- Principal's Message
- Student Achievements
- Student Free Day - Monday 27th June
- St Thomas More's Feast Day
- Baton update- get those walking shoes ready 3/4S
- Foundation Band & Strings workshop - Thursday 30th June, 2022
- Tell A Joke Day - Wednesday, 6th July
- Comfy clothes day - Friday 8th July
- Family & Parent support
- Lost Property
- Parish Bulletin
God is Grace: The 'Hard Sayings' of Jesus
A Samaritan Village Refuses to Receive Jesus & Would-Be Followers of Jesus (Luke 9:51-62)
A reflection on the Gospel from the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
Written by Mr Casimir Douglas
“To another Jesus said, “Follow me.” But the man said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:59-60)
In this week’s Gospel passage, Jesus encounters three would-be followers as he travels along the road to Jerusalem through the lands of Samaria. Yes, those lands. The lands which Jesus used for his most recounted of parables, the Samaritans that were most famously opposed to the Hebrew people. As these three men engage with Jesus on the journey they each offer a commitment to follow Him, but Jesus rebukes each of them in turn, perhaps harshly.
These three rebukes are referred to as the ‘hard sayings’ of Jesus. None more so than the man willing to follow Jesus, but is seemingly forbad to attend to his family for farewells before doing so. The responses from Jesus presented in this passage are jarring. But they are meant to be jarring, confronting and challenging.
The passage begins with an allusion to the end of the Gospel narrative; the end of Christ’s journey to Jerusalem. Golgotha. Christ is walking step by solitary step toward Calvary, and understands the significance of each. He is entirely committed to this journey of self-sacrifice and bringing about the Kingdom of God. The message from the Gospel writer Luke is clear. We are jarred, confronted and challenged to match this commitment, to accept this invitation. After all, no one said this would be easy.
This image of Christ presented by the Gospel writer, Luke, seems contrary to the enduring image of the compassionate Jesus. But Christ’s words in this passage must not be blunted. There are clear boundaries. Those who seek to bring about the Kingdom must make sacrifices. Vulnerability researcher, writer and presenter, Brené Brown, found in her research that the key commonality among those who present with personality traits high in compassionate behaviour is the upholding of clear boundaries.
St Thomas More’s Feast Day occurs this week on Wednesday 22nd June. The day presents an opportunity for us as a school community to celebrate the charism of St Thomas More. Earlier this year, I read St Thomas More’s most popular and enduring book, Utopia. He was certainly a creative and provocative thinker and writer, who was entirely committed to ‘God and Country’ and who held clear boundaries in his faith. Indeed, he gave his life for his beliefs, when the ideals of his nation betrayed his faith in Christ. St Thomas More’s final words before his sentence was carried out; reflect his actions, commitment and boundaries: “I die the King’s faithful servant, but God’s first.” (St Thomas More; July 6, 1535)
While Christ’s words may appear jarring, confronting and challenging; the primary purpose was not to shock, intimidate or demoralise his ‘would-be followers’, but are about letting go. The passage recorded at the start of this reflection (Luke 9:59-60), recounts Jesus rebuking a man who requests to first bury and grieve for his deceased father, before joining Christ’s pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Again, this was jarring for both Luke’s ancient readership and his modern one. But for very different reasons; our modern interpretation is that such a demand is just unreasonable based on our social and emotional intelligence surrounding the need to grieve and be with family due to the bereavement of a parent.
But in the context of the ancient Hebrew people, there were strict Temple rules, requirements and rituals about burial. These requirements were so important that those who were tending to burial tasks were relieved of saying their morning and evening prayers in order to make sure their duty to bury was properly fulfilled. Until the proper burial had taken place, the one responsible for burial was considered ritually unclean. They could not enter the Temple; they could not attend worship, or participate in any religious activity. If this ‘would-be’ disciple followed Jesus without attending to these ritual requirements of burial, he would forever be ostracised from the Temple, like a leper or other outcast. They had to get the rituals right—they had to follow the letter of the law.
Therefore, Christ is not criticising this ‘would-be’ follower for him grieving his father, or desire to seek the consolation of his family in this bereavement. But Christ’s rebuke is toward the law; that the mission of Christ is greater than the law, and its rigidity and restriction must not confine, reduce or derail the bringing about of God’s Kingdom. Therefore, the purpose of the passage is not to present an ultimatum to choose between Christ and your family. But an enticement to choose Christ in your family. Just as St Thomas More chose not death, but eternal life: “Love rules without rules.” (St Thomas More; 1531)
It is about letting go of customs, laws, gripes, grudges, tired and meaningless traditions; and anything else that prevents connection with others, the promotion of Good News and the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
Friday 24th June, 2022
Hans Holbein the Younger (German), London, 1527
Dear Parents and Carers,
Grace to you and peace.
ST THOMAS MORE'S FEAST DAY
This Wednesday (22nd June) we celebrated the Feast Day of St Thomas More. The day is a marquee event in the life of St Thomas More's Catholic School, as it acknowledges and gives life to the spiritual gifts and charism of our school's namesake, and to the school's founding religious order, the Sisters of St Joseph.
But most importantly, the day celebrates our students; their gifts, their strengths, their talents, and their unique qualities. It is a celebration not only of who they are now, but who they aspire to be; their dreams, their goals, their ambitions and their greatest hopes for their lives. Is there anything more worthy of celebration than that?
Our festivities this year were given unique character and focus through the invitation to students and staff to come dressed up as 'what you would like to be when you grow up'. Without question, our staff and students did not disappoint with their creative, elaborate, humourous and sincere costume choices! The school classrooms and corridors were flooded with sports men and women, scientists, marine biologists, police, astronauts, pilots, vets, doctors, dentists, dancers, singers, actors, YouTubers, authors, architects, builders, interior designers, fashion designers, accountants, teachers, and even Principals!
For the first time in 2022, we were able to gather together as a school community for the celebration of Mass in Sacred Heart Church. We were pleased to welcome Fr Chathura Silva to preside over the Eucharistic Liturgy after returning from his travels in his homeland of Sri Lanka. Fr Chatty - you were certainly missed! It was a musical, spiritual, communal and joyous occasion!
I wish to express my sincere gratitude for the preparation, organisation and vision of our Religious Education Coordinator, Mrs Belinda Taylor, who organised the Mass and all the activities and initiatives held throughout the day. And I also wish to thank those members of our parent community who gave up time out of their busy Wednesdays to cook the hundreds of sausages on the BBQ for our students at lunchtime.
PRINCIPAL'S MORNING TEA
At our Friday afternoon Assembly last week, there were a number of students who received a Gospel Value Award for demonstrating the value of DIGNITY. These students attended a special Principal’s Morning Tea in Josephite Hall this Thursday (23rd June).
Myself and the six students were treated to a smorgasbord of fruit, lamingtons and muffins and we each shared what we are grateful for in our lives, this included their family, friends, pets and their school! They also shared about their hobbies, interests and dreams which included basketball, soccer, netball, gaming, dancing and cheerleading!
GOSPEL VALUE AWARDS: DIGNITY
At our School Assembly on Friday last week, I spoke to our students about our focus Gospel value for the month of June: DIGNITY. I highlighted to our students that to live with the value of dignity is to: be yourself, try your best, and be proud. We centred on the importance, value, and call to try your best. We drew upon Jesus' parable of the Lamp Under the Bushel as presented in the Gospel of Luke (11:33): "No-one, after lighting a lamp, puts it in a cellar or under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light."
Christ's parable is an invitation, an entreatment, and a calling to let our light shine. That is, to display, celebrate and utilise to their fullest extent our gifts, talents, and strengths. To illustrate this message, we joined together in voice and action in liturgical singing to This Little Light of Mine. This was captured in the YouTube clip below. Enjoy!
St Thomas More's Catholic School is both proud of, and cherishes, the high levels of engagement and investment of its parent community in the education of their child/ren. The relationship between home and school must be characterised by genuine partnership, open and honest communication, mutual respect and appreciation, shared values, and common interest.
The School Board not only plays a critical role in establishing an authentic collaborative relationship between school and the parent community, but also plays an essential role in supporting the school in realising its strategic goals and operational priorities. We are so very fortunate to be represented by the current members of the School Board who are committed, driven, and invested in the flourishing and constant improvement of St Thomas More's Catholic School.
Please find below the names of the current members of the St Thomas More's School Board, for whose guidance, support, wisdom, humour, and commitment I am eternally grateful:
Principal: Casimir Douglas
Deputy Principal: Niccola Pearce
Chair: Kirsty Pedder
Deputy Chair: Derek Bye
Secretary: Lauren Pietsch
Treasurer: Chris Massey
Parish Priest: Fr Mark Freeman
May the grace of Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Mr Casimir Douglas
Congratulations to Lucy, who has received 25 stickers in her Student Acknowledgement booklet. These stickers are given to students displaying positive and respectful behaviour in the playground. They are a great role model for others. Well done!
Thank you to everyone who came dressed up as "What they want to be when they grow up", and embracing our feast day on Wednesday! We hope you had lots of fun, here is some information about St Thomas More and a few pictures from the day.
Thank you to our P&F for our yummy sausage sizzle and a very big thank you to our parent helpers who came along to help on the day!
Welcome to Broome!
On Thursday 30th June, a Combined Schools’ Workshop Day will be held at St Ailbes Hall. This is for all Foundation Band and Foundation Strings students only.
Development Band and String students will have separate times together later in the year.
Details regarding the event are included in the information from St Patrick's College (copy attached). It is expected that all Foundation Band and Foundation Strings students enrolled in the Instrumental Music Program would be in attendance on this day.
Please note that there will be no Strings on Wednesday, 29th June, and no Band on the 30th June.
Should you have any queries or concerns please direct contact to the office on 6337 7200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We need your help to find the best jokes to mark International Tell A Joke Day on July 6.
There is a prize for the best jokes that make Mr Douglas laugh the most.
If you can start to gather your best jokes and send them in, we will share the result in the coming weeks!
There are a number of unnamed jackets and jumpers in lost property. If you could please ensure all items are labelled before they are worn to school, it will assist us in returning them to the correct student should they be handed in to the office.
You are welcome to check lost property near the office if you are missing any items.
Thank you for your assistance.