The Season of Lent

Dear Parents/Guardians, Families, Students, Staff and Friends of the College

International Women’s Day
All around the world, International Women’s Day represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality. #PressforProgress is the 2018 theme for the global hub, encouraging effective action for advancing and recognising women.
Each year International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on 8 March. The first International Women’s Day was held in 1911. Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organisations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day.

A Prayer for International Women’s Day

Lord, make me an instrument of peace:
Bless all women who daily strive to bring peace to their communities, their homes and their hearts.
Give them strength to continue to turn swords into plowshares.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love:
We pray for all women who face prejudice, inequality and gender disparities.
Help us see and to face the discrimination against women in all the many forms it may take.
Where there is injury, pardon:
Comfort all women who suffer from the pain of war, violence, and abuse.
Help them to become instruments of their own reconciliation and peace.
Where there is division, unity:
Forgive all women and men who let differences breed hate and discrimination. Let your example of valuing all of creation help
us to see that we are equal partners in the stewardship of your world.
Where there is darkness, light; where there is untruth, truth:
Comfort all women who struggle in the darkness of abuse, poverty, and loneliness. May we stand with them in light to
acknowledge their suffering and strive to remove the burdens of shame or embarrassment.
Where there is doubt, true faith:
We pray for all women who live in fear of their husbands, fathers, and forces that control their lives. Help them to be
empowered to be their true selves through your everlasting love and faith.
Where there is despair, hope:
We pray for all women who live in the despair of poverty, violence, trafficking, slavery, and abuse.
May the light of your love bring them hope.
Where there is sadness, new joy:
Help us to see the strength and goodness in all women and men.
Transform our hearts to celebrate the love and grace of all people.
And may we be blessed with the courage of St. Clare of Assisi
To follow our own path of love for you and all sisters and brothers.

(Written by Deborah Hirt, Intern at Franciscans International)

Almae In Fide Parentis

The Season of Lent
Lent is a time of preparation for Easter when we renew our lives as modern-day disciples of Jesus. We focus our thoughts on Jesus and through prayer and penance; imitate his experience in the desert. In the early Church it was a time when people who wanted to be Christians were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism.
Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and giving. While acts of self-discipline remain a significant feature of Lent in the Catholic tradition, Lent is more about what we “take up” than what we “give up’; striving for a balance. This Lent let us set aside time to reflect on the presence of God in our daily lives.

May God bless us with eyes that see suffering in the world.
May God bless us with courage to seek justice and peace.
May God bless us with generosity to share what we have.
May God bless us with love to see Christ in each other.

We are particularly encouraged during Lent to give greater attention to those who might be in need. Almsgiving, or giving to charity, is the most common way of achieving this.

General News
A number of Year 9 students will be departing Australia on Saturday 17 March, for six weeks in China, participating in the Victorian Young Leaders to China (VLYC) program. They will be studying at Beijing Language & Culture University for two weeks and then moving into Yangzi High School in Nanjin for four weeks. The experience is all about language immersion and leadership.
Many special evenings have been held over the past four weeks; all most impressive and a joy for me to attend where possible: Year 7 Information Night, Year 12 Information Night, International Students Home Stay Evening, five (of eight) Year 7 House welcome liturgies and dinners; the Year 8 father/son and the Year 7 mother/son nights; and the 2018 Tour information nights for the Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Battlefields and VLYC groups. Staff members have given so generously of their time in arranging and attending these important events, ably assisted by very capable, and responsible Whitefriars students, including those in senior student leader roles and volunteers from other year levels. Special thanks to the Parents Association helpers who are always so welcoming in looking after our community at these special gatherings.
The ACC Swimming Carnival was held on 23 February at MSAC. The Whitefriars squad competed superbly, finishing second overall. Congratulations to all team members, including reserves, for the many weeks of training and dedication, resulting in some excellent performances, under the guidance of Mr Cotter, Mr Legge and coaches. We are proud of you all. Congratulations to De La Salle College for winning Division 1 and to Mazenod College for winning Division 2.
The College House Athletics Carnival was held at the Tom Kelly track in Doncaster last week. A magnificent event. The carnival started a little differently this year with an opening ceremony, which included the Acknowledgement of Country, the reading of the Athletes and Officials Oath (in true Olympic style!) and the singing of the National Anthem. As has been the case in the past, the participation level of the boys was outstanding. There was a real desire to be involved in fair competition and House spirit. In a closely contested battle, Stein House were the victors. Congratulations to them! Special thanks and to Mr Kellar and the sports team and to all the staff for their respective duties.
The new building has progressed incredibly since January and is due for completion within the next month. We are hopeful of some classes having access to the new learning spaces early in Term 2.
Condolences: The College extends our sincere sympathy to Mrs Emilia Fields (Director International Students Program) on the passing of her husband, Kerry. May the family find strength and comfort at this difficult time with their memories, family and friends, and their faith. We also ask that you keep Sean Cleary Year 9 E4 and his family in your thoughts and prayers on the recent passing of his grandmother and the families of Harrison Leonard Year 12 A1, Tarkyn Leonard Year 7 A5 and Jake Leonard Year 10 M6 on the passing of their grandfather this week. May they rest in eternal peace.

Best wishes to all members of the College community for the remainder of Term 1.

Mr Anthony Kirley

en English