From the Principal
It is the second week of Lent.
Since Ash Wednesday, I have read and heard a lot of messages from teachers, priests and parents about what has been given up for Lent. Many of these have focussed on stopping negative behaviours and focussing on positive ones. This is a long way from the times when Catholics would sacrifice chocolate, or meat, or would engage in larger acts of penance.
The Gospel of Matthew (5:20-26) recounts Jesus teaching about behaviour, and the danger of simply adhering to the letter of the law. He speaks of the need to exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees. The Pharisees were an ancient sect in Israel, who held themselves as above and separate from the masses. They were wealthier and generally better educated in the law.
Jesus however challenges his disciples by saying that just obeying the commandments is not enough! He says we must make peace with those around us, ensure that we don't have petty squabbles and that we forgive others. His message goes deeper than adherence to the letter of the law which the Pharisees were preoccupied with. It is about embracing the gospel values of forgiveness and reconciliation. He asks that we don't be smug or content with conventional 'showy' good behaviour, but really ask ourselves, 'Have we been angry? Have we insulted someone? Have we despised someone?'.
We are so fortunate that our College is a really peaceful and cooperative place. Engaging with the students here is such a pleasure. Our challenge is encouraging, modelling and rewarding the values and behaviours that go further than just the letter of the law.
Thank you so much to the students who engaged with Carnevale. I was absent from the College at the Leadership Forum, but it was really so pleasing on social media to see so many of the children make such an effort. We are asking now for a real effort with '40/forty' - where every day of Lent sees a small contribution to the raising of $40/class for charity.
You will have seen the letters regarding Coronavirus. The Toowoomba Catholic Schools Office and Education Queensland continue to send updates to the College and we will pass any relevant messages to the wider community. It is a challenging and difficult time, and if there are any significant issues I will ensure everyone is aware.
Thank you very much to those community members who have completed the Catholic Identity survey. Please do put aside time to access it so that we can design the type of Catholic environment and culture that will best support the Highfields community.
Please also look in this newsletter for information on our Indigenous Program, teaching and learning updates, wellbeing news and activities regarding formation. This is your first port of call for all of the exciting things happening in the College.
Lastly - we have commenced our Prep 2021 enrolment interviews. We have currently secured one prep class for 2021 and are well on our way to filling a second and third stream. Please, if you have family or friends who are interested in Mary MacKillop as a destination ask them to contact the College Enrolments Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you all very much for your ongoing support.