In Pope Frances’ Lenten message for 2022 he reminds us that, “Lent is a favourable time for personal and community renewal, as it leads us to the paschal mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For our Lenten journey in 2022, we will do well to reflect on Saint Paul’s exhortation to the Galatians: “Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up. So then, while we have the opportunity let us do good to all” (Gal 6:9-10)” Pope Frances.

This year our College Easter Liturgy focussed on the hope Easter Sunday’s resurrection brings. Created by Belinda Milverton our Faith Development Coordinator, it was put together in a collaboration with our Year 10 Drama class along with our Vocal Ensemble and student leaders as narrators.

During this season of Lent, we are invited to spend time reflecting on Jesus' life and his road to Calvary. Easter is the celebration of Christ's resurrection from the dead. It is celebrated on Easter Sunday, and marks the end of Holy Week, the end of Lent, the last day of the Easter Triduum and is the beginning of the Easter season of the liturgical year. The events of Holy Week represent our faith entirely. The resurrection itself underpins what it means to be Catholic and strengthens our belief of hope and everlasting life.

On Easter Sunday Jesus trusted Mary Magdalene with the most important news that mankind has ever known. His resurrection from the dead was the most important event in human history, and Jesus Christ trusted a woman who had her wellbeing challenges to live with, to tell his disciples the good news. What a beautiful, and healing thing Jesus did by revealing himself to her and then trusting her to do what he asked of her.

Pope Frances’ Lenten message this year re-emphasises, “Each year during Lent we are reminded that “goodness, together with love, justice and solidarity, are not achieved once and for all; they have to be realized each day” (ibid., 11). Let us ask God to give us the patient perseverance of the farmer (cf. Jas 5:7), and to persevere in doing good, one step at a time. If we fall, let us stretch out our hand to the Father, who always lifts us up,” Pope Frances. (

As a compassionate St Joseph’s College Community, we have heeded this call by responding in solidarity to help support the Lismore Catholic Education Schools to recover from the devastating floods by participating in a ‘Love for Lismore Flood Appeal’ donation to participate in a Casual Clothes day today. We are expressing how we can be resurrection people by giving hope to others through the Lenten action of giving. In particular, we have made a connection with Trinity College, Lismore. We hope our contribution to their flood appeal will help to make possible a future return to their learning facilities for Trinity College, Lismore. Our College Captains have sent a message of support and we have sent their staff who are temporarily teaching from the local university, a box of chocolate hearts and messages of hope and encouragement.

Their acting principal, Mr Jesse Smith shared this amazing occurrence in their newsletter.

“As I greeted each year level at Southern Cross University over the past week I have relayed the story of our College Heart and College Lantern. These two symbols connect us to our Presentation and Marist Traditions. On 11 February this year, we placed the names of every student and staff member inside our College Heart at our Commencement Liturgy in the TSC. As part of our flood evacuation plan, we moved the College Heart and Lantern to the first floor on SJS. Unfortunately, a metre of water entered the room they were in and both were submerged in water. Miraculously, upon collecting and inspecting the Heart some days after the water subsided, the scrolls containing the names of all community members were dry! This is a great source of hope for us at this difficult time.”

We have further received the news that the devastating flood waters that inundated Lismore in recent days have completely covered the school, causing damage to every classroom, staff area and facility. Our prayers go out to them that they ‘be lifted up’ to find the faith, hope and trust that their hearts remain collectively connected and their lantern will guide them to rise in hope in the weeks and terms ahead.

We give thanks and gratitude to all in our St Joseph’s community who, through the ongoing challenges of COVID interruptions have supported one another in so many acts of kindness. Checking in on our students and each other, covering an extra class, doing someone’s duty, providing a meal, ensuring work is provided for classes and working collaboratively to ensure events have been able to take place in a COVID safe manner. May your family enjoy some quality time together over the holidays. Blessings to Tony Paatsch our good shepherd, who faithfully leads us wisely, on his well-earned enrichment leave. May we return refreshed next term prepared to extend our hand of kindness to our families that we support in Kensekka Uganda to have the life-giving gift of education, as we prepare to celebrate Edmund Rice Day on Friday 13 May.