From the Principal
We have had a very busy two weeks since the last update. You will find in this Newsletter updates on our charitable work, some sporting successes, teaching and learning progress and formation news.
This Saturday night, many in our community will be knocking on stranger’s doors in the unique ritual of ‘trick-or-treating’. This is a North American tradition that has become established in many English-speaking countries, and echoes in some other practices an observance of the dead. For example, for quite a few months now, supermarkets have had plastic skeletons, cobwebs and ghoul outfits to align with Halloween. In the Catholic Church, these days culminate in the observance of All Saint’s Day on 1 November.
Like many Catholic traditions, All Saint’s Day seems to emerge out of a mingling of Christian and Pagan beliefs. Samhain, the Celtic Harvest Festival, was at the end of October. Pre-Christian Celtic belief also held that 1 November was a time when the lines between the living and the dead were blurred. When the Celts became Christian, they carried this with them, and they exported it to mainland Europe. When subsequent Popes were looking for a day to honour all of the departed – they had a ready-made festival to align it to.
In modern Australia there is a different stimulus and a different audience. Death was closer to us 1500 years ago, and every 1 November a person would have many recently departed people to acknowledge and mourn. It is different for us today. We also have much less reliance on a successful yearly harvest for survival!
For me though, All Saint’s Day is a time to remember those we love who we have lost. In the stress and rush of our lives we seldom take stock of the people missing from them. I hope that this Halloween when you are pushing snack size Cadbury bars into earnest hands, you are also able to remember a loved one and remember them well.