From school liturgies to picnic lunches, Catholic school communities across the diocese were a buzz of excitement last week as they celebrated Catholic Schools Week (CSW). This year’s celebrations were especially meaningful, as they coincided with the nationwide celebration of 200 years of Catholic Education in Australia.
Reflecting on this year’s CSW theme ‘Faith in the future’, Director of Schools, Peter Hill, encouraged staff to reflect on the achievements of the past, to ensure Catholic schools continue to be vibrant communities of faith and improvement in learning. “We make this commitment because we know that a school can transform a life, and our Catholic schools do this in a unique way,” said Mr Hill.
“By inviting our students to encounter Jesus and develop a distinctly Catholic worldview defined by a Catholic spirit, a Catholic heart, and a Catholic intellect—we prepare them to find meaning and purpose in life as they read and respond to the signs of the times” - Peter Hill, Director of Schools
Inspired by the person and spirit of Jesus, the activities celebrated in our vibrant Catholic communities throughout the week reflect the dedication and commitment that make Catholic schools so unique.
Continue reading to discover how some of our school communities celebrated CSW 2021.
Staff at St Francis of Assisi Warrawong took time out of their busy week and joined together with Father Damien Ellis to celebrate their CSW Staff Liturgy.
For school principal, Vicki Davis, the staff liturgy was a moment of reflection on the past and the future. “It was a wonderful time to reflect on 'Faith in the Future' and to thank all our past and present teachers and staff for their passion, faith, and tireless dedication to the mission of Catholic Education.”
Stella Maris School community began their CSW celebrations with a beautiful and reverent liturgy brought to life through liturgical dancing by students. With COVID-19 restrictions preventing parents from physically attending the liturgy, many were still able to join the celebration via Zoom. The school also celebrated the week by holding a number of COVID safe Open Days.
St Patrick’s school community had a busy week celebrating CSW with a range of spiritual, educational, and social activities. Students and staff took part in COVID-safe liturgies, buddy activities for students held in their beautiful garden, live stream robotic activities in all classes, and ice cream sales to support the annual Caritas: Project Compassion Lenten appeal. The festivities concluded with Years 2 to 6 attending a Eucharistic Adoration celebration with Father Mark De Batista.
Holy Cross is a little school with a big history, and during CSW they officially unveiled their newly designed timeline representing the school’s history. From its opening as a Convent school - to the official opening by St Mary of the Cross Mackillop, to the creation of modern learning spaces - Holy Cross has over 100 years of Catholic education history.
All students and teachers took part in COVID-safe small group liturgies to celebrate the school’s past, present, and future contributions to 200 years of Catholic Education in Australia. To continue the celebrations, staff and students then came together to enjoy a picnic lunch and a special treat!
As part of their CSW celebrations, St Michael’s held their annual Caritas: Project Compassion Lenten appeal with the theme: ‘Be More’. With a focus around WHO WE ARE rather than WHAT WE HAVE, students dressed up as someone who has made a difference in their life, the world, or the progress of humanity. Someone who inspires them to BE MORE.
Students at St Michael’s also took part in a virtual immersion to discover where their donations go and how they are helping transform people's lives.
Catholic schools are now enrolling. It's the perfect time to discover why one in five Australian students are choosing a Catholic education. If you’d like to know more about the diverse faith and learning opportunities our primary and secondary schools can offer your son or daughter, please contact your local Catholic school.