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 Catholic Ethos and College Life

 As a Catholic, Christian College, we are committed to educating and forming students who are challenged to live the gospel of Jesus Christ and participate critically and authentically in faith contexts and wider society. While all learning within the College contributes to the religious development of our students, central to the religious life of the College is the Religious Education program.

Religious Education is at the heart of the College curriculum, and seeks to lead students to a sense of self-worth, a spirit of care for others (especially the poor and marginalised), and to an awareness of God in their lives.  St Augustine’s acknowledges parents as the primary educators for the faith formation of their children and seeks to support them in this role.

Catholic Ethos and Religious Education

St Augustine’s College is a Catholic school, founded in the Augustinian tradition and part of Brisbane Catholic Education.  This Catholic College provides a unique faith environment for the spiritual, social, emotional and intellectual growth of its community.  St Augustine’s seeks to develop a working partnership of parents, children / young people, parish and other agencies of Church and the College, in which each contributes his/her gifts.  It is through this partnership that students develop as capable learners and well-adjusted people of faith and values who come closer to knowing their God.

The College closely follows Brisbane Catholic Education’s Vision and Model for Religious Education. The vision emphasises the two dimensions of Religious Education: The Religion Curriculum and the Religious Life of the College. This vision seeks to challenge students to be a religious voice in the world, focusing on their religious literacy and faith formation; teaching them the Catholic religion as well ads how to be religious on a particular way.

Each term, teachers plan their Religious Education units with their learning teams and in consultation with one of the Assistant Principals - Religious Education (APREs).  St Augustine’s Religious Education Curriculum Outline documents are created especially for the students of St Augustine’s College, ensuring the four strands of the Syllabus: Sacred Texts, Beliefs, Church and Christian Life are covered effectively from years P-12 in order to meet the requirements of Brisbane Catholic Education. In years 11 and 12 students study either the subjects of Religion and Ethics or Study of Religion.

Prayer in Classrooms

Communal prayer is an integral part of daily life at St Augustine’s College.  Each morning, classes commence their day with prayer, and grace is said before lunch. Students conclude their day with the Blessing of St Augustine.  The APREs email daily prayer ideas and resources to classes, with a distinct connection being made to the activities planned each day in the Whole College Pastoral and Well-being plan. Traditional prayers, Augustinian Values prayers, prayers before meals and other prayers are published in the Student Planner.

Class groups take turns leading the College community in prayer and liturgy during Whole College and Precinct Assemblies.

Mass and Liturgies

Masses and liturgies are an integral part of the Religious Life of the College and Religious Education Curriculum. All classes take part in whole College, year-level and class Masses and Liturgies at certain times of the year.

Parents are invited and encouraged to join with children and young people for these significant celebrations.  Parent participation is a witness to children of the importance of prayer in their faith life. 

Retreats

Students in Middle Years and Senior Years take part in at least one retreat day each year. This culminates for Year 12s, as part of their final year of Catholic education, in a three-day residential experience. The retreats vary in format and style, location, and facilitator. Like all education at the College, the retreats are developmental over the years. The common focus is always greater understanding of self and others, and of relationships with self, others and God. Retreats are considered essential elements of the curriculum and as such are mandatory.

Relationships with Parish

Up until December 2010, StAC was part of St Francis Xavier Parish, Goodna. Parish Priest, Fr. Roger Burns was a regular and welcome presence in the St Augustine’s community. During 2010, the Archdiocese of Brisbane created a new and separate parish of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, Springfield. The first parish Priest, Fr. Mauro Conte, was appointed in 2011. Initially, the parish has been based at St Augustine’s but building work has commenced in 2016 on a new church located on the grounds of Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School, Springfield Lakes. The new Church is due to open in early 2017.

Mass times for Our Lady of the Southern Cross Parish are as follows and held on the grounds of the College until the new church is completed:

Tuesday – Friday 8.00 am in St Monica’s Chapel

Saturday – 6.00 pm in the Augustine Centre

Sunday – 9.00 am in the Augustine Centre

Sacramental Program

The new Archdiocesan Sacramental Policy is to be used across the diocese.  This policy clearly places the preparation for the Sacraments with the family, the teaching of the sacraments with the teachers, and the celebration of sacraments within the parish.  The coordination of the program rests with the Parish Sacramental Coordinator.

The Sacramental Program focuses on the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist and Reconciliation.  These programs are run through the Our Lady of the Southern Cross Parish, Springfield and involve meetings in family groups before the celebration occurs.  Coordinated by the Parish Sacramental Team, family preparation is an important feature of the program.  Preparation in the home involves activities that integrate into family life. 

Children usually enrol in the sacramental program in the parish in which they worship.  It is important to note that entry into the sacramental program is not compulsory. 

Through the Religious Education program, students learn about the sacraments of the Church, and – for those involved - complements the sacramental program conducted within the parish.

Dates and details of the Sacramental program can be obtained by families through the Parish Office. The APREs are able to assist families in making contact with the parish.  

Further information regarding the Archdiocese of Brisbane’s Sacramental Program can be found here:

http://liturgybrisbane.net.au/doctypes/sacramental-policy/

Staff Prayer

Staff are invited to join in Staff Prayer at 8.00am each Thursday morning.  Each staff meeting also begins in prayer. Staff are also invited to attend daily Mass in St Monica's Chapel and are particularly encouraged to attend Friday morning's Mass.

Social Justice Program

St Augustine’s has developed a strong commitment to both charity and justice. All precincts across the College are encouraged to support various community organisations through raising money and collecting food and clothes for those who are poor or marginalised. This helps develop students’ sense of charity and helping others in need. This also includes our continual and exceptional support of Caritas through the Project Compassion campaign each Lent.

Students in the Middle and Senior Years have the opportunity to further develop this sense of charity into acts of justice through visiting the elderly at Canossa Hospital and Retirement Home to provide these residents with some much needed company each week.

Students in Year 10 have the opportunity to participate in the ‘Street Retreat’ which forms an integral part of our Significant Experience Program. Students experience an immersion into the context of homelessness in Brisbane by engaging with organisations which provide for the homeless as well as building relationships of understanding with homeless people who are so often pushed to the fringed of society through stereotyping and misunderstanding.

Over the coming years we hope to continue to expand our justice program to ensure students have a number of opportunities to become involved in charity and justice at StAC. All charity and justice work that is done at the College is underpinned by the Gospel values and aim to ensure that students can make connections between the RE curriculum and the ‘real’ world.

St Monica’s Chapel

St Monica’s Chapel arrived at St Augustine’s College in July 2003. It was the first chapel in the Greater Springfield area.  A generous gift from the parish of Beaudesert, it was formerly St Stephen’s Church at Laravale, and had been built and opened there in 1922. Fr. Michael Endicott OSA, worked tirelessly to raise enough funds to move the chapel to its present site. Members of the community, especially those with ties to the Augustinians, generously donated money for this project.

The Chapel is used by the College for prayer and quiet reflection time and for class and group liturgies and Masses. The Chapel is also used for daily Mass, baptisms, weddings, funerals and similar occasions.