From the Principal

Welcome to the last edition of our newsletter for the year. Each year I reflect on the business we experience as the year comes to an end, and unfortunately this year is no different. I find it a bit of a shame we find ourselves in this situation, as this really should be a time to ease off, be more reflective and think about all the blessings we have enjoyed over the past year, as well look forward to spending time with our family and friends over the Christmas period.

We need to be very conscious of not allowing family schedules, work commitments, personal agendas, meeting schedules, parties and all other obligations to control our lives. Instead, we need to make time to reflect on the miracle of the incarnation through the birth of Jesus. This weekend marks 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 am using the following excerpt to help explain the importance of Advent for all of us, in particular those of us who are Christian. Preparing for Christmas is an important theme of Advent, but more is involved. Advent gives us a vision of our lives as Christians and shows us the possibilities of life.

The vision of life that Advent gives us is twofold; it looks back to the first coming of Christ at Bethlehem, and it looks to the future when Christ will come again. In the interval between these two events we find meaning for our life as a Christian.

First, we celebrate Christ becoming human. We view his life and experience his presence as a human being in our history. Christ came to show us what life can and should be. He gave us true and valid principles by which we can live true and valid lives. But Jesus knew that the human heart could not live in isolation. He formed the Church around the concept of a people held together by love. In that community we discover unlimited possibilities and meaning. Alone we can do nothing. Together we find real meaning.

When Christ left this earth, he did not abandon us. He remains with us in his Spirit, the Church, the sacraments, the Scriptures and each other. He lives in community with us and keeps his vision of life before us.

When Christ comes again, his presence will no longer be hidden behind the signs and symbols of the liturgy or the words of the Scriptures. His presence among us will be revealed in all its fullness, a presence that will never end, a presence that will perfect and complete our community.

This is the “greater significance” of Advent. In these few short weeks we take in the sweeping panorama of time – from Christ’s birth to his Second Coming. The season of Advent brings us the magnificent vision of life and hope for the future given to us by Christ.

Advent is our time to become more involved, more caught up in the meaning and the possibilities of life as a Christian community. Thus we are preparing not only for Christmas but also for Christ’s Second Coming. This means that when he comes again, we will be awake and watchful. He will not find us asleep.

Reference: Liguori Publications Excerpt from Advent – A Quality Store Cupboard, The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.

We encourage all in our community to take time out of their busy schedules and the general madness to take a quiet moment to allow some peace and stillness. During advent we must take some quiet time to reflect on all that is happening around us, and focus on the important things in our lives; our family and friends, people less fortunate than ourselves and 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.

I am sure that our students will be looking forward with anticipation to the holidays they so passionately wait for each year. It is a break the vast majority of our boys deserve after the work they have completed 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.

The College would like to recognise and thank the staff for their efforts over the year, some of which have continued right up until the last minute, at events such as the Spring Concert and Orientation Evening, to mention but a few. It is hard for staff to truly appreciate their achievements at this time as they feverishly correct exams and write reports, however it is our fond hope that when all settles down they will reflect on this year and come to understand the significant contribution they have made to your boys and the community.

At this time of the year we always farewell staff for various reasons, and we would like to say thank you to the following staff and wish them a fond goodbye as they take on different roles next year. For those who are travelling, we wish that all your dreams of adventures are more than you hope them to be, and for those taking up new positions, we wish you every success. We farewell Ms Rozanne Misso, and Mr Peter Moore who retire after long stints with the College, and we wish them well in their retirements. We also farewell Miss Elissa Galante, Miss Rachel Ivey, Mr Michael Caligiuri, Mrs Ivana Ryan, Miss Sarah Martin, Mr Anthony Barnes and Ms Alicia Wilson who are moving on to either take up their careers at other schools, or spend a year travelling.

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

God Bless.

Robert Brennan