From the Principal

It’s hard to believe that I am here welcoming all in the community to Week Six, but nonetheless, it is true. It feels like it has only been in the last week and a half that we have settled into the Term, after a frantic start to the year. Everything continues to go well and the boys appear to be well and truly settled into the work at hand.

Much has happened since our last Newsletter, with some of the highlights being a win in the ACC Swimming Carnival two Fridays ago, and our Ash Wednesday liturgies. It was great to see the boys compete with great pride and joy at the ACC Swimming Carnival. We congratulate all those who participated, and the staff who trained the boys in the lead up to the carnival.

This week, the Year Nine boys head off to camp. We wish them and the staff all the best, and look forward to hearing about their great adventures. Whilst the Year Nine boys are away, we also send the music crew off on their Annual Music Camp. We hope all the rehearsing pays off, and the boys are happy with the quality of their music. Once again we thank the staff for giving up their personal time to accompany the boys on the camp.

Last Wednesday, the Catholic community entered into the season of Lent. As a school, we participated in a staff Ash Wednesday liturgy before taking the ashes into the Oratory groups to ensure all boys were welcomed into this great season of Lent. In our tradition, Lent is a very important season in the Church’s calendar. It is a season where we prepare ourselves for Easter. However, for many people Lent is not a season they look forward to. For many, childhood memories of giving up candy or sitting through family prayers come immediately to mind. Words like ‘sacrifice’, ‘discipline’, and ‘self-denial’ are often the words that come to mind, which for many bring up negative connotations.

Last week, Fr Frank offered a different perspective or way to think about Lent. Fr Frank presented a model to view Lent as a yearly ‘second chance’. A time for reflection, a time to take a long, loving look at our lives to see if our values and priorities are in line with God’s desires for us. To identify the times we have wandered from God’s path, with the view to make changes in our lives to repair our relationship with God. Father Frank’s reflection offers an alternative perspective from the traditional actions of fasting from food and drink, things that often have feelings of negativity. He suggests that we change, or ‘fast’, from the negative behaviours in our life, to ‘feast’ on the more positive behaviours that would replace them. I encourage all in the community to read his reflection and endeavour to put into practice some of the suggestions.

Over the next two weeks a number of staff will have the pleasure of interviewing the boys and their families who will join us next year. This job is always a positive undertaking, as we get to meet some wonderful young men who will bring their own gifts and talents to continue the story of Salesian College. The numbers of applications are up again this year; which is great news for the College. I would like to thank Mrs Mary Menz for all the work she does in welcoming the boys and families into our community, especially at this time where it can be quite stressful for them. Also to all the staff who have given up their time; including last Saturday morning, or one of the evenings over the next two weeks to undertake this vital task. It is very much appreciated.

A reminder to all families that our first sojourn into Student Led Conferences will take place next Wednesday. We ask that all families make a time to meet with their son’s Oratory Leader. We will be very keen to hear from families on their thoughts as to how things went at this meeting.

I wish all in the community a great week.

Rob Brennan