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 Religious Life of the College

 
 
RELIGIOUS IDENTITY AND CULTURE
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From the first moment that a student sets foot in a Catholic school, he or she ought to have the impression of entering a new environment, one illumined by the light of faith, and having its own unique characteristics. The inspiration of Jesus must be translated from the ideal into the real. The Gospel spirit should be evident in a Christian way of thought and life which permeates all facets of the educational climate (Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School, 1988, n.25).     
 
Augustinian Ethos and Charism
Build an Authentic Christian Community
Honour the Sense of the Sacred
Through visible signs and symbols within the college grounds. (Entrance gate, Values Pillars, St Monica’s Chapel,)
 
The induction of new staff focussed on the story and charism of St Augustine.
 
A ‘journey cross’ presented to graduating students who are with us from Prep-year 12 (first presented in 2015).
 
Nurturing a community where ‘no one is a stranger’ 
 
 
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Clear support structures established within the college’s Wellbeing Plan to respect and develop the inherent dignity and uniqueness of each person.
 
Our student behaviour support policy is founded upon Restorative Practices.
 
An emphasis on building quality relationships between staff, students and the parent/wider community. This is most evident through;
·         Induction rituals for new staff
·         College and Community Fete
·         Beginning of Year welcome BBQs
·         Coffee and Conversations sessions with parents
·         Regular Twilight Tours
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Students are taught and modelled the importance of sacred time each day.
 
There is a high expectation of reverence during liturgical celebrations
 
Students are led in mediative and centring prayer experiences from Prep to Year 12.
 
St Monica’s chapel and the ANZAC memorial space are physical places of that are expressed as sacred in our school community. 
 
 
 
 
 
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PRAYER AND WORSHIP
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Prayer cannot be reduced to the spontaneous outpouring of interior impulse: in order to pray, one must have the will to pray. Nor is it enough to know what the Scriptures reveal about prayer: one must also learn how to pray. Through a living transmission within the believing and praying Church, the Holy Spirit teaches the children of God how to pray (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994, n.2650).
 
 
Christian Prayer
Celebration of Liturgy and Sacraments
Ritualising Everyday Life
Christian prayer is observed daily, and staff and students participate in a variety of prayer styles that are age appropriate.
 
The blessing of St Augustine and the College’s Year of Mercy Prayer are two common prayers used by all members of the college community.
 
Weekly staff prayer and a Lenten prayer group offers time for staff to reflect.
 
 
 
 
 

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On regular occasions the whole college gathers to celebrate and ritualise important times in the life of the college and the life of the church. Each of these celebrations honour our Catholic tradition and at the same time are an outward sign of our vibrant Prep-12 community.
 
These include;
·     Beginning Year Mass and Student Leaders Induction
·     Easter Liturgy
·     ANZAC Day liturgy
·     St Augustine’s Feast Day Mass
·     End of Year Mass. 
 
A number of smaller liturgical gatherings
·     Class and year level masses
·     Prep Last Supper liturgy Mother’s day and Father’s day Liturgies.
·     Daily Mass in St Monica’s chapel 
 
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Within the school community there is a focus on simple, yet powerful, actions that reflect our understanding and relationship with God
 
Through ;
·           Pastoral time morning prayer
·           Whole College gatherings where we have a ‘candle lighting ritual’ of the four precincts.
·           Rites of Passage as students move from one precinct to the next.
·           Year 12 retreat (3 days)
 
 
 
 


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EVANGELISATION and FAITH FORMATION
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Evangelisation means bringing the Good News to all strata of humanity, and through its influence, transforming humanity from within and making it new (On Evangelisation in the Modern World, 1975, n.18). To evangelise is first of all to bear witness, in a simple and direct way, to God revealed by Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit; to bear witness that in his Son God has loved the world - that in his Incarnate Word he has given being to all things and has called every man and woman to eternal life (On Evangelisation in the Modern World, 1975, n.26).
 
Living The Gospel
Spiritual Formation
Witness to Wider Community
We give expression to Living the Gospel by creating a culture of hope, joy and optimism. This is achieved by
 
·       Students participating in a range of retreat experiences years 6-12.
·       Structured buddy activities across Precincts.
·       Our College Campus Minister sharing the faith journey with students
·       Our Positive Behaviours and Expectations focussing on building positive relationships
·       College Counsellors supporting the wellbeing of students in need.
·       Structured morning pastoral time with Home Group teachers.
 
 
Staff and students are supported in their journey of spiritual and faith formation through;
 
·         Through meaningful experiences of prayer; liturgical celebrations; and actions for social justice.
·         School involvement in the Catching Fire spiritual formation program
·         Teacher accreditation to teach RE through REAP and other scholarships for further study in Religious Education.
·         Staff supported and sponsored through RCIA process in their local parish.
·         Students from our college involved in the parish sacramental preparation activities.
·         Building leadership capacity of staff.
 
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Our college demonstrates a close relationship with our local parish. (Our Lady of the Southern Cross).
There is;
·         A joint celebration for Catholic Education week with the parish.
·         Support of the sacramental preparation for students.
·         Close working relationship with our local parish priest Fr. Mauro Conte.
·         The school is regularly involved in wider Archdiocesan initiatives.
 
We give witness to the wider community through;
·         NAIDOC week and Harmony Day celebrations
·         Openness to diversity of enrolments.
 
 
SOCIAL ACTION AND JUSTICE
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What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8). The Catholic worldview believes that Social action brings into sharp focus Jesus’ vision for the coming of the Kingdom of God where sinfulness, brokenness and injustice are transformed and peace and harmony are restored. For Catholics, social action finds its foundation in the scriptures, particularly the Gospels and in the Church’s Social Teaching.
 
Justice in the school Community
Action for Justice
Reflect on Action for Justice
Our college believes in the holistic learning of students with the clear expectations based on our Student Behaviour Support documentation and the College Wellbeing Plan.
 
These establish clear guidelines and support for;
·      A truly P-12 approach to wellbeing
·      10 Positive Behaviours (10 PBS) for building a community
·      Following the Positive Behaviours for Learning (PB4L)
·      Enabling access for a range
·      Exceptional support for those who have learning needs. 
 
 
 
 

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Our college offers a number of opportunities for students and staff to be involved in action for justice, both within the college and in the wider community. 
 
These include;
·           Project Compassion fundraising; Supporting our local St Vincent de Paul conference through their winter and Christmas appeals;
·           Hosting a ‘Vinnie’s sleep out (MY students)
·           Rosie’s ‘friends on the street’ Outreach for Year 11 and 12 students;
·           a week long “street retreat’ experience for Year 10 students; aged care visits for (MY and SY students)
·           Just Leadership’ days( JY students)
·           RSPCA Cupcake day (EY and JY students)
·           Grandparents Day (EY)
·           Pyjama Day (EY)
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By participating in activities that make reference to Catholic Social Teaching principles across learning areas.
 
Reflection on action for justice helps students;
·           understand the importance of solidarity, justice and compassion for others.
·         Focus on the needs of others, particularly those in our world who a vulnerable and marginalised.
·         ‘Debrief’ their experience and to reflect on how their experience of serving others’ can be integrated into their daily life.
 
 
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