As the year progresses it is timely to remind ourselves that as a community we have been focusing on Freedom. Mary Ward described Freedom as an essential understanding that we must have as people of faith. Her most profound understanding of freedom was grounded in her personal relationship with God, her belief in those around her and in the ordinary experiences of life. This is, as John tells us in his Gospel, the ‘truth that sets us free’. The Freedom described by Mary Ward and in the Gospel speaks of an inner freedom, accepting of oneself, open to others and trusting of life. In our world at the moment we are bombarded with negative views and it is confronting and confusing. As a Loreto community we are called to grow in this freedom beyond all narrowness of self-interest and the crippling of self-doubt, only then can we respond to others and to the circumstances before us as God wants us to. As Loreto people this challenge and the commitment to this kind of freedom must always spur us on to be the best people we can be.
Today, in the senior school we are all wearing an array of jerseys to get behind ‘Jersey Day’. Jersey Day is a simple concept designed to raise awareness of The Organ and Tissue Authority and the Donate Life network. Jersey Day has been inspired by the story of Nathan Gremmo who tragically passed away in an accident in May 2015. Nathan’s family chose to give the gift of life to others to honour the legacy of Nathan’s generous personality. Mr Michael Gremmo spoke to the assembly recently about Nathan and why his family decided to donate his organs and how important it is for us to be aware of organ donation and how we should discuss this with our families.
At this time every year, Year 10 students participate in Week without Words in solidarity with St Lucy’s Wahroonga. St Lucy’s is a primary school that provides education and care for students with disabilities so that they may flourish and participate fully in society. Many of the students cannot communicate as we do and so each year to raise awareness and funds to support the school, they hold Week without Words. This is when schools like our own can join with them and can remain silent for a period of time which helps the general population understand the difficulties that many St Lucy’s pupils and families encounter each day. I thank Year 10 students and staff for being part of this very important week as we continue to support the St Lucy’s community in friendship.
Congratulations to Year 12 on the spectacular Showcase event last Friday. The magnificent work on show was truly superb and their skill incredible. The performances, exhibitions and presentations were polished and powerful and for Year 12 ‘finished’. It was tremendous to see so many students and families from all year groups attend the evening and be inspired by the talent on show. Thank you to all the teachers of these Year 12 students who have nurtured the girls’ talent throughout the year, without their support and encouragement the works would not have been the very high standard we witnessed last Friday. Thank you to Ms Katie Hardyman for opening the event with such inspirational words on the power of the creative spirit.
Congratulations to Tahlia Coleiro, Year 9, for her recent success in the NSW Interschool Equestrian Championships. Her fantastic performance means she has qualified for the Australian National Championships in September. We wish Tahlia well in the competition.
Year 11 have been managing their preliminary exams this week with calm and confidence and this has been good to witness. These exams are the end point for the Year 11 courses and next term Year 12 studies commence. Please keep Year 11 in your prayers as they work for these examinations and as they decide on their final suite of subjects that they will take to the HSC.
Last weekend was a great Loreto weekend for our fathers and daughters with the very well attended and most enjoyable Father Daughter Dinner followed by the Father Daughter Eucharist on Sunday. For many of our Year 12 fathers this was another of the many ‘last events’ at the school and it was lovely to hear the heart-felt and moving words of Alison Rorke, Year 12, and her father Haydon, who spoke of the special nature of their relationship and what a big part of their lives Loreto has been. I thank them for the gift of their words.
Happy Father’s Day to all of our Loreto dads this weekend. I hope you have a wonderful celebration with family.
Good luck to all those competing in sport tomorrow and for those students in the semi-finals. Special thanks to Year 12 students who may be competing for the last time for Loreto this weekend.
Written by the Loreto School Leaders for 2017
Loving God, creator of us all.
We give thanks for the many opportunities given to us to develop the gifts we have been given.
In this year of Freedom, may we grow in acceptance of ourselves and others.
Help us to serve one another humbly and to work to secure an equal opportunity for all.
May we work sincerely, harmoniously and collectively in the pursuit of happiness and freedom,
for being free is a continual journey fueled by love, felicity and acceptance.
In challenging all that restricts our God–given freedom,
may we let go of fear and open our hearts to love so that we may truly find the courage to be free.
May we find resilience in the face of challenge.
Let it go. Let it be. Only then shall we be truly free.
With prayers of peace and hope,
Ms Barbara Watkins