public Speaking Competition

Posted 4 December 2019 by Catholic Education

Public speaking is something that many people are afraid of undertaking. According to research, it tops our biggest fears, and is one of the world’s most common phobias – but it isn’t a concern for the students who attended this year’s Catholic Development Fund Diocesan Public Speaking grand final - an annual competition which challenges students to develop communication skills, confidence, motivation and knowledge sharing.

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Health Warning: Bushfire Smoke

Posted 4 December 2019 by Catholic Education

A reminder for people to be vigilant about their health and take precautions as the air quality across NSW may be affected by the extensive smoke from ongoing bushfires.

Information on managing bushfire smoke haze health risks and the things you can do to reduce your chances of being affected.

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John Therry Rosemeadow wins Macarthur Nature Photography Competition

Posted 2 December 2019 by Catholic Education

In a society where we are exposed to an avalanche of images every day – be it online, through television or social media – a striking photograph can still cut through the clutter, revealing to us something in our world we’ve been missing. John Therry Rosemeadow students have risen to this challenge, producing remarkable visuals to win 'Champion Photography High School' at this year’s Macarthur Nature Photography Competition.

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St Mary's Catholic Primary School Milton - Fire Warning Update

Posted 2 December 2019 by Catholic Education

The decision has been made to REOPEN St Mary's Catholic Primary School, Milton tomorrow (Tuesday 3 December) for those students who can access the school without any impediment.

However, we are respectfully asking that families who live in bushfire affected areas south of the school, such as those between Termeil and South Durras to avoid all non-essential travel including transporting children to school.

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Magdalene students race to success in F1 in Schools competition

Posted 25 November 2019 by Catholic Education

In a competition where fast cars are the name of the game, students at Magdalene Catholic College, Narellan are going from strength to strength in their bid to design, construct and race the best Formula 1®​ Car of the Future in the prestigious international F1 in Schools competition.

Read how our three Magdalene teams fared at the recent State Finals.

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The Good, The Beautiful, The True: Student Critical, Creative and Reflective Thinking

Posted 20 November 2019 by Catholic Education

A song about happiness, a short story about a golden piano, and a painting inspired by a Dubstep song that filled the artist with a “pulse of enjoyment” – these are some of the talented artworks produced by primary and secondary students from Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW).

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PRINCIPAL PROFILE: Toni Sillis

Posted 18 November 2019 by Catholic Education

Catholic Schools NSW's latest 'Teacher Feature' stars Ms Toni Sillis, Principal of Good Samaritan Catholic Primary School, Fairy Meadow. The three-stream school opened in 2012 – an amalgamation of the former St Francis Xavier’s and St John Vianney’s schools. The school also has a Learning Support Centre for students with special learning needs. 

We spent #OneMinuteWith Toni to ask her about her educational background and her aspirations as principal of Good Samaritan.

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‘Exemplifying the best of Catholic education’: Bishop’s Student Excellence Awards 2019

Posted 15 November 2019 by Catholic Education

Eight Year 12 students from across the Diocese of Wollongong have been celebrated at this year’s Bishop's Student Excellence Awards for their outstanding schooling achievements and contributions – praised for exemplifying the best of Catholic education in a young adult about to graduate from school.

INSIDE: View our photo gallery and listen to audio of each student's citation, read out at the ceremony by their principal.

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Million-Dollar Makeover for St Pius X Unanderra

Posted 13 November 2019 by Catholic Education

Cushioned lounges, areas for audio recording and ‘charging cupboards’ for gadgets – these are some of the highlights of a renovation makeover at St Pius X Catholic Primary School in Unanderra which has excited students and teachers alike.

The new facilities provide modern and ambient spaces where students are able to learn in a diverse range of settings that incorporate flexible classrooms with breakout areas extending to airy outdoor zones.

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Art-standing ARTSTOBER celebrations at St Joseph’s Albion Park

Posted 6 November 2019 by Catholic Education

Creativity has filled the hallways and classrooms of St Joseph’s Albion Park with a special enthusiasm over the past month – music, singing, art, design, photography, drama, dance and more, all to celebrate ARTSTOBER and showcase some of the wonderful creative and artistic opportunities available at the school.

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John Therry Rosemeadow student Riley Tonna wins Victor Chang School Science Award

Posted 4 November 2019 by Catholic Education

From investigating the effect of phone radiation to studying the local koala population in an effort to improve conservation practices, John Therry Rosemeadow student, Riley Tonna, has a heart and mind for science. His dedication and hard work in his Science studies have seen him awarded a prestigious Victor Chang School Science Award  for 2019.

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Coding, creativity and communication success at CEDoW VEX Robotics Final

Posted 31 October 2019 by Catholic Education

Over 50 students from five of our Catholic primary schools have put their innovative engineering, problem-solving and teamwork skills to the test, competing in the inaugural Diocesan VEX Robotics Final – with three impressive teams qualifying for the VEX Robotics Nationals Competition!

Which teams won the challenges and who has been invited to Nationals? Find out inside!

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CEDoW staff recognised at Teachers' Guild of NSW Awards

Posted 30 October 2019 by Catholic Education

Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong was well and proudly represented at the 2019 Teachers' Guild of NSW Awards night, with two key awards conferred on CEDoW staff – John Therry Rosemeadow Science Coordinator, Dr Aidan Johnson, and St Joseph's Albion Park early career teacher, Zachary Ellul.

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New Education Policies Released

Posted 28 October 2019 by Catholic Education

As Pope Francis said, “An education in the fullness of humanity should be the defining of Catholic schools”. This sentiment is reflected in a new series of policies and procedures from Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW), which were released to schools during several workshops held in September and October. Their aim is to embrace and support student pastoral care, wellbeing and diverse learning needs across all age groups.

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World Teachers' Day 2019

Posted 24 October 2019 by Catholic Education

World Teachers' Day will be celebrated in Australia this Friday 25 October. The day is an opportunity to acknowledge the significant contributions all staff in our schools and offices make, each and every day in support of the learning and wellbeing of our students but particularly the important role teachers play in shaping the next generation.

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INTERACTIVE: See our Christmas Story Art Exhibition 2019

Posted 21 October 2019 by Catholic Education

Over a thousand Years 5 and 6 children across the diocese began last term with blank canvases and sheets of paper. Now, 56 talented young students have had their artworks selected for the 2019 CEDoW Christmas Story Art Competition and Exhibition at the Wollongong Art Gallery – inspiring us with beautiful imagery and artistry, rich meaning and creative storytelling to celebrate the Christmas Story. 

Missed out on seeing the Christmas Story Art Exhibition? View our interactive virtual tour with audio to explore the exhibition yourself. View all our top 56 students' artworks in detail and hear from each student as they describe their artwork to you.

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St Thomas More's Young Talent Shines in Wakakirri Challenge

Posted 15 October 2019 by Catholic Education

They may be young but they’re not lacking in talent. In August, students from St Thomas More Ruse shone in the Wakakirri Story-Dance Challenge extravaganza - Australia’s largest performing arts event for schools - held at Riverside Theatre in Parramatta. The theme of their dance had guests captivated and enthralled, winning the school the ‘Best Biographical History Story Award'.

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Water restrictions are now in place. Has your school applied for exemptions?

Posted 1 October 2019 by Catholic Education

Describing water as a precious element, Pope Francis emphasises that “access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights”. Noting the fundamental role of water in creation and human development, Pope Francis stresses that it is precisely for this reason that “care for water sources and water basins is an urgent imperative”. 

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‘Do not fear for I am with you’: Diocesan Catholic Mission Launch

Posted 27 September 2019 by Catholic Education

How do you interpret the words ‘Do not fear for I am with you’? This was the question posed to attendees of the launch of World Mission Month – an annual occasion which celebrates stories of mission around the world, the power of collective charity and generous intentions.

This year, the words of Isaiah 41:10 inspired the theme of the event, which marked a special milestone. In 2019, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV's Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, Pope Francis announced that October would, from that point, be known as The Extraordinary Missionary Month - a worldwide occasion of prayer, stories of mission, formation and charity.

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Bringing biotechnology to the classroom: John Therry students get hands-on with cutting-edge science

Posted 25 September 2019 by Catholic Education

Students at John Therry Rosemeadow have enjoyed a high-quality, interactive biotechnology experience this term, with staff bringing the excitement of scientific discovery to the classroom. Using the kind of equipment university and PhD students use in the laboratory, the students have recreated the process used to manufacture human insulin and other life-saving medications, while practicing core STEM, critical thinking and collaboration skills.

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Faith, Hope and Love: Year 12 Gatherings with Bishop Brian Mascord

Posted 20 September 2019 by Catholic Education

Leadership, inclusivity and the importance of owning your choices - these were some of the wisdom-filled topics shared by Bishop Brian Mascord when he came together with over 2,000 students from systemic and congregational secondary schools to mark the students’ final year at secondary school.

CEDoW Education Officer, Cathy Brown, said the purpose of these gatherings is for our Year 12 students to meet together as young women and men of the diocese to have the opportunity to converse with Bishop Brian.

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'Called': LIVE Festival 2019

Posted 18 September 2019 by Catholic Education

“The dream has always been to give young people a dynamic, relevant and inspiring experience of the Catholic faith and this year, we saw that dream once again become an exciting reality.” These were the words of Seth Harsh, the Director of the Wollongong LIVE festival, who opened the annual event with a talk unpacking the theme ‘Called’. The subject? 'Who are we called to be, and by whom?’.

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Mary Immaculate Eagle Vale principal Don Spencer retires after 39-year career in Catholic education

Posted 16 September 2019 by Catholic Education

After a most distinguished 39-year career as a Catholic educator and leader, Mary Immaculate Catholic Parish Primary School, Eagle Vale’s Don Spencer has enjoyed his last day as principal, retiring from his position last Friday, 13 September 2019.

Read more from Don on his retirement, and the Mary Immaculate community's retirement celebrations for Don at Eagle Vale last Wednesday. 

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Nominations for the Lighting the Way Faith & Learning Awards close this week!

Posted 15 September 2019 by Catholic Education

It’s the final countdown to nominate someone for a prestigious Lighting the Way Faith & Learning Award for 2019.

Hurry! The deadline for nominations is THIS FRIDAY, 20 September.

Head to www.dow.catholic.edu.au/ltw-awards for more information and to nominate today.

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‘No place like home’: St Joseph's Albion Park students produce local Oz magic to win Tournament of Minds

Posted 13 September 2019 by Catholic Education

Forget the Scarecrow’s wish: ‘If I only had a brain’! Students at St Joseph’s Albion Park have creatively and cleverly tackled a ‘Wizard of Oz’-inspired challenge at the Tournament of Minds Regional Final, outdoing all other Illawarra and South Coast secondary schools to win the Arts competition and earn their place in the NSW State Final!

Read more about the ToM success at St Joseph's, as well as at St Clare’s Narellan Vale, inside.

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Students code their way to victory at CEDoW mBot Challenge Finals

Posted 10 September 2019 by Catholic Education

Robots ready to rumble! After weeks of practising and refining their coding, students across the Diocese who qualified for the CEDoW 2019 mBot Challenge Finals were set to let their mBots do the talking! The culmination of northern and southern regional rounds, the Finals saw over 250 people pack into the Fraternity Club at Fairy Meadow to cheer their teams on, as students coded their mBots to battle, dance and race their way to success.

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Adolescent expert Maggie Dent shares insights with Holy Spirit parents and teachers

Posted 8 September 2019 by Catholic Education

How do you raise resilient children? How can I help my teen manage anxiety and stress? What’s going on inside my child’s adolescent brain? 

Parents at Holy Spirit College, Bellambi have gained insight into the answers, hearing from adolescent expert, author and educator, Maggie Dent, on how to help teens cope, conquer and shine, with what she calls "calm, common-sense, connected parenting".

Read more about her visit and what advice she gave to parents and teachers.

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Celebrating Teacher Accreditation

Posted 6 September 2019 by Catholic Education

The next generation of teachers was celebrated at a special event last week to commemorate the achievement of 66 proficient teachers – 30 primary and 36 secondary – who will educate and guide the minds of tomorrow.

At Villa D’oro Function Centre in Wollongong, guests gathered for the Teacher Accreditation Recognition Ceremony - an initiative under CEDoW’s Awards and Recognition Program, acknowledging the achievements of teachers who have reached this significant career milestone.

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Zambian High Commissioner admires innovation at St Joseph’s Albion Park visit

Posted 4 September 2019 by Catholic Education

It’s not every day another country hears of your school’s innovative learning and teaching, and sends delegates to visit to learn more. But that’s exactly what has happened at St Joseph’s Catholic High School, Albion Park, where the High Commissioner for Zambia and his delegation have seen firsthand how the school is using technology to improve student outcomes.

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Together As One: Year 6 Students Gather to Celebrate an Education Milestone with Bishop Brian Mascord

Posted 2 September 2019 by Catholic Education

From Kiama to Eagle Vale, Fairy Meadow to Moss Vale, Year 6 leaders across our diocese congregated as faith-filled communities, when Bishop Brian Mascord led a series of regional Masses to mark the students' transition to secondary school – an important milestone in each child’s educational journey.

The yearly Masses, which are a coming-of-age tradition for students graduating from their primary school education, are an opportunity to celebrate the Eucharist and they also remind students how they can foster their relationships with Jesus through compassionate actions and loving words as they grow.

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St Joseph’s Bulli teacher Michelle Bunder named Apple Distinguished Educator

Posted 29 August 2019 by Catholic Education

App smashing, augmented reality, iPad tips and tricks, and even creating new and innovative ways of learning using Apple apps and technology – it’s all at the fingertips of St Joseph’s Bulli teacher, Michelle Bunder, who has been accepted into the Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) Class of 2019!

Read more from Bunder on her experience as an Apple Distinguished Educator, attending the recent ADE Institute event, and using Apple technology in the classroom to enhance learning and teaching.

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Wakakirri success! St Paul’s Moss Vale wins two performance awards

Posted 25 August 2019 by Catholic Education

In just their first time participating in Wakakirri – Australia’s largest Story Dance Festival involving hundreds of schools and over 20,000 students across the nation each year – St Paul's Moss Vale has won not one, but two awards for their fantastic contemporary dance performance.

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St John’s Nowra wins Wakakirri Shoalhaven Regional Challenge

Posted 23 August 2019 by Catholic Education

A phenomenal effort from the St John’s Nowra Wakakirri dance troupe – they’ve performed spectacularly to win the 2019 Wakakirri Shoalhaven Regional Challenge and pick up a further nine performance and production awards for their powerful dance telling the heartfelt story of a Syrian refugee's tumultuous journey fleeing home.

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Pastoral Statement from Bishop Brian Mascord on the appeal of Cardinal George Pell

Posted 21 August 2019 by Bishop Brian Mascord

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I write to you concerning the decision handed down today by the Supreme Court of Victoria’s Court of Appeal in relation to Cardinal George Pell’s conviction on five charges of child sexual abuse. The court rejected the cardinal’s appeal, in a 2–1 ruling...

Read more from Bishop Brian inside.

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Reading Is My Secret Power: 10 ways our schools are celebrating Book Week

Posted 19 August 2019 by Catholic Education

Caped crusaders, crazy costumes and colourful characters – it’s shaping up to be a jam-packed week of fun and creativity this Book Week, bringing children and books together in our schools all across the Diocese. With inspiration from this year’s theme, ‘Reading Is My Secret Power’, we have a lot to look forward to! 

Here is a snapshot of some of the wonderful celebrations of children’s literature in our schools this week – 10 ways our CEDoW schools are marking Book Week 2019.

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Vinnies and our CEDoW schools: A match made for heaven

Posted 16 August 2019 by Catholic Education

It was a young 20-year-old, Blessed Frederic Ozanam, who started the St Vincent de Paul Society when he decided to do something about the poverty he saw in his community. Today, it is the young people in our Catholic primary and secondary schools who are a driving force behind the success of Vinnies’ good works in the Diocese of Wollongong. 

Read more about the Vinnies-CEDoW partnership, as published in the Winter 2019 edition of Journey Magazine.

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Inspiring Hearts and Minds: Leading Inspirations Dinner 2019

Posted 14 August 2019 by Catholic Education

Smiling in the face of adversity, the value of hard work and ‘doing the God stuff’ - these were some of the topics that delighted, educated and had guests in fits of laughter at the biennial Leading Inspirations Dinner held on 2 August 2019, an initiative of CEDoW's Workplace Gender Equality (WGE) Committee.

Since its inception, the dinner has become a significant networking event for CEDoW employees and their external colleagues, to inspire attendees to pursue their passions while maintaining a work-life balance. This year, we were fortunate to have Robyn Moore as the evening's keynote speaker, whose motivational talks have touched hundreds of thousands across Australia and internationally.

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St Joseph’s Albion Park aspiring athletes offered best opportunity for success

Posted 5 August 2019 by Catholic Education

Students at St Joseph’s Catholic High School, Albion Park will now have the chance to train next to first-class athletes at the top of their game – the likes of Matildas star Caitlin Foord, UFC champion Alex Volkanovski, and the Illawarra Hawks. The school’s Aspiring/Elite Athlete Program will see students enjoy state-of-the-art facilities, resources, mentoring and support to be the best-equipped young athletes in the region. 

The exciting new program is aimed at providing aspiring athletes at St Joseph’s with the education, skills and support they need to reach their full potential – in their chosen sport, their academic studies and their life and career ahead.

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A Life Less Ordinary

Posted 2 August 2019 by Catholic Education

In 2019, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV's Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, Pope Francis announced that October would, from that point, be known as The Extraordinary Missionary Month - a worldwide occasion of prayer, stories of mission, formation and charity.

This year, the theme of the month is ‘Baptised and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World.’ As his Holiness Pope Francis shared in an open letter, “I have asked that the whole Church revive her missionary awareness and commitment. Celebrating this month will help us first to rediscover the missionary dimension of our faith in Jesus Christ, a faith graciously bestowed on us in baptism.” 

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St Paul’s Camden students learning art from the experts

Posted 30 July 2019 by Catholic Education

Students at St Paul’s Camden have enjoyed valuable opportunities to sharpen their artistic skills from those who have come before them, engaging in experiences with talented local artists – including a former student!

Year 4 students were excited to have Magdalene Catholic College, Narellan Year 12 student and gifted artist, Peter Cornett, visit the school to facilitate a manga art workshop with them. Meanwhile, Year 2 students enjoyed learning about perspective drawing from Camden artist, Roger Percy.

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AWARD: CEDoW recognised for building relationships for sustainable solutions to poverty

Posted 26 July 2019 by Catholic Education

Congratulations to our CEDoW staff involved in promoting sustainable development projects and solutions to poverty in disadvantaged communities in the Pacific – our Diocese has been awarded the ‘Sustainable Relationships Award’ at Palms Australia’s Solidarity Awards 2019.

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Primary Teaching Immersion

Posted 24 July 2019 by Catholic Education

As a roomful of primary school children sat in their classroom engaged in a STEM activity, there wasn’t anything unusual about the scene – apart from the age of their ‘teachers’. On this day, a group of Corpus Christi Catholic High School, Oak Flats students took part in a role swap and became educators for the day in a unique immersion.

A group of students from Years 9 to 12 were tasked with teaching younger students from Nazareth Catholic Primary School in Shellharbour City to give them a glimpse of what it takes to be a teacher and whether it could be their future vocation.

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PRINCIPAL PROFILE: Danny Sykes

Posted 18 July 2019 by Catholic Education

Catholic Schools NSW's latest 'Teacher Feature' stars Mr Danny Sykes, principal of Stella Maris Catholic Primary School, Shellharbour. Stella Maris was founded by the Sisters of Charity in 1958. Seven Sisters of Charity have guided Stella Maris in faith, hope and love as educational leaders since the school's foundation, including Sr Colleen Mills, who retired in 2009 – the last Sister of Charity principal in the country. 

We spent #OneMinuteWith Danny to ask him about his hopes in Catholic education and returning as principal to the primary school he once attended himself...

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