The Power of Presence and Response
So often I catch myself saying how quickly the day, week, month or year is going. I hear it in other staff and students’ comments around the school. I am sure remarks about the speed of life passing-by is common in your interactions too. The art of being present and, as Fr Daly reminded staff recently, taking-off our ‘focus face’ which sees us rush from one seemingly important task to the next, helps us appreciate another, a beautiful aspect of the natural day or a special interaction.
Our mindful intention to be present to others and our surroundings can not only have a beneficial impact on ourselves, it can have a profound impact on the wellbeing of our children. As parents and trusted adults, we all want our young people to share what is happening in their lives. Our preparedness to be present to these moments will have a profound impact on whether our children choose to share their feelings and experiences with us consistently, or not.
A willingness to be present is only half the response necessary. For example, how we respond to good news our children share with us can lead to stronger positive attachment, trust and relationship, especially in the years of adolescence when teenagers are most unsure of themselves.
Experts will often challenge us to practice active-constructive responding; that is, the set of behaviours where we respond with enthusiasm and questions that show genuine interest rather than passiveness or destructive responses. Taking the time to respond in such a way that your child feels that warm relationship adds a significant deposit in their trust bank. A disinterest in a young person’s good news may see them seek out other means or other people to provide affirmation.
Presence and active-constructive responding can be a real challenge in a world where we can become unintentionally easily distracted by the demands of 24-7 communication and the preference of the immediate over the important.
The time we preference in Form group, the program of The Rite Journey and topics within the pastoral wellbeing program help us, in the school environment, make time to be present to our students and be conscious of our capacity to practice active-constructive responding. After all, our motto ‘Come, Learn what you are in the eyes of God’ is all about helping our boys and young men realise they are unique, cared for and dignified.
Welcome Fr Sholto Douglas OMI
This week Fr Sholto Douglas has returned to Mazenod to spend time with our community and visit classes. It wasn’t long after he landed that he was meeting with and presenting to students from Years 7-11. Fr Sholto provided our students with an insight to life in Zimbabwe, the missionary work of the Oblates and the continued need for Christian service throughout the world. We have been blessed to have Fr Sholto visit us again.
Feast of the Assumption Mass and Mazenod Mission Day
Parents are invited to join us for the celebration of Mass on Thursday, 15 August to commence at 8:50am in the College Gym. The students will also be involved in Mazenod Mission Day following Mass.
“Lord Jesus, I give you my hands to do your work.” – St Eugene de Mazenod.