Over the last two weeks, we have encountered sad and distressing news and seen no improvement in the deeply worrying COVID-19 situation in the eastern states. Some of us are old enough to remember the scenes of terror and chaos at the US Embassy when Saigon, South Vietnam fell to the North Vietnamese on 30 April 1975. Others will remember the horrific scenes from New York on 11 September 2001, now well-known as 9/11. The scenes from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan are terrifying and just unimaginable. People across the world have been horrified by these scenes of our fellow humans in utter desperation and fear for their safety and future. It is unimaginable that in our modern world this could still happen and happen so quickly. Many of us will know or be connected in some way to the Afghan community or someone who has served in the Australian Defence Force supporting the people of Afghanistan over the last 20 years. As a Cardijn community, we offer our prayers for the safety and wellbeing of the people of Afghanistan and the Afghani community in Australia. These are times when we walk in solidarity with our neighbour in an act of humanity and what we do as Christians. We also call for our Australian government to act justly and swiftly to further support our Afghan community and those people from Afghanistan seeking freedom in our great country.
Last Friday we learnt of the tragic death of Sabu Sebastian. Sabu is the younger brother of Fr Josy Sebastian, our parish priest. Sabu was on his motorcycle and was killed when a car drove into the back of him. He lay helpless for over two hours with no one stopping to help him. It wasn’t until the police arrived at the scene that medical help was called – but it was too late and he sadly died of his injuries. Fr Josy comes from a big family with a brother in the US, himself in Australia and the rest of his family back in Karwar, India. His family is understandably heartbroken. Fr Josy spoke beautifully about his brother Sabu who dedicated his life and service to many people less fortunate and marginalised. Sabu was just 49 years old. Over the last 18 months, Sabu worked for the health department in New Delhi where Coronavirus has been at its worst. Sabu would get medical resources to those people who could not afford health care or did not have access to medical services. When he finished his work at the end of the day Sabu would help bring food to those who are hungry and isolated because of the pandemic. Fr Josy was so saddened that in his country, when Sabu needed help in his last hours of life, no one came forward to help. Sabu’s funeral was held last Saturday afternoon, Adelaide time.
Fr Josy is deeply saddened by the loss of his younger brother, but he takes heart from his parish and school family. Last Monday, a memorial mass was held at St Luke’s for Sabu and the church was completely filled. Fr Josy is alone in Australia and we in the parish and at Cardijn are his family, and he deeply values this relationship, our prayers and messages. In his hour of need, we can walk with Fr Josy in his grief and be present to him.
There has also been some joyful news for our community over the last few weeks. Congratulations to 32 students from our Marcellin campus who walked 50 km from McLaren Vale to Hutt Street, Adelaide raising funds for the Hutt Street Centre. The community raised over $10,000 for the homeless who access Hutt Street. Congratulations to Sean Beath, Shaun Halliday, Matt Kempson and Joseph Catania for their support of the students on the day. Our first XVIII football team (AFL) played Henley High School in the State Knockout Competition – Pool A. Henley High School has won this competition since 2007 with Brighton High School winning in 2015 as the only blip in Henley’s domination of this competition. Over the years, Cardijn has moved from Pool B into Pool A and this grand final was a great outcome for our AFL Academy program. Cardijn led the way for most of the game until the last five minutes when Henley came back with two quick goals, claiming victory by a narrow three point margin. The same Cardijn team played in the grand final of the SAAS Wednesday Cup this week against Blackfriars Priory School, but this time won convincingly by 90 points. Congratulations to head coach Mr Tarak Redigolo, Mr Daniel Rabbett and our first XVIII football team.
Book Week has been such a wonderful celebration of literacy and storytelling this week. The Book Week costume parade at Galilee was just amazing with both students and staff dressing up as their favourite book characters. Mr Nick Wright, Head of Galilee dressed up as Professor Severus Snape and yours truly took on the character of Professor Albus Dumbledore, both from the Harry Potter series. I had the great pleasure of reading to our Reception and Year 1 students and I chose “Green Eggs and Ham” as my favourite story. The students enjoyed reading with me. On the Cardijn campus, The Cat in the Hat has been appearing for the students to guess their secret identity. All will be revealed next week! Students are wearing crazy socks today for a gold coin donation to support the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. The foundation is set up to close the gap in literacy for students in our very remote regions. Current data shows that just over 36% of Indigenous Year 5 students have achieved above the benchmark in the NAPLAN compared to 96% for non-Indigenous students in our major cities. We want every child in Australia to thrive and to be able to be literate and numerate. The foundation has a range of initiatives but the major one is book supply for these children. If you want to assist with our fundraising efforts please visit our fundraising page – https://fundraising.ilf.org.au/gemma-currie/
Congratulations to Ms Gemma Currie, inclusive education teacher for leading this initiative.
Tonight is the Year 12 Dinner Dance and we look forward to the Year 12 students celebrating the middle of Term 3 with just over five weeks remaining of their school year and studies. They have earned the night to relax and enjoy this part of their final journey. No doubt the costumes will be very entertaining.