From the Head of Faith & Mission - Mr Robert Dullard Vol 14

It’s been a very busy few weeks for Faith and Mission, with one event just rolling into another…

Fathers’ Day Mass
On Friday 2 September, we continued our tradition of celebrating Fathers’ Day with a beautiful Mass celebrated, quite fittingly, in St Joseph’s Chapel. St Joseph was Jesus’ earthly father figure and therefore, guardian, protector, provider and role model to Jesus throughout his early life. It was great to see some of our Fathers present in the chapel for Mass with their sons and daughters, along with those who celebrated from home via our livestream. The Mass was a wonderful prelude to our Fathers’ Day Breakfast and I am sure was a great way to kick start the Fathers’ Day weekend for all dads.

Year 12 Reflection Day 3
On Monday 5 September, we held the third of our four Year 12 Reflection Day Sessions. It was a great opportunity for the students to reflect over the year to date and consider how their faith has played a supporting role throughout the challenges of VCE and VCAL and to know that their faith offers them a source of strength as they edge closer to launching out into the deep beyond the protection of the school gates.

Year 11 Christian Service – C.O.T.S.
Over the past month, all Year 11 Religious Education students have participated in their Christian Service excursion. This excursion tied beautifully together their current unit of study and Assessment Task based on Catholic Social Teachings with their Year level Charity (for whom they fundraised during JJAMM Week). The activity involved, each class travelling to the city in the late afternoon to join with Christmas on the Streets (C.O.T.S.) to meet and chat with some of the homeless people of Melbourne. The experience was an extremely rewarding one and offered our students an opportunity to gain greater understanding and empathy for the homeless. Our students quite rightly learnt from the activity that these people are “homeless but not hopeless” and are deserving of respect and a sense of dignity, despite their circumstances.

Recently, our Ministry Band, M22, have been involved in a tour of some of the local Primary schools and Parishes. The students have been wonderful witnesses of faith to the younger students, which is quite a courageous act when we consider that for the majority of people, faith is often kept quite private and rarely shared openly with others. It has been fantastic to see the beautiful manner in which they have spoken with the students and of course, performed on each occasion. They not only have been great ambassadors for our College but essentially for the Catholic Church and the recontextualisation of our faith. They played at the morning Mass on the Feast of the Assumption for the Primary school and Parish of the Good Shepherd. They were so well received by the parish community that they have been invited back later in the year to perform at their Parish Fete. They also performed at the Holy Child Primary School’s Assembly, at St Dominic’s Primary School Assembly and finally at St Thomas More’s Assembly. M22 were definitely a hit at all four parishes.

M22 are releasing their debut single, “Footsteps” this Friday evening. “Footsteps” was written about St Mary of the Cross MacKillop as a true model of discipleship and in whose “Footsteps” we should follow. Our M22 initiative, sparked by the students and then developed under the guidance of Dennis Alberto, is another example as to how, we at Penola, offer various opportunities for formation of faith through a variety of opportunities and avenues; an area within our School Improvement Plan that we pursue growth constantly.

Be sure to check out the new single, “Footsteps” on Friday night via the M22 YouTube Channel.