Principal’s Blog – 29 July 2022
The Catholic Church has been part of a four-year journey of prayer, dialogue and contemplation to listen to the spirit as part of the Plenary Council. Pope Francis has expressed synodality, a process that allows bishops to consult with Catholics — from parishioners all the way up to priests — in a spirit of collaboration and openness.
Members of the Church have gathered to discuss matters usually confined to the clergy to shape the future of the Catholic Church in Australia.
Gathered by God, and called together by the Church in the name of Christ Jesus, the members of the Plenary Council have sought to be faithful to their commission to listen to and hear “what the Spirit is saying to the churches” (Rev 3:22).
Prayer, listening, dialogue and discernment have been at the centre of this long Plenary journey.
Salesian College Chadstone Past Pupil and Hall of Fame inductee Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB formally declared the Council closed after the Council discussions.
President Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB signs the decrees for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia while vice president Bishop Shane Mackinlay and secretary Fr David Ranson look on.
My blog this week highlights that Salesian College, as a joy-filled Catholic learning community, is part of our Catholic Church and its future in Australia. I share with you exerts and the Concluding Statement – A Final Word from the Second Assembly.
For many in our community you are involved in our local parishes as parishioners and support the Church in various acts of mission. For others in our community Salesian is the place where you find meaning in a Catholic faith context. For some the Holy Spirit and teachings of Jesus is resonating with you as you engage with our story.
Our Charter states that we are a Parish that evangelises.
As a community we too must respond to the challenges in our society, offering a place of prayer, Eucharist, welcome and learning informed by our Catholic faith and Salesian charism.
“We carry forth into the world the seeds of fresh possibilities, sown in a hidden yet abundant way by the great Sower of everything, who makes these seeds flourish in unexpected places for the sake of the Kingdom (Matt. 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-20, Luke 8:4-15). We bear a rich heritage: the many ways in which the Catholic community has enhanced life in Australia through its care for the sick and marginalised, its commitment to education, and its advocacy for social justice, especially the needs of refugees and asylum seekers. We commit ourselves to seek and serve the human flourishing of all Australians, and to care for Earth, our common home, by cherishing, preserving, and healing the land.”
Salesian is committed to recontextualising our Catholic identity to meet the needs of our students, staff and families who view us as parish. The Oratory experience for our students and formation experiences for staff ensure that dialogue about key societal issues occurs in the context of our Catholic faith and Salesian narrative. We too are re-establishing connections with our parishes and primary schools who too are undertaking the mission of the Church. Through our values and actions the school is reaching out to the vulnerable and marginalised, being custodians of our environment and educating our students for life so that they can become “good Christians and honest citizens”.
I hope that the Concluding Statement – A Final Word from the Second Assembly provides an opportunity for discussion in your home about the Church in Australia and the important role we play as a Salesian school in the education of your son and connection to family.
Mark Ashmore | Principal