Dear sisters and brothers, every moment of our lives is a time for believing, hoping and loving. The call to experience Lent as a journey of conversion, prayer and sharing of our goods, helps us – as communities and as individuals – to revive the faith that comes from the living Christ, the hope inspired by the breath of the Holy Spirit and the love flowing from the merciful heart of God. May Mary, Mother of the Saviour, ever faithful at the foot of the cross and in the heart of the Church, sustain us with her loving presence. May the blessing of the risen Lord accompany all of us on our journey towards the light of Easter.
Rome, Saint John Lateran, 11 November 2020, the Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours
It has been said by many people over time, that we all hunger for God and for spirituality, but they do not look to the Church alone for answers. Many take a little bit of wisdom from here and there. As Noel Connolly says, ‘We live as fellow pilgrims who appreciate and share the joys, anxieties of our brothers and sisters. We search together with them for meaning, goodness, truth and beauty.(2012) And as Peter advised us, we are always “prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” 1 Pet.3:15 With the many arms of the universal church being open and inclusive, the opportunities to share the journey are vast.
Our journeys are shared with others, often within a community. Whether the community might be associated with the church, a school, or other organisations, our witness to these communities can often be an experience of faith. The Apostles called the church together and reported what God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith.’ (Acts 14:27).
I trust that all members of our Brigidine Community at Indooroopilly, are able to accept and embrace each other, so that the journey of this year is one where we discover the mystery in our own hearts and be ready to share it with our fellow travellers.
Ash Wednesday (17 February) marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
In our Lenten journey towards Easter, let us remember the One who “humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8). During this season of conversion, let us renew our faith, draw from the “living water” of hope, and receive with open hearts the love of God, who makes us brothers and sisters in Christ. At the Easter vigil, we will renew our baptismal promises and experience rebirth as new men and women by the working of the Holy Spirit. This Lenten journey, like the entire pilgrimage of the Christian life, is even now illumined by the light of the resurrection, which inspires the thoughts, attitudes and decisions of the followers of Christ.
“Only a gaze transformed by charity can enable the dignity of others to be recognized and, as a consequence, the poor to be acknowledged and valued in their dignity, respected in their identity and culture, and thus truly integrated into society” (Fratelli Tutti, 187).
Car Parking / Drop off Areas
The College is restricted in the number of areas for students to be safely dropped off in the mornings and afternoons. I ask that parents park only in designated areas and preferably use the areas outside the Kildare Hall and Taringa Soccer Club for dropping students off each day. The use of Cecil Street for parking at 3pm is restricted to Holy Family Primary School. The safety of all students is paramount and with increasing traffic, the areas identified in Fairly Street are the best options.
With Strength and Gentleness
Deputy Principal Students
Developing resilience, grit and mental toughness are important for a child’s mental health. At Brigidine, we recognise that there is a connection between grit and a student’s ability to manage challenging situations. In the Formation Program, students are taught how to recognise that mental toughness is a helpful companion to developing a growth mindset which has links with learning. This week, our SchoolTV subscription for Brigidine parents focuses on resilience. Listen to leading specialists, in brief video interviews, who explain how parents can assist in developing a child’s resilience.
We would like to welcome our new Adopt-a-Cop at Brigidine – Jacqui McLeod. Jacqui will be introduced to the Brigidine community at College Assembly on 2 March and will continue to connect throughout the year during other visits in Formation classes, lunchtimes and Assemblies. She will be a wonderful asset to the College and a source of advice for students and parents. Please see Jacqui’s letter of introduction to the community here.
Deputy Principal Students
News from our Academic Ambassadors
Term 1 kicked off with the Academic Assembly, celebrating the achievements of students in Semester 2 of 2020. We were so proud to see such a large number of award recipients. It just shows how hard-working and determined so many students are, despite such a challenging year. It was an honour to reconnect with our College Dux of 2020, Piper, and the Sr Patricia Whitby award recipient, Skye. Hearing their speeches inspired everyone in the audience and was a great way to start the year.
The beginning of a new school year also meant that our new Senior Study Hub could be available for use for all Year 10-12s. This is very exciting as we have prepared for the opening and could not wait for everyone to finally be able to use it. We have been lucky enough to get new furniture which includes two collaborative study booths. Study Hub is open every morning from 7:15am and every afternoon until 5pm. It’s also available to students at lunch time. We encourage all students to use the space whenever they may need it.
We are so excited for the year ahead and have many ideas that we can’t wait to put into action!
Blue hats and baking were the feature of the Vinnies Stall for Shrove Tuesday as the community celebrated the end of ordinary time in the Church season. Students raised a staggering $1036 to go towards our Project Compassion Appeal.
We commenced the season of lent with our Ash Wednesday Liturgy. This is a time where our community engages more closely with reflection, fasting and doing acts of kindness for others. It is a time of preparation leading up to the Easter celebrations in April.
Staff member Ms Christina Ong, with students Sofia Nearhos and Amy Manthey, participated in the Project Compassion launch Be More, at St Stephen’s Cathedral and shared some of their important learnings with the whole school community during the reflection after the Gospel.
Yesterday, Sophia and I went to the Cathedral of St Stephen in the city for this year’s Project Compassion Launch event. In the Mass, Archbishop Mark Coleridge shared two readings: Noah’s ark and the Yeast of the Pharisees and Herod. The first reading of Noah’s ark demonstrates that all people deserve to be treated with equality and dignity as God intended for His creation; taking one of each and every animal on Noah’s ark. Under the United Nations law, all human beings are “born free, and equal in dignity and rights”, and have the right to work, have a home, the right to education and to food. Furthermore, the second reading discussed how Jesus’ disciples had little faith in Jesus’ ability to care for them, even though they had all witnessed the miracle of feeding the five thousand with five loaves. We learned that the evident message of this reading is to trust in God and to walk in solidarity with our community; something that the Archbishop mentioned in the homily. Caritas aims to ensure that each person has the right to these necessities; but it is not at all possible without you. Particularly, we must stand in solidarity with the women of our community and our world who are experiencing injustices. It is our world. How do you want the world to be? It is your turn to do more and be more, throughout our community.
Year 11 Student – Amy Manthey
Visiting Brigid’s House
Another mission initiative is the visitation of St Brigid’s House in Cecil Street. Staff members Jordan Whitney, Helen Jeffcoat and Tamara Porter have been instrumental in developing this ministry for members of our community.
In 2020 we began to visit the family who lives in the school’s house in Cecil Street, just two doors from down. At the moment this is a Sri Lankan family who are refugees to Australia. Their wait to become Australian citizens has been long and stressful. We wanted to welcome them to our community and extend the hand of hospitality to them as our neighbours.
On Wednesdays two staff members accompanied by 2 to 3 senior students drop by right after school. At home at that time is mum Thaya and son Jackson aged 4. It is just a friendly visit to touch base and say hi. Often the girls will take young Jackson back to school to play, frisbee, soccer and the like. During the year Jackson got a bike for his birthday and now he likes to show us how well he rides! Back at the house we chat with Thaya, just about homey things, kids, cooking, shopping and sewing. We often show each other photos of our families. During the year Miss Haydock, one of our teacher participants, got married and looking at her wedding pictures was enjoyed by all.
In October we invited Thaya and Jackson to our Cultural Diversity Day at school. Thaya showed our students how to put on a sari correctly, out girls loved the dressing up!
At the end of the 2020 we had a break-up party at the nearby home of Mrs Jeffcoat. Thaya brought along some delicious spicy snacks and our students made scones while we watched. One of our students brought along her little brother, who was in Year 1 at Holy Family, as a playmate for Jackson. It was a very friendly and fun occasion.
Last week we started up the visits. It was great to see Thaya and Jackson again. We have a roster of students, for lots wanted to participate. It is nice to do something practical, meet new people and do something fun together.
We feel that these visits are very much part of the work of Kildare Ministries. It is a way of showing that all are welcome in this space.
Deputy Principal Mission
Congratulations to Ainsley Moxham (Year 12) and her father who were recognised for their many years of voluntary service to the local community, running Taekwondo classes. They were formally acknowledged for their contribution at a Moreton Region Ceremony for Volunteers.
2021 Anzac Day Schools’ Awards
The 2021 Anzac Day Schools’ Awards are now open, encouraging students to learn about veteran service and Australian wartime history by asking the question, ‘what does commemoration look like in your community?
The national winner’s school will receive $5,000, a trophy and a certificate. There will also be state and territory winners, with the schools receiving $3,000 and a certificate. Winners in the special categories will receive $2,000 and a certificate.
Entries for the Awards are now open and will close on Wednesday, 30 June 2021. For further information, including on award categories, judging, criteria and how to apply visit the Anzac Portal website.
Foley House Update
Foley House has had an amazing and exciting start to 2021! The Interhouse Swimming Carnival was very exciting for the House and college. Our day was filled with lots of war cries, House spirit, teamwork, swimming, support from everyone, and tons of PINK!! We are so proud everyone’s effort on this day, as they really made us, and Mother Brigid Foley, proud! Foley House Patron Day was especially exciting. Following the tradition, we started the day off with a mass where Mr Wilson delivered an inspiring Wonder themed homily about how we can find joy and gratitude in our everyday lives, matching the college and House’s theme of Wonder. Throughout the day, we also expressed Mother Brigid Foley’s eternal love through various Wonder-themed activities! It was a huge success, filled with singing and dancing, and we could not be any prouder of everyone’s participation and service leadership on this day! We are grateful for Mr Wilson, our Foley Home Room teachers and Mrs Jeffcoat for all the support and preparation they did. Leading into the rest of the semester, we are extremely excited to start preparing for the Interhouse Cross Country and will continue to develop our theme of Wonder.