At Loreto, relationships and learning are at the centre of what we do. These two, coupled with the Catholic and Loreto values that underpins everything, drive our decisions and our actions in the everyday and in the long term. Relationships take all forms here at our school and provide an extraordinary richness to our community. This week we have broadened these relationships further with the inaugural Loreto Rural Partnership with six students of Year 10, Miss Ashton and Mr Pluss going to Dunedoo to support the community there by working with the school students, providing an extra pair of hands in all classes, Music lessons and ICT support. As we know, in the city and here at Loreto, we are blessed with easy access to so many opportunities and resources. Sadly this is not always the case in rural Australia and so we have been happy to partner with St Michael’s Catholic Primary School, Dunedoo, to assist the young students there with a wider scope of opportunities for the week. Our girls have been generously working with the young students and I know they are gaining so much from this connection. We refer to this as a partnership and it absolutely is that, as our students and staff were shown a great deal of hospitality and learning opportunities on farms, in shearing sheds and in the wider Dunedoo area which has been coordinated by the Dent family. The broad and exciting experiences that our students have been part of for the week will give them greater insight into sharing the personal gifts they have and giving them a much broader knowledge of life in Dunedoo and rural Australia.
Demonstration of a relationship that extends all over Australia is our Loreto connection which has become even more real this week as students and teachers have travelled to, and come from, Loreto Toorak and Coorparoo. When I asked the gathered students what they were enjoying about Normanhurst they all agreed. It was that everyone knew one another and that we do not have any areas that are purely for one Year group only. It was great to hear this praise for how we build relationships here at Normanhurst which is a key part of our Pastoral Care here. Our visitors had a very special visit and life-long Loreto friendships have been formed.
Year 12 this week has been away on their final retreat experience. One that will be of great value to them in the final months of their school life and their future lives. Taking time to allow for their spiritual growth is very important for our senior students as they grapple with decisions and life. Understanding that they are in a community that promotes a love of God and of others and to know that they are loved is paramount. This retreat experience underlines that message for our Year 12 students in a gentle yet powerful way. We keep Year 12 in our prayers always as they traverse their final year of schooling.
Congratulations to all students who have been selected for representation in their various sports and we wish them well for the games ahead. We wish our Rowers every success this Saturday at the Girls Head of the River at SIRC in Penrith and we wish our swim team every success as they go into their final week of training for the IGSSA Swim and Dive Carnival next Friday.
O’Lord, help me to understand the answer
Jesus gave to the question
“Who is my neighbour?”
He told us: “My neighbour is everyone.”
So, Lord, make me more sensitive to the feelings of everyone I meet
Whether I know them or not –
– the tired
– the angry
– the happy
– the different.
All people everywhere,
all are my neighbours,
no one is really a stranger
unless I choose to make them so. Amen.
With prayers of peace and hope,
Ms Barbara Watkins