From the Principal

As the 2014 school year draws to a close, we should be slowing down and taking time to reflect on the miracle of the incarnation through the birth of Jesus. Yet it seems we continue to be as busy as we are at any other time of the year. Here at school we are correcting exams, finalising results, as well as preparing family schedules and personal agendas filled with meetings programs, parties and other obligations. 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 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 take some quiet time to reflect on all that is happening around and focus on the important things in our lives, our family and friends, people less fortunate than ourselves, 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 have taken this excerpt to help explain the importance of Advent for all of us in particular those of us who are Christian. 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.

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-become-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.

© Liguori Publications Excerpt from Advent – A Quality Store cupboard The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer

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.

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 2014 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 2014 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.

Robert Brennan