Next week, Tuesday 8 August, is the Feast of St Mary MacKillop - Australia's first saint.
FEAST OF ST MARY MACKILLOP
Mary MacKillop is Australia's first saint and is known as Mother Mary of the Cross. During her life she was faithful, courageous and always trusted in God. Her work inspired countless people both in Australia and throughout the world. Mary was well known for saying 'Never see a need without doing something about it.'
Saint Mary's life began in 1842 in Fitzroy, Victoria. She was the eldest of eight children, and was well educated by her father. Unfortunately, he lacked financial awareness, so the family was often without a home of their own and depended on friends and relatives so family members were frequently separated from one another.
From the age of sixteen, Mary earned her living and greatly supported her family, as a governess, as a clerk and as a teacher at the Portland school. While acting as a governess to her uncle's children at Penola, Mary met Father Julian Tennision Woods who needed help in the religious education of children in the outback. At the time Mary's family depended on her income so she was not free to follow her dream. However, in 1866, greatly inspired and encouraged by Father Woods, Mary opened the first Saint Joseph's School in a disused stable in Penola.
Young women came to join Mary, and so the Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph was begun. In 1867, Mary was asked by Bishop Shiel to come to Adelaide to start a school. From there, the Sisters spread, in groups to small outback settlements and large cities around Australia, New Zealand, and now in Peru, Brazil and refugee camps of Uganda and Thailand. Mary and these early Sisters, together with other Religious Orders and Lay Teachers of the time, had a profound influence on the forming of Catholic Education as we have come to know and experience it today. She also opened Orphanages and Providences to care for the homeless and destitute both young and old, and Refuges for ex-prisoners and ex-prostitutes who wished to make a fresh start in life.
Throughout her life, Mary met with opposition from people outside the Church and even from some of those within it. In the most difficult of times she consistently refused to attack those who wrongly accused her and undermined her work, but continued in the way she believed God was calling her and was always ready to forgive those who wronged her.
Throughout her life Mary suffered ill health. She died on August 8, 1909 in the convent in Sydney where her tomb is now enshrined. Since then the Congregation has grown and now numbers about 900, working mainly in Australia and New Zealand but also scattered singly or in small groups around the world. The "Brown Joeys" may be seen in big city schools, on dusty bush tracks, in modern hospitals, in caravans, working with the "little ones" of God - the homeless, the new migrants, the Aboriginals, the lonely and the unwanted, in direct care and in advocacy, in standing with and in speaking with. In their endeavours to reverence the human dignity of others and to change unjust structures, the Sisters and many others who also share the Mary MacKillop spirit continue the work which she began.
This great Australian woman inspired great dedication to God's work in the then new colonies. In today's world, she stands as an example of great courage and trust in her living out of God's loving and compassionate care of those in need.
Mary MacKillop was Canonised on October 17, 2010 at St Peter's Basilica, Rome. Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed Mary's sainthood during the Canonisation Mass. Mary MacKillop truly lived and passed on the Gospel values. Her love, faith, trust, commitment and enthusiasm live on in our lives today. Mary is a wonderful inspiration and model for all.
Mary MacKIllop's Feast Day is 8 August.
Help your child ACHIEVE!
One way to help your child achieve at school is to work together with your child’s teacher. The parent-teacher partnership takes work from both sides to become a reality. Here are some ideas from parenting educator Michael Grose that will help.
There’s no doubt that the best outcomes for kids happen when teachers and parents work together to support children’s learning. Here are 10 ways you can work with your child’s teacher to maximise your child’s chances of school success.
1. Know what your child’s teacher is trying to achieve.
Like children, every teacher is different with their own specific expectations, goals and interests. Get to know your child’s teacher and gain an understanding of their approach and aspirations for your child’s class.
2. Keep your expectations reasonable and positive.
If your expectations are too high children may give up. Too low and they will meet them! The trick is to keep your aspirations for your child in line with their ability and their interests. Also, be realistic about what your child’s school can deliver. Sometimes our expectations of schools are not in line with their capabilities or their roles.
3. Support your teacher’s expectations and activities at home.
One practical way of supporting your child is to take a real interest in their home-based learning tasks and follow the guidelines laid out by teachers.
4. Send kids to school ready to learn and on time.
Maximise your child’s chances of success by sending them to school in a good frame of mind, with plenty of sleep and a good breakfast. Also make sure they get to school on time. It’s estimated that many kids miss up to two weeks of school a year when they are routinely late by just five minutes a day.
5. Inform teachers of your child’s challenges and changes.
Life’s not always smooth sailing for kids. Family circumstances can alter. Friends move away. Illness happens. These changes affect learning. Make sure you keep your child’s teacher up-to-date with significant changes or difficulties your child experiences, so he or she can accommodate their emotional and learning needs at school.
6. Skill children to work with others.
Schools are social places requiring children to work and play with each other much of the time. Teaching manners to kids, as well as encouraging them to share their time, space and things with others are practical ways to help kids with their social skills. Talk through any social challenges they may have, helping them develop their own strategies to get on with others.
7. Respectfully seek joint solutions to problems and difficulties.
Resist the temptation to solve all your children’s problems or think you have the only solution. Most learning and social problems can be resolved when teachers and parents work together in the best interests of the child.
8. Participate fully in class and school activities.
There is a huge body of research that points to the correlation between parent involvement in a child’s schooling and their educational success. Quite simply, if you want your child to improve then take an interest in his or her learning, attend as many school functions as you can, and follow the lead provided by your child’s teacher. This simple strategy will have a massive, long-term impact.
9. Trust your teacher’s knowledge, professionalism and experience.
Your child’s teachers are your greatest allies. Their training, their experience around kids and their objective professionalism puts them in a strong position to make judgement calls about your child.
10. Talk up what happens at school.
Your child will take their cues from you about how they see their school. If you want your child to value learning and enjoy their time at school, then you need to support your school and make sure he or she hears positive messages about learning, teachers and the school itself. You can set a strong educational agenda at home by talking up your school.
This type of 10 point plan is easy to read but hard to put into practice, particularly when you get busy or your child has significant difficulties. Choose two or three ideas from this list to really focus on in the coming year and you’ll find that the rest will fall into place. Good luck and nurture the partnerships you have with your child.
Performing Arts Festival
During the next few weeks students from Infant Jesus School are participating in the Catholic Schools Performing Arts Festival. Children will represent the school in the Choral (School Choir) and in the Liturgical sections of the festival. The festival incorporates students from Catholic schools around the state. It is a time of great excitement for our budding musicians as they will assuredly share their hard work and prowess, through voice or upon dedicated instruments, with the wider community.
On Monday the Infant Jesus School Choir will be participating in the Liturgical section at St Benedict's Parish Church, Applecross. In the following weeks the School Choir, Year Four Choir and the School Band will also be participating in the festival on the following dates -
The Infant Jesus School Choir & The Year 4 Choir
Tuesday 22 August (2.45pm-4.00pm)
Vasto Club, Balcatta
Infant Jesus Concert Band
Tuesday 22 August (7.00pm-9.30pm)
Child Protection Week 2017
Child Protection Week will commence on Sunday 3 September, 2017, and we will officially celebrate Child Protection Sunday on 10 September 2017.
Once again, the Perth Catholic Archdiocese will be the host for the official Western Australian Child Protection Week Event. Child Protection Week is a national week and in every state, one event is chosen by NAPCAN (National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect) to be listed as the official state event. As such, the relevant Government Ministers and their CEOs and Directors together with the Commissioner for Police and Executive Director of the Department for Child Protection will be invited to attend. National Awards for Child Protection Agencies will also be announced at the Breakfast by the Commissioner for Children and Young People WA.
This year the competition for children’s involvement is a poster competition and all the details are attached. Please print off the flyer and start promoting this in your parish.
There will be a major prize for each age group winner which will be presented to the individual winners at the Child Protection Week Breakfast.
The winning children and a parent will be invited to attend the breakfast event at no charge and their posters will be displayed on the big screen during the prize presentations.
The overall winner will again win an IPad and the exciting news is that the overall winner’s poster will be used to create the official Safeguarding Poster that will then be distributed to all parishes for use in the foyer or hall.
ALL DETAILS ARE ATTACHED and entries need to be in the Safeguarding Office/Parish Office no later than 19 August 2017 for judging.
School Improvement Colloquium
This week, a small contingent of staff from Infant Jesus School will be attending the National Diocesan System – School Improvement Colloquium for School Effectiveness and Improvement across the system. We have been asked to present at this conference some of the work we are doing as a school in the area of school leadership, whole school improvement and digital technologies. The theme –Catholic School Improvement – Impact on ALL Students – places at the heart of the Colloquium, a focus on the young people we serve in Catholic education.
Our workshop details the development and impact of school improvement over the past three years; shares the future direction of school and system reform in WA through Leading Lights; and demonstrates moving theory to practice through the sharing of one school’s journey in developing quality teachers who have embraced digital transformation with improved outcomes for students as their focus.
25th Jubilee Infant Jesus Church
This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the new Infant Jesus Church. Fr Sunny and the assistant priests, along with the Parish Council and the various active committees within the church are planning for a big celebration to recognise the occasion. Three bishops, including Archbishop Costelloe will be attending the Masses over the weekend of 26 & 27 August.
As you know, Saturday 19 August is an Infant Jesus School Family Mass. There will be a number of opportunities for our community to be involved, particularly as Friday 25 August is IJ Day!
Attached is the Parish Jubilee Week Program. Please mark your Calendar.
A focus for 2017 for Infant Jesus School is to strengthen the links between the Parish and the School. As a school community we have been invited to organise and lead parts of the Mass at Infant Jesus Church at 6.30pm on Saturday 19 August. This is a very significant time for the Parish as this Mass is the beginning of the Silver Jubilee Celebration of Infant Jesus Church.
This Mass is also one of the Commitment Masses for the children who are commencing their preparation to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
The School Choir will also be involved and will be leading the singing at this celebration. If you, and your family, would like to help in any way please contact Ms Melissa Myles or Ms Clare Moffat.
We are looking forward to seeing all families at this special occasion to begin the Silver Jubilee celebrations.
Assumption Day Mass
On Tuesday 15 August, we will celebrate Assumption Day Mass in the Infant Jesus Parish Church. This is a Holy Day of obligation. On this feast of Mary, we celebrate a special favour that God gave to Mary, our Mother. The Assumption means that Mary was taken up into the glory of heaven not only with her soul, but also with her body. As we celebrate the feast day of Mary, we ask our Blessed Mother Mary to guide, protect and care for us.
Prayer for the Week
Mary MacKillop Prayer
God of the pilgrim Mary MacKillop
trusted your guidance in her journey of life
and deepened her confidence in your will.
May we renew our trust in your Providence to lead us in hope.
May we relish the sacred in the ordinariness of our lives.
May we grow in the fullness of your love and the depth of your mystery.
We ask this through Jesus Christ the way, the truth and the life.
Thought for the Week
Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.