Schools from the Diocese of Wollongong joined with Catholic schools across NSW and ACT to celebrate Catholic Schools Week, from 6-12 March 2017.
'I Belong - You Belong - We belong,' the theme for CSW this year, aligns with the Church's mission to support refugees and asylum seekers at this a time in our world where vast numbers of people are fleeing war and poverty.
The theme also ties in with the global Catholic Church celebration of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, which focuses on pardon, strength and love. Pope Francis sees the Year of Mercy as an opportunity for forgiveness and reconciliation, and is calling on all Catholic communities to extend mercy to those in need, particularly refugees.
Catholic Schools Week is also about forging and strengthening relationships between everyone who has a stake in our schools – students, staff, families, priests, parishioners, and members of the wider community – by showcasing our activities and actions.
Schools across the diocese opened their doors to parents, grandparents and members of the community to share with them, and involve them in, the many wonderful things happening within our faith and learning communities. On these days visitors and invited guests are treated to all sorts of performances, showcased displays and presentations. However, many visitors say they also enjoy experiencing the authentic, everyday and spontaneous things that happen within our Catholic schools.
Principal Peter Dempsey, from Nazareth Catholic Primary School, Shellharbour, said "During Catholic Schools Week, we take the opportunity to highlight not only the best of what we do, but also what happens in our schools every day"
At Corpus Christi Catholic High School, Year 9 students hosted an International Women's Day Breakfast for the significant women in their lives. Our wonderful male and female year 9 students sat proudly with their Mums, Grandmothers, sisters and Aunties, enjoying a delicious breakfast, including great coffee and hot chocolate served by our Hospitality students and staff. Principal Mrs Kerrie Piatek said, "Creating a connection with our parents, grandparents and wider community is part of what the theme of Catholic Schools Week is about ...I belong, you belong, we belong’.
Corpus Christi also hosted a number of school tours and parent information nights during Catholic Schools Week, showcasing the strong school culture and great relationships that exist between students and staff. "Our school community is about working in partnership and building a sense of belonging for all," said Mrs Piatek.