From the Principal

We are witnessing a very turbulent time in our world at present highlighted by the recent atrocities in Paris and the ongoing conflicts around the world, all of which can have a destabilising or worse still, a devastating impact on us all. Combine this with the feelings that come with this time of the year it would be very easy to allow ourselves to be overwhelmed and lose sight of the beauty the Advent season brings us. As the school year draws to a close and we are dealing with the associated stresses, the tragedies around the world and the excitement of completing the year I encourage all in the community to slow down. Take time to reflect on the miracle of the incarnation through the birth of Jesus.

It is too easy to allow ourselves to be busier now than at any other time of the year when we ought to be slowing down. Here at school we are feverously correcting exams, finalising results, preparing family schedules, seeing to personal agendas filled with meetings programs, parties and other obligations that can often control our lives. This weekend marked the beginning of Advent, a very special part of the liturgical year for the Catholic Church. It is a time of preparation, of readying oneself for Christmas and the celebration of the birth of Jesus. I encourage all in our community to take time out from shopping, looking for car parks, decking the halls, making lists and the general madness that comes in the lead up to Christmas, to take a quiet moment to allow ourselves some peace and stillness.

During Advent we must focus on the important things in our lives, our family and friends, people less fortunate than ourselves in particular those afflicted by war and conflict, those people for whom Christmas is a lonely or stressful time and offer our thoughts and our prayers that they too may enjoy this wonderful time of the year. We hope and pray that all in our community will be contemplating using the upcoming Christmas break to spend some valuable time with their families, enjoying each other’s company and letting each other know how much they love them.
Preparation for Christmas is an important theme for Advent, but more is involved. Advent gives us a vision of our lives as Christians and shows us the possibilities of life. Advent provides a time to look back to the first coming of Christ at Bethlehem, as well as looking to the future when Christ will come again. As we reflect on these two events we can find meaning for our life.
The incarnation, Jesus Christ showed us what it means to be fully human, he demonstrated what life can and should be. He gave us true and valid principles and values to live by. His Spirit remains with us in community, lived out through the Church, the sacraments, the Scriptures and each other keeping his vision of life before us. Advent is our time to become more involved, more caught up in the meaning and the possibilities of life as a community. Thus we are not only preparing for Christmas rather trying to make our world a better place.
Once again our students will be looking forward with anticipation to the holidays they so passionately long for each year.  It is a well-earned break after the way they have worked throughout the year. Most of our students have applied themselves to the job at hand and they are deserving of the rest that is to come.

Year 7, 2016 orientation night
On Tuesday evening of last week the College hosted 190 boys and their families who are to join us in Year 7 in 2016. We had in excess of 500 people gather to officially begin a journey, which for most of the boys will last six years. It was a wonderful gathering with all in attendance leaving with a sense of joy and excitement as they look forward to being a Salesian boy. Parents spoke of the warmth of the welcome and the night being very informative. We look forward to working with these fine young men and their families in the coming years. The evening concluded with a light supper and a chat ensuring the boys and their families were familiar with everything they need to know and we got to know them that little bit more. I would like to thank all the staff involved in these wonderful gatherings in particular Mr Byron Chen, Mrs Mary Menz, Ms Caitlyn Yann and all the Year 7 Oratory leaders for all their work and preparation.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff on the wonderful job they do year in year out, with this year being no exception. It is not only the work they do in the classroom, it’s the extra mile they are willing to go, the sporting team they coach, the gentle word of encouragement they give, the time they give up for concerts and performances and all the other things they do with no reward other than the knowledge they are helping our boys develop to their full potential. It is hard for staff to truly appreciate their achievements at this time as they feverishly correct exams and complete reports, however it is our fond hope that when the summer holidays begin they will reflect on 2015 and come to understand the significant steps we have taken as a community in our attempts to move towards achieving our goals for the years to come. The College would like to recognise and thank them for their efforts.

At this time of the year there are always farewells to make as some staff start a new part of their lives. For some it is continuing their careers in another educational setting for others it’s the start of a completely new direction. We would like to farewell these staff and wish them all the best for 2016 and beyond. For those who are travelling we wish that all your dreams of adventures are more than you hope and for those taking up new positions we wish you every success.

To all in the community we hope that you have a merry, restful, joyful and peaceful Christmas. We hope your new year gets off to the perfect start and you return to us renewed and refreshed for what is promising to be another great year here at Salesian College Chadstone.

God bless.

Mr Robert Brennan