Treasure the small things in life

The other day I was enjoying a cup of tea with Fr Josy Sebastian, parish priest of our Noarlunga Seaford parish. The church and presbytery are adjacent to our College and I often take the opportunity to chat with Fr Josy about life, school and the parish. I said to him that 2020 seems like a “cursed” year, to which he responded that he did not believe in curses. He is absolutely right, as the events of 2020 are a mystery in terms of human endeavour and faith. What we do know is the immense impact these events have had on life and the subsequent loss and grief which continues to impact on us daily.

Last week we were deeply saddened to learn of the sudden death of a wonderful Year 6 student at All Saints Catholic Primary School, Seaford. Sienna Walker-Brown suffered a brain aneurysm from which she was unable to survive. Sienna’s parents are Marie Sulda (1998 Cardijn School Captain) and Matt Walker-Brown. Sienna was due to start high school at Cardijn College next year and like many students who attend Cardijn, there are deep family connections across Sienna’s extended family. As a community we grieve with Marie, Matt and Sienna’s sister Geneva. Her life was cut short but she will be remembered by many as a beautiful, gentle soul who was always concerned about others and loved her family, friends and school. The response by our greater community of All Saints and Cardijn has been to wrap our deep love and care around the family at this very difficult time.

Cardijn College extends its heartfelt condolences to Marie, Matt and Geneva and all Sienna’s extended family and of course the staff and students at All Saints. Marie, Matt and Geneva shared a wonderful poem written by Sienna a few months ago which typifies what Sienna believed in:

Small Things.
Sometimes you can’t see them
Sometimes you treasure them
But they are always there, whether
you see them or you don’t…
Like butterflies…bees.
And everything in between.
A nicely made bed.
A kiss on your head.

By Sienna Walker-Brown

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.

2 comments on “Treasure the small things in life

  1. Viano Jaksa

    A beautiful and thoughtful response to a tragic loss of a special young girl. I have been attending virtual Masses, celebrated by Bishop Charles Gauci, with whom I shared many chats when he and I were together in the late 90s. He would definitely agree with Fr Josy’s belief that curses do not exist. We are all blessed by the influence of our spiritual mentors.


  2. Christine Morgan

    Although I did not know Sienna personally, I do know her beautiful great grandmother, Rose and spoke with her briefly this week when she shared her very sad news. Rose has a very deep faith and having lost my father last year, know too well the loss she is experiencing. With all the challenges we have faced these past few months, when we lose someone dear to us, the challenges seem not so bad..
    Makes me appreciate everything and everyone around me that much more.

    Liked by 1 person

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