The College opening school mass, celebrated on Thursday, 20 February by Fr John Hannon, was a special celebration of all that we have to be grateful for as a community. We gathered together in prayer asking for God’s Grace to guide our year and be present in our lives as we navigate the 2020 academic year. It was a pleasure to welcome so many of the Sisters of Charity to our celebration, as we continue to give thanks for their lives of service and sacrifice, role modelling even into their retirement, what it means to love the Gospel and serve the poor. I would like to once again acknowledge the work of Mr Shane Taylor for his preparation and planning of the opening mass and especially for his inclusive leadership, allowing so many students to play a significant role in the liturgy. Thanks again to Fr John for his time with us, and for the way he works to connect our everyday life to the sacred, helping us to see God in the midst of our ordinary, everyday lives.
I would like to congratulate all of our students for their exemplary and respectful behaviour during the mass, creating the sacred space we value when we come together in prayer. In fact, their behaviour has been typical of what we have experienced from the start of the school year. It has been a joy to wander the school and observe classes that are engaged and settled with a clear focus on learning.
Thank you to all of the families who attended our House Welcomes, as we acknowledged in a special way, the start of the year for our Year 7, Year 12 and new students from other year levels. It was a pleasure to share a meal with you all at the commencement of the year. Many of the Year 7 families shared stories of how well their daughter had settled into life at St Columba’s College and are thrilled with the enjoyment they are seeing on their faces after full and busy days.
It certainly has been a busy start to the year with the High Achievers’ Assembly on Tuesday, 11 February, providing us the opportunity to welcome back our 2019 VCE and VCAL Achievers and acknowledge their successes. Our College Dux, Clare Wilson, spoke beautifully and eloquently about the special relationships that sustained her throughout Year 12, and for one so young, spoke words of wisdom about how best to navigate Year 12 for success. As part of my address to all the students, I recalled aspects of Mary Aikenhead’s journey, the choices that defined her life and her acceptance of God’s stirring in her heart. Whatever pathway our St Columba’s girls choose to take following Year 12, we hope that over their six years at the College, they come to understand, that as a woman formed in the tradition of the Sisters of Charity, they know what is expected of them as they move forward from St Columba’s College – to live fulfilling and satisfying lives, and in doing so, continue to animate the legacy of that tenacious, courageous, compassionate, inclusive, innovative, creative and loving woman Mary Aikenhead. And, that in whatever endeavours they choose to pursue, they will always look for ways to bring the compassionate face of Christ to others.