Gospel and Spirituality Assembly

We recently gathered as a school community to celebrate our Gospel Spirituality Assembly led by our Gospel Spirituality Touchstone prefects Elijah Amoa and Josef Paatsch student leadership team. The St Joseph’s College drumline directed by Mr O’Callaghan led the way, opening the assembly with their piece ‘Air Time’. In different cultures the drum is a scared tool, connecting heaven and earth, and for maintaining the rhythm of the world order. And when drummers practice their art, it’s as if they are changing the world too and touching the human spirit through the rhythm of the drum.

Our Gospel Spirituality student leader Oliver King lit our Gospel and Solidarity Touchstone candle, from our College candle, to enflame our hearts with the holy spirit, reflecting the presence of our Lord, the light of the world. This reminded us to be filled with compassion and courage to live out our Lenten commitments. Acts that change our daily actions and especially the act of alms giving. Catholic schools such as St Joseph’s, in the Edmund Rice tradition, live and grow as a faith-sharing community. Schools like ours, encourage and nourish the spiritual growth of each person through reflection, prayer, symbols, sacred stories, rituals and sacraments. They also provide religious education within Catholic School curriculum that continues the work of the Christian Brothers, the spirit of Jesus, in the charism of Blessed Edmund Rice.

Launch of our Service Learning Guidelines for 2023

Our Service Learning Program was launched by our Service Learning Coordinator Leah Irving and College Captain Jaeger Fawcett. Reflecting on the gospel emphases of service leadership, Ms Irving shared, “Luke's writings, in particular, commend almsgiving; he alone relates the stories of Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, who gave half his possessions to the poor, of the Baptist's advice to share food and clothing with the needy, and of Christ's advice to lend money without thought of return.” Our students are encouraged to live our faith by supporting a broad range of service learning opportunities, where all members of our College community can get involved. Jaeger our College Captain shared how the experience of cooking for Mac & Joes has made significant difference to families who have a family member in palliative care with the McKellar Centre. Every student is required to do a minimum of 3 hours of service per year. If students complete 15 hours or more, which some students have already done this year, will be awarded a House Pin to be worn on their blazer. During Lent we are called to really live out our Touchstones and be involved in alms giving. Giving alms is about donating your time, money, services, or resources to others. Please start a conversation with your son about how they can make a difference and what type of service they would like to complete.

Service Learning and Enviro Service Learning opportunities are advertised on the student bulletin, student email, social media, the College newsletter and at gatherings. We are calling on our community to live our theme for the year and open their hearts and minds at Joeys to help build a better world for all through service learning opportunities!

Prepare for Edmund Rice Day

One significant way to live out our theme is to take the advice of our student leaders Jack Kayler-Thomson, Lenny Allen and Connor Orsolic who challenged us to start saving by simply giving up a lunch order each week in preparation to save for our biggest act of alms giving, as we celebrate our founder’s feast day as a community, Edmund Rice Day, this year on Friday 12th May. We are looking forward to being able to celebrate our founder’s example. Reaching out to provide educational opportunities, for our friends in St Joseph’s school in Kensekka, Uganda. To make the life changing skills of an education possible for these students in Kensekka, we are asking our community to act on their Lenten commitments, to contribute $30 per student or $50 per family. This will enable us to help so many, while enjoying all of the awesome activities planned for Edmund Rice Day this year! Mr Paatsch will be in Kensekka with Fr Emma in May this year to experience first-hand the needs of the community and how we are making a difference. Our assembly began with a bang from the drumline and ended with one as a confetti shower burst as the surprise announcement was made as we became part of the Liverpool Football Family as we have partnered with the Liverpool FC to become the First Victorian Regional LFC International Academy high-performance School.

Time and Space Father/Mentor and Son Event

We had eleven students complete their service learning hours in March helping out at our annual Time and Space Father/Mentor and Son Event in the O.S. Adams Centre. We welcomed Bill Jennings back to our school to facilitate this unique experience for our Year 8 students and their male mentors in their lives.

We are blessed and thankful to have the love, care an understanding of our fathers, grandfathers, uncles, carers, teachers and the many mentors in our lives who are always there to listen and support us. This Time & Space for ‘Stepping Up’ innovative program, gives a sign post to each student about the best ways they can ‘step up’ to be a good person. Some insights and reflections from the evening include:

‘It was a nice night and a good bonding time with my dad because we haven’t done this in a long time and it’s just good to hear what’s going on and what his thoughts are about me.’

Year 8 Student

I thought it was great and would love for my brother to do this in a couple of years.’

Year 8 Student

‘The ice breaker activity was very creative and smart to engage everyone with a fun activity that allowed us to open up.’ Year 8 Student

‘Did exactly what it intended. Gave both student and adult confidence to speak to others with a common cause.’ Father/Mentor

‘Great event that I believe will bring me and my sons closer’. Father/Mentor

‘I thought it was great, and it really boosted my confidence.’ Year 11 Student Helper

‘I found the experience to be quite interesting, knowing how I was in the exact same space as those Year 8 only a few years ago.’ Year 11 Student Helper

Mary Malone
Director of Identity