As we move towards Migrant and Refugee Week, I wonder if you saw on social media during the week the images of the little boy pulled out of rubble in Syria, bleeding and disoriented. The images were very powerful and confronting. How can we live in such comfort and be full of hope for our children’s future and across the world this pain and anguish takes place? How do we react to this and how do we react to further media and political discussion about closing Manus Island and Nauru and the reports of child abuse there? I wonder how the asylum seekers will now feel when after months of detention many will be sent home to the war torn countries they fled, one this image represents. I have to ask the question; are they perhaps even more traumatised now after extended periods of detention from when they arrived on our shores hoping for a new life?
Of course this is an incredibly complex issue and successive governments have struggled with the issue in an ongoing way. As Catholic Christians and as a Loreto community member what is our personal response? Do we ignore, rationalise, question, become outraged, discuss, pray or possibly become an advocate for freedom and justice. This week at the school we had an evening watching the video “Chasing Asylum”, a film that is very real and equally confronting. For more information, please visit http://www.chasingasylum.com.au/. Watching this film and discussing it with family and friends, writing to politicians with informed views may help to make our community understand more fully the issues involved. This may also help our young women become more insightful to the plight of those asylum seekers and refugees who flee a homeland they love to a land far away that unfortunately is not a safe haven for them or their families. I attach for your discernment a pro-forma letter to the government on the issue of asylum seeker children, as written by Sister Libby Rogerson IBVM. On Migrant and Refugee Sunday, next Sunday 28 August, let us pray for leaders having to make difficult decisions in this area and the refugees and asylum seekers and the centre of the decisions they make. Let us be people of mercy as Pope Francis has told us.
National Science Week has been a real success here at the school. The Science Faculty and Science Club have been doing enjoyable activities all week. We hear so much about girls and STEM subjects and I can say that at Loreto Normanhurst we take that very seriously as part of the holistic education our girls receive here at the school. The growth of our young women in all areas of learning, particularly in those areas that has low representation for women, is high and will continue to remain an experience that is seen as necessary for our students. On that note, we were delighted to receive the news that Brittany Abraham, Year 11, has been awarded a Charles Darwin Reserve Indigenous scholarship to attend the 10th Asian Science Camp to be held in India from 21-27 August. At the camp, Brittany will get the opportunity to meet with Nobel Laureates and attend science master classes with more than 200 other talented students from Asia, Australia and Oceania. We congratulate Brittany and wish her an amazing experience .
We also congratulate Stephanie Sardinha, Year 10, for having been selected as a member of the AHIGS Representative Debating Squad for 2016. The standard of competition was very high and Stephanie’s outstanding achievement is to be commended.
On Snug as a Bug in a Rug Day on Wednesday I spoke to the girls about how we as a community need to care for the environment. As we move to an ecology centred school we need to really consider how we should take on a personal commitment to the Earth and Humanity. Australia is one of the biggest producers of CO2 and only when we take on this personal commitment can we assist in the change the world needs. We will continue to do all we can at the school to lessen our carbon footprint – I wonder what you might do at home?
Even though the days are beautiful at the moment so many students are quite sick with flu and other illnesses. When your daughter is sick please let her stay home and rest. The girls need to rest and recuperate when ill and they do not need to work until they are really much better and able to do work. The staff and the students in their classes will assist in every way when they return. So…Rest is Best!
Good luck to all our sporting teams this weekend.
A prayer for our earth
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
hat we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts
of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature
as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.
With prayers of peace and hope,
Ms Barbara Watkins