Happy Easter to you all and welcome to Term Two. I hope that all families enjoyed the holiday break and are well rested and ready for the term ahead.
The holiday break began on such a spectacular high with another outstanding Music Festival. The Sydney International Convention Centre is an extraordinary and very fitting venue to showcase the depth and diversity of talent within our community. Further to my short words on the evening, I’d also like to take this opportunity to congratulate all students on their performance on the night and to thank everyone who worked together to organise the event. Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all the community for their contribution to the Bursary Fund via the ticket sales. The winners were:
- Best Accompanist: Emma Bower (Aston House)
- Best Conductor: Sophie Andreou (Barry House)
- Best Choir: Barry House
- Spirit Cup: Ward House
Prior to the Music Festival, many of our mums gathered in the Boarders’ Dining Room for the City Country Mothers’ Lunch. The theme for this year’s lunch was ‘Water’ and attendees were invited to submit a photo representing what this meant for them. This theme provoked me to reflect quite a bit and I know it did the same for others who sent in photos. Having always seen, heard and smelt the ocean over the years, a lot of my bearings and serenity have come from water in all its forms. It was most moving and powerful to hear from two boarder parents who shared with us the reality faced by farming families and communities at the moment in the context of the drought. It was a beautiful celebration of the diversity and solidarity of our community. Thank you to everyone who worked together to arrange the event.
We returned from the holidays having been in a period of remembrance. Throughout Holy Week we remembered the story of the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord. We remembered those there by his side – his mother, the women of Jerusalem, his friends and followers, his betrayers and persecutors – and we were drawn from the darkness into the light. Following this, as a nation we stopped on Anzac Day to remember lives lost and sacrifices made in the pursuit of peace and justice for all. This week at assembly we commemorated Anzac Day. I was telling the girls that recently I read somewhere that rosemary, traditionally worn on Anzac Day, is believed to hold properties to improve the memory. It of course has further particularly significance for Australians as it is found growing wild on the Gallipoli peninsula. How important it is to remember and to remain faithful to the stories of our past. Our Year 12 students led us in a solemn and moving commemoration service during which they retold the amazing story of the life of Major Alice Ross King and her part in both WWI and WWII. We are grateful that the life of Major King was shared with us all.
Also at assembly this week, our Year 11 students launched the Loreto Day cause for this year. The whole school, led by Year 11, will be supporting the Baby Milk project. The Baby Milk project was initiated in 2006 when a Zambian medical superintendent at the local hospital requested assistance from the Loreto Sisters to help save the lives of four orphaned babies. Since then, referral from hospital staff, community health workers and community leaders has determined the ongoing need for the project. Loreto Day is on Friday 31 May and I hope the whole community will support this very worthy cause.
You may have read on the social media channels of Loreto Normanhurst and Loreto Australia and SE Asia that Sr Libby Rogerson ibvm, Mrs Libby Parker and Ms Kerry McCullough have joined other Loreto colleagues from across Australia to journey as pilgrims across some of the lands of Mary Ward. I commend to you this blog so that you too can walk with the pilgrims on this spiritual journey into the heart of the Mary Ward story.
As I mentioned in a previous message, our Director of Boarding Mrs Kate Kovacs and I will soon be setting off on the first stage of the Principal’s Country Road Trip visiting Griffith, Wagga Wagga and Canberra from 14-16 May. I hope to see many of our current, past and future parents and ex-students and I am looking forward to it greatly. Click here for your invitation.
Congratulations to Yasmin Say who was very successful at the U17 Badminton National Championships over the term break. Yasmin achieved some excellent results, but the highlight was being awarded the Val Nesbitt Trophy. This is awarded to the player of the tournament who exhibits the highest standards of sportsmanship, personality, court demeanour, player ability and appearance. This is a tremendous recognition of Yasmin’s ability, and also of her wonderful character, upholding the values of a proud Loreto Sportswoman. Congratulations Yasmin.
Good luck to all girls competing in Round 1 of sport this weekend and best wishes to our Boarders for the Main Event tonight. A reminder that on Sunday morning we will celebrate the Mother Daughter Eucharist in the Chapel. I look forward to seeing many of our families at what is always a beautiful celebration of the loving relationship between mother and daughter.
We give thanks for the gift of water.
We pray that our senses may be fine-tuned to the fragile ecology that makes water so precious and so easy to pollute and destroy.
Loving God, we pray for rain for our thirsty land.
Rain to renew the ground, to replenish our dams,
to bring some chance of feed,
to bring the possibility of some reward
to those who have toiled so hard.
We turn to you in faith and hope.
We pray for our community.
We pray for all those whose lives are under the shadow of drought.
For those who work with the land,
for farmers and their families,
and for all those in rural communities who rely on the land which is now so parched.
We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Ms Marina Ugonotti