Today we gathered as a faith community to celebrate our End of Year Mass. We warmly welcomed Bishop Martin Ashe, the newly appointed Western Auxiliary Bishop as our celebrant.
In the spirit of gratitude, our College Captain Jaeger acknowledged the leadership, compassion and integrity of our Principal, Deputy Principals, Head of Campus staff, Head of House staff, Year Level Coordinators, homeroom teachers, subject teachers and the many support and administration staff who work in the specialist areas across the school to enable everything to run smoothly. ‘As they have all generously provided us with their guidance, support and encouragement. They have given much of their time to organise and support the many opportunities that we have been able to make possible, participate in and enjoy.’ Jaeger F.
Bishop Martin concluded the mass by sharing the blessing prayer of St Bernard as we acknowledged the generous contributions to the St Joseph’s community to those staff leaving to pursue new opportunities on their career journey and we sent our best wishes, particularly to our retiring staff after many committed years of dedicated service at St Joseph’s College, Mark Turner, Sena Palmer, Michael Anderson and David Shalders.
The Theme as we head into this Third Sunday of Advent is one of JOY. The Church names this Sunday ‘Gaudete’ Sunday; Gaudete being a Latin word that means rejoice! Pope Francis reminds us all that Gaudete Sunday is known as the ‘Sunday of Joy’. His reminder is that on this Sunday, people should focus on all the ‘good things life has given you’ instead of worrying and stressing about ‘all the things you still haven't done to prepare for Christmas’. Let us reflect as we begin our holiday season instead on: How will I be full of joy? Where will I find joy? How can I bring joy to others?
One tradition that links strongly to the Christian preparation for and celebration of Christmas is the singing and playing of Christmas carols or hymns. Today we concluded our Mass with our Vocal Ensemble and band members leading us in singing a very old and well-known carol ‘Joy to the World’ as the recessional hymn. This hymn echoes Psalm 98, which has many references to joy.
Shout joyfully to the Lord! Blessing to all our St Joseph’s community as we shout for joy as we head into the holiday break as we prepare the way of the Lord so that we remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus, let us ask Emmanuel to be with us and hear our prayers for peace in the world, those in need and ourselves.
‘Justice and Solidarity. This touchstone is about taking action and being committed to justice and peace, which we do through our service learning, or community service hours. Not only does this help our community, and bring us together, but it also puts a smile on your face. Helping others is a fundamental part of St. Joseph’s, as well as the messages behind the other touchstones, and it is reflected in all of these things that we do.’ Callum W
‘I have endless possibilities to study what I need for my future career paths, because they helped me reach my goals for this year. For that, I give thanks to my teachers. A final note I leave is that you should treat your teachers with respect, they are here to help you achieve your goals and to make sure you get to where you want to be in life. Thanks Westcourt you’ve changed my life for the better and I won’t forget it.’ Archer W
‘By striving for our highest, we can achieve so much more in whatever we are passionate about. In 2023 we all return to Edmund Rice Campus, and move into Year 10. For many of us, this represents a new beginning and an opportunity for a fresh perspective. We can strive for our highest in pursuit of our chosen goals. This year, a lot of people have done so many great things. Like the Westcourt band who have worked tremendously throughout the year to play for us at assemblies. The footy, cricket, soccer and any other sports teams for trying their best in ACC. The teachers and staff for working constantly to make sure we are best prepared for Mt Sion next year. And finally, all my peers who have made a mark on Westcourt which I’m sure will stick around for a while.’
This week our 44 senior student leaders were introduced to their 2023 theme ‘Lead by Example’, along with the expectations of their leadership roles and the many opportunities for future involvement at St Joseph’s College. The leaders spent half a day together in collaboration, as one united team before, planning for success in their designated House and Touchstone groups. They enjoyed lunch and a game of Ultimate Disc during the break, before being addressed by Mr Mark Kennedy the Deputy Principal, of Wellbeing on the topic of resilience. We would like to thank Mr Kennedy for his valuable time spent preparing and presenting to our student leaders. Some overall feedback from leaders included keywords such as inclusive, helpful and great fun when used to describe the day!
During Head Start we welcomed Ms Rachael Swatman to the Identity Team as a 2023 Student Leadership Coordinator. We thank our outgoing Student Leadership Coordinator Mr Ashley Crook for all of his positive energy, and the many opportunities he has created to build capacity in our student leaders' skill set and to help them balance their wellbeing and study workloads as he collaborated with students to celebrate living out our college Touchstones of Inclusive Community, Justice and Solidarity, Gospel Spirituality and Liberating Education.