Happy Loreto Day!
Today we come together to celebrate our Loreto Normanhurst community. In doing so we support others and those on the margins; the most important part of a Loreto and a Catholic education.
This year, our cause is the ‘House of Welcome’. Our day which is full of fun and laughter began with a beautiful Eucharist. In the Eucharist Year 11 students led us in understanding the cause. They spoke to us of generosity and awareness. They spoke of a need to not generalise about refugees and asylum seekers, that it is imperative that we get to know newly arrived members of our community as people just like us, who do not have the security or safety that we take for granted.
The House of Welcome is a big part of Loreto Normanhurst in terms of our broad support. Currently through the work of the staff and the community we have five refugees to Australia as members of our staff. The staff raise money for their wages, through subsidising their own salaries, and the school further contributes by maintaining their employment, equipping them with the necessary skills to gain further employment outside of Loreto in the future. This program is a strong part of our commitment to make justice a reality here in our community; a commitment by the school and by the staff as well.
I congratulate Year 11 for their collaborative work in bringing this very special day together, ever mindful that we should be as Mary Ward and Jesus taught us to be “Seekers of Truth and Doers of Justice.”
This week has also been an important week in Australia with National Sorry Day last weekend and this week we have celebrated National Reconciliation Week. We continue to look for ways to understand and promote reconciliation in Australia and in our Loreto community. Today’s Acknowledgement of Country was particularly special from Angeline Raggett in Year 11, one of our Indigenous students from Darwin. Angie spoke to us of her pride at being a strong Aboriginal and Loreto woman and the importance of acknowledging those from the past, in the present and the future, in developing true reconciliation in Australia.
Congratulations to Sr Libby Rogerson IBVM, who is so well known to the Loreto community. Sr Libby celebrated her Golden Jubilee, 50 years as an IBVM Sister, last weekend with friends, family and her fellow Loreto Sisters. Sr Libby is such an integral part of our Loreto Normanhurst community. She was a student at the school and a member of the novitiate in her years of training to become a Loreto Sister. She has been a member of the community for more than 20 years and sits on the School Board as Co-Deputy Chair. Libby has worked tirelessly within our school and in the outside community for those who are displaced or on the margins of society through her work in social justice. She is a powerful voice for the voiceless and advocate for peace, love and a just society and we thank her for all her generous work over her 50 years.
Congratulations and thank you Sr Libby for your selfless dedication to Jesus’ call.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
With prayers of peace and hope,
Ms Barbara Watkins