As we come to the final week of second term we look back on the many events that have transpired over that time. The dominant aspect has been around the passing of Fr Noel Kierce. There were many notes of support and condolences sent to the College at the time with the general tone that it was both a sad and yet community building time; just as Fr Noel would have wanted. It has been pleasing to see that a number of our boys have now returned to Fr Noel’s old office to spend time with Fr Angelino as he moves into his role here at the College. Fr Angelino will be returning to Timor-Leste for a short time to celebrate the solemn profession of his fellow Friars. We hope to see him back here early in third term.
The first of the Year 11 Kairos retreats has now been held. This is always a powerful time for the young men and staff who attend. Kairos literally means, ‘In God’s Time’. It reminds us of the need to remove ourselves from the busyness and intensity of life to reflect on our own journey. For the boys it is about their relationship with God and their future aspirations. It is so encouraging to hear boys express themselves so openly and in a trusting manner knowing that such trust is safe within the group. We have had very positive feedback from our parents about their sons’ experiences.
The mid-year examination period has come and gone. Students in Years 9-11 have sat formal examinations with the Year 12s continuing with their SACs. The response from the examination supervisors endorsed the serious manner in which the boys undertook their papers. The Year 9 students gathered as an entire year level in the Gymnasium to give them a realistic taste of future testing conditions. Let us hope that the mid-year reports of all students are reflective of the efforts being shown.
The College recognised World Environment Day recently. A petition to limit greenhouse gases was available for staff and students to sign. Such initiatives are condoned by both current Catholic teachings and the Carmelite Justice, Peace and Integrity Commission. This commission works to educate communities around the world about sustainability and our obligations in this area.
We are experiencing a strong enrolment interest in the College. This, I believe, is due to the word of mouth that comes from our families. The regular monthly Open Morning last week was our largest group to date and we were delighted to have the boys act as guides.
A number of Careers Breakfasts have been held for our senior students. The final of these (in the Health Science field) attracted a sizeable group of students and parents and featured the return of a number of old boys. Ms Anna Gasparini and Mr Dean Notting provide a wonderful service in the Pathways and Careers area.
The Whitefriars Winter Sleep-out took place on the coldest night of the year last week. This initiative (under the direction of Mr Peter Ciardulli) enabled around 45 students and staff to live out a practical experience and recognise the plight of an increasing number of Melburnians.
I have now had the opportunity to share a meal with all the current Year 12 group. It is wonderful to hear of their journey at the College, their friendships, their loyalty and their aspirations. No doubt the group will look resplendent for their upcoming formal next week. They are a very fine group of young men who are going to make a mark in the world. Importantly, they understand the concept of being gentle-men with strength of character.
Almae In Fide Parentis