BCE Executive Director Pam Betts
THIS last week of winter is certainly a reminder of the persistent cold winds that August can bring and that it is just a bit too early to pack up the winter woollies for another year!
No doubt in past years, Wellbeing Week (24 – 28 August) has probably come and gone in the busyness of our lives. In this most unusual year, our interest in wellbeing has been heightened as the impact of the coronavirus has turned our world upside down. Our increased awareness of the importance of looking after ourselves and looking out for family and friends has been evident. Extraordinary times call for an extraordinary response and I have seen it time and time again over the past six months. This Wellbeing Week our schools have been encouraged to host a Gratitude morning tea to say thank you – this initiative has been made possible with sponsorship from Teachers' Union Health and NGS Super.
Future Learning Communities
This year we have still managed to celebrate, in a somewhat scaled down way, 175 years of Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Brisbane. We look to the past and acknowledge the pioneers of Catholic education, particularly the religious women and men. We owe them an immense debt of gratitude for the rich legacy they passed on to us. As we look to the past with gratitude, we also look to the future with hope. In these past twelve months we have engaged in a process of consultation to look to the future, in the development of our Strategic Plan 2021- 2025: Future Learning Communities. Our Future Learning Communities website is now live and I invite you to explore the website, reflect on our strategic priorities and share your thoughts on our direction for the next 5 years.
St Joseph's School, Nambour wins Council award
And the awards just keep coming! Congratulations to the Year 5 students at St Joseph's School, Nambour - winners of the 2020 Sunshine Coast Get Ready Schools competition. They will now be mentored by the Sunshine Coast Council's disaster management team and work behind the scenes and in front of the camera to star in the Council's 2020 Get Ready media campaign to help the local community prepare for disasters. But even better is the news that the students will donate their individual prizes to help the homeless. This kind gesture witnesses to so many of our values and the Gospel message to reach out to those in need.
Yesterday, we celebrated the twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary time. In the Gospel (Mt 16: 13-20), Jesus says to Simon son of Jonah, 'You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church.' Pope Francis offered the following thoughts about this reading:
Jesus says to Simon: You, Simon, “you are Peter" — that is, stone, rock — “and on this rock I will build my Church". With us too, today, Jesus wants to continue building his Church, this house with solid foundations but where cracks are not lacking, and which is in constant need of repair. Always. The Church always needs to be reformed, repaired. We certainly do not feel like rocks, but only like small stones. However, no small stone is useless; indeed, in Jesus' hands the smallest stone becomes precious, because he picks it up, gazes at it with great tenderness, fashions it with his Spirit, and positions it in the right place that he had always had in mind and where it can be more useful to the whole structure. Each of us is a small stone, but in Jesus' hands participates in the building of the Church. And all of us, as small as we are, are rendered “living stones" because when Jesus takes his stone in hand, he makes it his own; he infuses it with life, full of life, full of life from the Holy Spirit, full of life from his love.
As the coronavirus is again impacting on many in our community, it is a reminder to each of us to continue to be vigilant and follow the directions of the Department of Health. I hope that you and your family remain safe and well.
Brisbane Catholic Education Office
2A Burke Street, Woolloongabba Qld 4102 Australia
GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia
Phone: (07) 3033 7000
Fax: (07) 3844 5101