From the Religious Education Coordinator
“Speak Lord, for your servant is listening”
Welcome to 2021! A new year, with a few issues from an old year. We are now a year on from the start of the Coronavirus pandemic and it seems like just when we think we have come out the other side, we are taken back a few steps. While the pandemic has certainly impacted the way we live, it is perhaps the way we experience and engage with our faith that has been most concerning. The initial novelty of live stream masses has certainly started to die down and with it should hopefully give rise to a yearning for all of us to return to live masses in our churches. Our faith should not be static and it most certainly isn't something that should be done in isolation. At least not permanently.
The reason for this stark reminder is that times like these are not all that unique. While the reasons for our retreat from normal life are different, when we turn to scripture we can find many examples when people felt cut off from God. It is important to also remind ourselves that these times were not God’s making. Disconnection from God and the Church was always a human mistake and one that can be fixed by acknowledging it as such. God does not go on holiday nor does He abandon us during a pandemic like we are experiencing. He is still speaking to us, but are we listening? For this reason our College theme comes directly from the Book of Samuel with the line “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening”. The prophet Samuel heard the voice of God speak to him three times before he finally responded with that line the fourth time. His response to God’s call would help him go on to do great things for God’s people. Throughout 2021 we must be receptive to God’s call and look for ways that we can help others to hear God too.
2021 is a big year for the Catholic Church and Catholic education. The Pope declared 2021 to be the “Year of St Joseph” to commemorate the 150 years that he has been a patron saint of the Catholic Church. What better example can we find than St Joseph when looking for role models to help us respond to God’s call. He could have very easily abandoned his wife Mary and our Lord Jesus Christ, but he instead accepted Jesus as his adoptive son, and in doing so, fulfilled the prophecy that a messiah would come from the House of David. This year we also celebrate 200 years of Catholic education in Australia. When one looks back 200 years into the past we will discover that Catholics were barely able to celebrate Mass, let alone start Catholic schools. Yet our Catholic school is the product of 200 years of countless men and women answering God’s call to spread the Good News.
This week we celebrated our Opening School Mass in the College Chapel and live streamed across the College. Coinciding with the memorial of martyr of the Church St Agatha, it was a great opportunity for our community to have yet another role model for responding to God’s call. St Agatha responded to God’s call as a humble teenager yet would be remembered today as a Saint of our Church. 2021 presents us with many challenges of our own but God is still present and active in our world. He is still speaking to us. May we, like Samuel, respond to God’s call by saying “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening”.
Mr Matthew Bradbury
Religious Education Coordinator