An Audacious Hope – a day of formation.

Last Friday, the staff of both Cardijn College and Marcellin Technical came together for our annual Staff Formation Day held at Morphettville Racecourse.

The day provides an opportunity for the staff to reflect on the work that we do as educators and educational support officers to support our families and students as well as each other in our Catholic tradition.

The theme of the formation day was “An Audacious Hope” and we were led by Fiona Dyball from the Mission and Life Formation Team as well as our very own APRIM Joseph Catania. Fiona and Joseph provided many opportunities for the staff to reflect on how we as a Catholic community encourage a sense of hope, particularly for young people.

The overarching theme used the following context:

As communities of faith living in an increasingly secular society, we are called to reflect on our young people’s understanding of themselves, their world and their future. If we are to promote a community of thriving people, capable learners for the world God desires, then we need to continue to form ourselves and our young people to be people of faith, hope and love.

As a staff we were able to unpack some telling research data provided by the work of Mark McCrindle’s Faith and Belief in Australia Defined. The data clearly shows that while Religion in Australia is far from dead, there is clearly a rise in numbers of those who do not identify with a religion and spiritual belief. However it is also clear that our youth are the most comfortable when talking about spirituality and religion. So the question is, how do we as a Catholic community play a role in shaping the attitudes of our youth and help them develop an understanding of the value of a faith-filled life?

Where are the ‘places of hope’ within our community? We see these as being in the classroom, the houses and homerooms, the amphitheatre when our student leaders are leading fun activities that help build and strengthen community.

The awe and wonder of nature – its beauty hits you and invites you to experience the ‘something’ or ‘otherness’ that is present. It’s the little stuff as well as the big stuff that matters – in all that we do to generate hopefulness.

We are called to teach as Jesus taught, by sensing the realities of the signs of our times, discern them, and to respond in a way that also provides the necessary resources needed to bring about a positive change.

By the end of the day, staff had developed a great sense of optimism and understanding of their roles in developing our students’ sense of hope. The following are examples of hope statements formed by our staff:

To have hope is to find the determination to work through the troubles of today to see a tomorrow. It is our choices, attitudes and how we respond to our issues which create the pathway to a better tomorrow, not just with ourselves but our community and the world around us.

Act justly, love tenderly, walk humbly with your God and you will start a movement of Hope.

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