Fast from hurtful words – use kind words instead

Christmas and Easter are two of the most significant occasions on the Christian calendar. The birth of Jesus at Christmas and the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter are fundamental in our belief that God loves us unconditionally by giving us Jesus Christ who has shaped humanity through his teaching and our relationship with one another.

Last week we began the season of Lent with Ash Wednesday; the beginning of a 40-day journey to Easter. As a school community we gathered in year levels at St Luke’s Church for our “Ashes” liturgy. The ashen cross placed on our forehead was a powerful symbol for each person to focus on what is good in our lives and to be committed to our Christian values and the Gospel. It was also the time to launch our commitment to Project Compassion. All money raised for Project Compassion goes to Caritas Australia to support their works to help end global poverty.

Lent therefore is a special time of challenge to break down the barriers which prevent us from being fully Christian. Traditionally Lent includes a period of fasting and discipline in order for us to experience a process of conversion. It is an opportunity to say no and hence some of us would include giving up something special such as chocolate, sweets or other luxuries which we have come to take for granted. Acts of kindness and generosity as well as donations to Project Compassion are also very prominent during Lent. Pope Francis was controversial when he spoke about Lent for 2020. Instead of focussing on the traditional acts of fasting during Lent he challenged us to fast from hurting words and say kind words, fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude, fast from anger and be filled with patience, fast from pessimism and be filled with hope, fast from worries and trust in God, fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity, fast from pressures and be prayerful, fast from bitterness and fill your heart with joy, fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others, fast from grudges and be reconciled and fast from words and be silent so that you can listen.

This week our Year 7 students are having their first camp experience and our Houses are preparing for the important Sports day on Tuesday 10th of March. Last week students completed the 3000m and 1500m events at school with well over 100 students participating in these two long-distance events. Congratulations to Mr Dylan Hicks and his PE staff in coordinating these two great lunchtime events.

Last week, 22 students competed in the Catholic Co-ed Secondary Schools swimming competition at the Adelaide Aquatic Centre. Our students were outstanding and competitive all night against some of the very best swimming squads. Congratulations to Mr Anthony Martin and Ms Brenda Byrne for supporting the squad. We had some great success coming second in the U15 girls and third in the U15 boys. Even more remarkable that these swimmers in this age group were much younger and swimming up in age to fill vacancies.

Last week, the Director of Catholic Education announced that Galilee Catholic School was to extend its provision of Catholic Education from Reception to Year 9 from Term 1, 2022, that Galilee Catholic School would become a campus of Cardijn College from Term 1, 2021 and that a new $3.2M STEaM facility would be completed by Term 1, 2021. The vision of the Galilee community to have their school extend with a new middle school is simply fantastic news and I know how excited parents are about this new direction. In addition, Cardijn College is equally excited to be working with the Galilee community to establish a new educational journey forward for families in the Aldinga, Pt Willunga and Sellicks Beach region. I extend my congratulations to co-principals Jodie Higgins and Sharon Doyle who saw me early last year with a proposition to join forces and make this a reality under the umbrella of Cardijn College. We are genuinely excited by this new strategy to extend our Catholic educational provision and footprint in the Southern Vales.

Dr Paul Rijken is principal of Cardijn College, an R-12 co-educational Catholic school in the Marist tradition, deeply inspired by the method of College patron Joseph Cardijn with a foundation built on the three pillars of his teachings; to See, Judge and Act. Educating and inspiring students in the beautiful Southern Vales region of Adelaide since 1984, Cardijn has grown to encompass three schools, each with distinct offerings. Cardijn College Galilee at Aldinga offers Reception to Year 7, expanding to include Year 8 in 2022 and Year 9 in 2023. Cardijn College at Noarlunga Downs offers Years 7-12 and is renowned for academic excellence and a vibrant extra-curricular program. Cardijn College Marcellin at Christie Downs provides a wide variety of vocational education and training opportunities for students in Years 10 – 12 and beyond, with relationships that extend well into their careers. With a current enrolment of 1750 students and 240 staff, Cardijn College is an institution which strives to be a beacon of faith in the community, with students who have enormous influence and impact on both a local and global level. Paul has been the principal at Cardijn College since 2005. He has a Ph.D. from Curtin University in Science and Mathematics Education. He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educational Leaders.

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