Dear Parents and Friends of Loreto Nedlands
Receiving the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist for the first time is a significant and memorable event. It can often be the first most significant event on the journey towards our adult faith that most of us can remember. I still remember that cold winter morning when Mum and Dad had me dressed up in my white hand-me-down dress and brand new knitted cardigan ready for my First Holy Communion Mass at 7.00am in the morning. The fact that they managed to have all five very young children turned out in their best clothes and the vegemite and lettuce sandwiches for the shared Communion breakfast ready all in plenty of time before Mass commenced, continues to amaze me. The details are still clear, as I am sure they are with most adults, such is the enormity of the event. The Year Four students want to be in communion with Jesus. They look forward with such anticipation to the big day – receiving Jesus for the first time in Holy Eucharist. We wish them all of God’s blessings for this special day and hope it will be the first of many Eucharists they receive to sustain and nourish them as they continue to mature their relationship with God. We hope that every aspect of the day will be enjoyed and celebrated and create life long memories that can be recalled years later. Sincerest thanks to Year Four teacher, Katie Sharman, and the parents of the Communicants, for all their efforts in preparing the students so beautifully for their First Holy Communion.
Bless the children coming forward to receive Holy Communion for the first time on Sunday.
May it be an initial step into a life-long love of the Eucharist.
Give them a hunger for this sacred food so that they turn to you for comfort, guidance, and wisdom as they grow into full discipleship.
Thank you for their innocence and goodness.
May their hands, extended in anticipation of your Body and Blood, inspire all of us to cherish this sacred sacrament.
There has been a debate in the media over the past week about the pressures of examinations and assessments deterring students from participating in arts-based curriculum areas in secondary school. Participation in the arts is an integral part of the development of each human being. Arts participation enhances academic and wellbeing outcomes for students. The Arts are essential in promoting mental health outcomes and assisting students to reach their full potential as compassionate and empathetic young people with a strong sense of personal identity. At Loreto Nedlands, the students are encouraged to participate in a variety of authentic arts experiences, including; solo and ensemble music participation, singing, debating, public speaking and annual school musicals. In addition, the teachers strive to provide quality visual arts experiences for the students and encourage film making creative arts experiences in the upper years. Participating in the performing arts, in particular, engages the students’ emotions in such a way that they can discover their own voice, develop confidence and become human beings who see the world in a creative, critical and compassionate way. Performing arts are enjoyable, especially when experienced with others. We saw this last week at assembly when the various ensembles performed. We all shared in the joy of the students performing across year levels to find deep expression in their music. We are seeing the joy this week for the Year Five and Six students as they participate in their musical preparation. On Tuesday morning, the second day of rehearsals, I was witness to the students joining in with the preparation of the opening number. They were loving it – all singing and dancing with joy, unity and a terrific sense of collegiality of sharing in something special with their classmates. This is the joy of the performing arts and, I hope, it will remain important to our students and their teachers as they move into the demands of their senior education. The performing arts are alive and well at Loreto Nedlands and long may that last.
Over the last few days, Caped Crusaders have been spotted in the playground. The Caped Crusaders are identified by the very colourful and shiny capes they are wearing. I approached one of the Crusaders earlier this week and asked about their purpose. The young Crusader could express, with confidence, that his role was to look out for very special people; people who are showing excellent examples of what it is to be fair. Another Crusader explained that she was on the lookout, most diligently I might add, to search out those people on the playground who were demonstrating character strengths. She had identified a young boy who had shown kindness because he was helping out a younger student who was upset. Our young Crusader was most impressed. This is serious business for our students. They are ‘blossoming” as they model the strengths as Crusaders and identify the strengths in others. This week we are focusing on the strength of “fairness.” There is further information about what it means to be ‘fair’ in this newsletter. The Caped Crusaders initiative supports the Blossoming Policy and will be developed over the coming weeks as a classroom and playground initiative.
I am most grateful to the positive parent group, who along with Mr Boxsell, have come up with additional positive initiatives for families. Further information about this is explained later in this newsletter.
I look forward to welcoming the Year Four Holy Communicants and their families at Mass at Holy Rosary Church on Sunday at 8.45am.