Whitefriars College values its Catholic and Carmelite story and places great importance on the three key dimensions that go together to build a strong faith community. These dimensions, though distinct, cannot be separated but rather must be fostered within each person’s faith journey and integrated into every area of school life. The three dimensions are:
Religious Education at Whitefriars College is valued and is testimony to how central faith formation is valued by the College Community. Religion classes foster an awakening in students, a desire for truth and knowledge. They empower students with the tools for lifelong faith learning.
Nurturing spirituality at Whitefriars College means fostering a personal and prayerful relationship between God and all members of the College community. The Carmelite Charism of Prayer, Community and Service is important to the Spiritual formation of each member. It allows us to forge stronger relationships with God and with others. It allows us to make Christ present in the world.
Caring relationships and a spirit of love and respect lie at the heart of our Catholic Mission and Carmelite Spirituality. As the only Carmelite school in Australia, we are fortunate to have a wonderful, authentic tradition to embrace and to nurture in our faith journey. It is through our Catholic and Carmelite tradition that we can encourage an inner space where people can listen freely for the movement of God’s spirit in their lives.
To encourage and celebrate our Spiritual life, Whitefriars participates in a variety of spiritual expressions and activities: Individual and Communal Prayer, Liturgies, Reflection Days, KAIROS Retreats and other suitable interactions and programs.
“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
Quote from Lilla Watson, an Indigenous Australian, in a speech given by her at the 1985 United Nations Decade for Women Conference in Nairobi.
The above quote offers a vision of service as a process of building relationships with others, rather than service as a one-way action of giving help. Whitefriars College believes in the importance of building relationships through the act of service, which involves recognition not only of the needs of others but also their gifts. It is about allowing others to share their gifts and minister to us, thus promoting an experience that can be mutually beneficial. Such service can enable those who are invisible, voiceless or devalued in our society to become seen, heard and valued.
All students and staff of Whitefriars College are made aware of the importance of service and its uniqueness as one of the dimensions of our Carmelite Charism. To live-out our Catholic identity is to live it by engaging in God’s mission. Therefore, we must ask ourselves how do we best serve God and in the process how do we tend to our sense of identity, so this identity will impact on the way we serve God’s mission. The importance of modelling service for our College Community is so that we can best respond to the dignity of those we serve, and which most respectfully and effectively bring growth, healing, hope and love to those we minister to.
Many programs and initiatives have been developed at Whitefriars College present meaningful and effective models of service in the Community. Our Community Service Program, especially for the students of Year 10, allows the students to share their gifts and skills with others in the pursuit of bringing love, respect and care to those in our community. Whitefriars encourages its students to develop a sense of responsibility for others within their community and to foster an understanding of the value of volunteerism and to see firsthand the rewards of helping others.
Whitefriars College is also committed to the ministry and work of the Carmelites in Timor-Leste.