Welcome back to 2018!
I hope all families had a restful and enjoyable Christmas break. It is wonderful to have all our students and staff back filling the school. The laughter and squeals of delight rang out in the halls this week on Sunday evening when the Boarders returned, and in both Secondary and Primary during the week. We warmly welcome new students, families and staff to the school. We welcome our new Year 5 and Year 7 students who, for the first time, will experience Loreto Normanhurst as a group together, and additionally for Year 7 who are experiencing the beginnings of secondary school. Congratulations to all those new students joining us from other schools in the other year groups. You and your parents have made a brave choice for you and we hope that your journey here at Loreto Normanhurst is a wonderful one. For all those who are new to the community we welcome you and offer you every support as you join the beautiful and connected Loreto Normanhurst community. There were lots of smiles at the end of each day this week so I can only be led to believe that the first week has been both productive and enjoyable. This year I hope all our students will ‘go for it’, and be brave in their relationships and their learning, and I hope they will let go of the old and turn a new page for the year ahead.
This year we will celebrate the Year of Justice in all Loreto schools in Australia. For us here at Loreto Normanhurst, we will be challenged to unpack what that means in our world. A world where at the moment we are bombarded by very loud and sometimes very negative voices speaking of ‘fake news’. Mary Ward spoke in her time of the need to be “seekers of truth and doers of justice”. These words are incredibly relevant for us today and help us to think critically of what is reported around us as we search for the truth and we allow ourselves to take action for Justice. This year we will embrace Justice as the value for the year but we do not lose sight of Sincerity, Verity, Felicity and Freedom. Together, as Loreto people who focus on these values as a way to guide our thoughts and actions, we, like Mary Ward, can do work that is not just for ourselves but for others and ultimately for the greater glory of God.
In 2018 we will focus our attention again on the Strategic Plan 2016-2020 and its three pathways of a Faith-Centred School, a Person-Centred School and an Ecology-Centred School. These three areas will be defined and reinforced throughout the year in line with what we hold dear as a Loreto school. Our school is constantly reinventing and changing so that our holistic education meets the needs of our students for their world and it stays relevant to their times. Work on the exciting new 30 Year Master Plan for the school was completed at the end of last year and this will be revealed to the community throughout the year.
As the year begins and we centre our focus we are committed to supporting our students’ wellbeing, working in partnership with parents to nurture and grow them. This year we will again challenge their thinking and their actions so that our community can be the best it can be and our young women can be ‘fully alive’ and be women of truth, action and justice.
Creator God, source of all life,
We marvel at the beauty and excellence within everything you have created.
In our difference, you made us and love us.
Through our search to seek and understand the message of your son Jesus, we open ourselves to belong to the Kingdom of God.
Free our minds to recognise the needs of the world, locally and globally.
Give us the wisdom and the conviction to realise that through right relationships with you and each other, we have the power to bring about a more just world.
May we give generously and willingly, without expecting anything in return, as we challenge all that leads to injustice.
We pray that our God who liberates, empowers and motivates, will be with us as we work for justice with the gifts of humility and compassion.
Enable us to be disciples of your love and peace.
Following the example of Mary Ward, assist us in being ‘seekers of truth and doers of justice’.
Hear our prayer which we ask in Jesus’ name.
With prayers of peace and hope,
Ms Barbara Watkins