Making Jesus Real
Making Jesus Real (MJR) is not a program. It is a way of life. Jesus’ way. It is centred on the mystery of the resurrection. MJR stresses that the ‘Spirit of Jesus’ lives in our hearts ‘in the now’ of our daily lives and focuses on how we live the Spirit of Jesus through our interaction with others. Jesus uses us as instruments to get His message of love and forgiveness across to others. We are His head, heart and hands in the world. How we present to others, should reflect the qualities of Jesus, those of inclusiveness, generosity, forgiveness and gratitude, always operating out of a positive framework. "You are the light of the world ... let your light shine before others." (Matthew 5:14-16) Every small act of friendliness and kindness reflects the Spirit of Jesus.
MJR is aligned with the Religious Education Curriculum and supports the Religious Life of the School. It is specifically linked to the Christian Life strand of the Brisbane Religious Education Curriculum adopted by the Toowoomba Diocese. The Make Jesus Real student workbook which Year 6 students journal in, is a book for life, one students can refer to in years to come.
Through MJR, students are taught the values of respect, honesty and trustworthiness, understanding, tolerance and inclusion. Gospel values of compassion, justice, humility and forgiveness are focused on. Focus on these values encourages students to develop their best selves, treat others fairly, be responsible for their actions, follow principles of moral and ethical conduct and stand up for others against bullying, whilst being connected to Jesus through others.
MJR invites adults and students alike to get ‘switched on’ to, and be aware of, God’s presence by reflecting on our lives each day to see where God has been in our experiences. By reflecting for one minute each day on where the Spirit of Jesus was in our day, we can show gratitude, ‘Celebrate God in all things’ and stay connected to Jesus.
Mary of the Southern Cross Parish, Highfields offers a sacramental programme that is family centred. Essentially, this program is a partnership in which families and the parish community work together in the preparation and celebration of the Sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist. The College supports the Parish in this initiative.
Parents are recognised as the first educators of their children in faith and it is in the context of family as the “domestic church” that candidates best learn what it means to be a spirit filled Catholic initiated into the religious life of Mary of the Southern Cross Parish.
Any baptised Catholic child who is in Year 3 or above is eligible to enrol and participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Any baptised Catholic child in Year 3 or above who has made their First Reconciliation is eligible to enrol and participate in the Sacrament of Confirmation and then in the Sacrament of Eucharist.
The parish implements a series of practical guides Becoming Catholic - Reconciliation/Confirmation/First Eucharist by Kathy Horan. Candidates are also encouraged to attend reflection sessions following Mass led by the parish sacramental team.
The parish also offers opportunities for older students to receive Baptism, Reconciliation, Confirmation and First Eucharist following a period of family preparation supported by members of the sacramental team and Parish Priest Father Brian Noonan.
For more information about this program, contact the College on 07 4698 7777.
Catholic Schools Youth Ministry Australia (CSYMA) has a vision to inspire and equip our Catholic Schools to respond to the Church’s vision of our Schools' becoming centres of the New Evangelisation.
CSYMA is a professional teacher centred organisation networking Catholic secondary schools, staff and organisations with the goal of further empowering staff and students in evangelisation.
The Catholic Schools Youth Ministry Australia network began in 2007. The original program, developed by Peter Woods, a Catholic school teacher at St. Edmund’s College Canberra, has now been adopted by secondary schools across Australia.
Since 2007, CSYMA has developed five focus areas that complement the Youth Ministry Model including Catholic primary school programs, Teacher formation initiatives and the development of post school pathways that allow youth to enter into participation in the broader Church. In 2013, a CSYMA board was formed with representatives from a range of regions and ministries throughout the CSYMA network. The board seeks to further develop the CSYMA vision including key strategic plans and activities.
Currently the CSYMA program is offered in Year 9 and will be offered to students to Year 12 in the future. It is a service modelled ministry where students are inspired to live out their faith through action, centred on igniting the heart, by striving to promote Catholic social teachings. In essence students are called to authentically live out the mission of Jesus to serve others and experience the power of the Holy Spirit.
As the College continues to grow, senior students will be given the opportunity to undertake immersion experiences. Small groups of students and staff may visit church and school communities in an Australian Indigenous context or an overseas country. The purpose of an immersion is for participants to experience life, faith and justice from a new perspective and return home inspired to live a personal sense of Catholic 'mission'.
The Senior “Youth Vinnies” program builds on the “Mini-Vinnies” program in the Junior School. It is a component of the St.Vincent de Paul Society, which has more than 40,000 members and volunteers, who work hard to assist people in need and combat social injustice across Australia. Internationally, the Society operates in 150 countries and has over 800,000 members. The Society is a lay Catholic organisation that aspires to live the gospel message by serving Christ in the poor with love, respect, justice, hope and joy, and by working to shape a more just and compassionate society.
Senior students are invited to participate in the program and meet regularly to discuss social justice issues and ensuing actions such as fundraising as well as creative ways to educate the College community. Activities include: Senior Schools Social Justice Day, supporting both the Winter & Christmas SVdP Appeals, Pancake Day, free dress days, a sleepout overnight at the College and social events each term such as ten pin bowling and games nights. The group also visits the residents from Brownesholme Retirement Village in Highfields. The group is committed to serving others by living the mission of Jesus with humility and compassion. The group also strives to build community by giving witness to John 10:10 “I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.”
Retreat and Reflection Days
The retreat program is one of the most significant elements of the Religious Education program of the College. The goal of our retreat program is to provide quality experiences for our student's relationships with God and others. Year 10 students have a two day overnight retreat and Year 12 students have a three day retreat during the year.
Students in Years 4 to Year 11 have the opportunity to participate in reflection days at the College or in the local area.
These programs provide a balance of activities to enhance individual reflection as well as an opportunity to build Christian community among students and staff.
The College provides a rich Catholic environment that allows students to immerse themselves within ritual and Catholic traditions.
Students are often given the opportunity to involve themselves in regular liturgical celebrations, primarily associated with Catholic tradition.
Students from the College regularly contribute to the parish Mass. This ministry may appear as a year Mass, music ministry, altar serving or reading. lt is anticipated that as the College grows students will contribute in areas including children's liturgy, hospitality, youth social groups, service and faith formation groups.
Our Parish: Mary of the Cross MacKillop
Venue: MacKillop Centre
75 Highfields Road,
Highfields Q 4352
Phone: 07 4630 8636
Parish Priest: Fr Brian Noonan
Sunday Mass is celebrated at 8:00 am
Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba