Over the summer break I found by chance that I read books and articles that spoke a great deal of the need for goodness and kindness in society. This is not a concept foreign to us as a Catholic/Christian community, however, it is good every now and then to have a wake-up call to the teachings of Jesus and these basic elements of life that breed peace and unity.
Recent events in the world and the ongoing commentary upon them cause us to question the essence of goodness and kindness but this should urge us on to be people that open our hearts to others, take the generous approach, welcome all comers and be the hope filled. We should extend the ‘Open Circle’ that we refer to as Loreto people. A circle with an opening so that others may join. As we commence the new year it is so important that we too take on these ideals in a very real way as we welcome new members to the Loreto Normanhurst community.
Making new friends, settling in and lots of fun was high on the agenda at the Year 7 Camp this Thursday and Friday. It was a pleasure to speak to all the Year 7 students in a relaxed way and hear about their hopes and dreams for their future years at Loreto. The insights from the Year 7 students around the Mary Ward story and her incredible life were mature and thoughtful and already we could see that the girls identify with her story and being a Loreto girl.
This week it was wonderful to celebrate the Class of 2016 and their HSC results with their families at the HSC High Achievers Assembly. Sophie Keen the Dux for 2016 gave an excellent speech to the assembly about her tips for being a Loreto girl and being a student of Year 12. It was very important for the assembly to hear her words where she encouraged involvement, hard work, collaboration and the love of school, teachers and family. We congratulate Year 12 of 2016 and their families and wish them well as they start this next phase of their lives. We know they are well equipped with their Loreto Normanhurst education.
As you are aware the IBVM (Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary) Loreto is a national and international order. In Australia there are eight schools through all the states. As a Principal of a Loreto school I belong to the Loreto Principals’ Forum that meets termly to connect and collaborate for the growth of Loreto in Australia. Today Loreto Normanhurst will welcome the Loreto Principals’ Forum to its halls. The Principals are always keen to visit all the schools and see what connects us and what is unique to each school. It will be lovely to host them as a group today.
This week was the world day of prayer and action to end Human Trafficking. Over the years Loreto Normanhurst has worked actively in this area, raising awareness and taking action with our students and parents. Over the recent past many of our students have visited Cambodia as part of Project Futures to raise awareness and funds to support the group there who rehabilitate those who have been trafficked, predominantly young women. The Loreto sisters strongly support all agencies that support the eradication of Human Trafficking which continues to be a scourge on our society. I include the prayer to end Human Trafficking below as the reflection today.
Good luck to our Year 10 Drama students who will perform Macbeth tonight as part of the Bell Shakespeare Artist-in-Residence week.
Oh God, we didn’t see them.
But you did-
The hundreds and thousands of human beings
Trafficked each year to join the millions who are trapped in
Under terrible conditions, they work in factories, plough fields, harvest crops, work quarries, fill brothels, clean homes, and
Many are children with tiny fingers for weaving rugs
and small shoulders for bearing rifles.
Their labour is forced, their bodies beaten, their faces hidden
from those who don’t really want to see them.
But you see them all, God of the poor.
You hear their cry and you answer by
opening our eyes, and breaking our hearts
and loosening our tongues to insist:
No mas. No more.
With prayers of peace and hope,
Ms Barbara Watkins