To the Salesian College Family,
During this past week, the students and staff of the College marked the beginning of the Church’s Season of Lent by taking part in Ash Wednesday services either in the College Chapel (Year 7s), at Mannix Campus (Year 9s) or in Oratory groups (Years 8, 10, 11 and 12). During these services, the members of our school community not only received Ashes on their foreheads in the form of a cross and with the words, ‘Repent and believe in the Gospel’, but had the opportunity to reflect upon the meaning of Lent in their lives and in their dealings with others.
For some, Lent offers the possibility of fasting, penance, prayer and self-sacrifice. For others, it is an opportunity to seek forgiveness and to bestow forgiveness, to receive mercy from others and to give others compassion in return. For others again, Lent can be a time of genuine change and conversion, when they cast aside their old selves in order to become better people and new creations in the sight of God.
Nevertheless, for all of us Ash Wednesday and Lent provide us with the impetus to give of ourselves to others without hope of recompense; to generously provide sustenance and support to the needy and marginalised of our cities and neighbourhoods; and to engage in practical acts of charity and almsgiving to the ‘poor ones’ of this earth. In short, during the period of Lent we have the chance to reflect upon and reconsider the whole direction of our lives so that we might ‘live simply so that others may simply live’.
One way or another, this year we are called to ‘give Lent 100%’, to support Project Compassion and the work of Caritas Australia as generously as possible, and to look upon the forthcoming Journey of Lent as a God-given opportunity to change the course of our own lives and the lives of others in a positive manner.
And let’s be honest, such opportunities don’t come along very often, so let’s make the most of them when they do!
Wishing you a Happy Lent,
Fr Greg Chambers