- Principal's Message
- Student Achievements
- Sacrament of Confirmation Candidates
- Creative Writing Competition 2022 - Grade 6 Writing Extension Group
- Baton Challenge - We Have Done It!
- Active Bands
- Grade 3/4 Aboriginal Art
- A message from the Conversation Club
- Upcoming Event - STM Disco 2022
- Parish Bulletin
- Community News
‘Proclaim with Joy!’
The Example of Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-4)
A reflection on the Second Reading from the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
Written by Mr Casimir Douglas
“Let us not lose sight of Jesus, who leads us in our faith and brings it to perfection: for the sake of the joy which was still in the future, he endured the cross, disregarding the shamefulness of it, and from now on has taken his place at the right of God’s throne.” (Hebrews 12:2)
Catholic Education Week celebrates the strengths and achievements of Catholic education in Tasmania as well as the people who contribute to its ongoing success, and the students and families who are its focus and beneficiaries. The theme for this year’s Catholic Education Week is “Proclaim with Joy!”
Joy. Joy. Joy! I have no doubt that if we each were to take just a moment to reflect on a time in our lives when we experienced joy, not only would we recount it with warm enthusiasm, but it would bring a smile to our face. The call and the challenge in this theme from Catholic Education Week is to acknowledge, experience, embrace, cherish and be present to the joy in our lives in this very moment. Joy is not to be consigned to a historical, whimsical and extraordinary experience, but is to be found in, and truly lived in, the very ordinary present.
The experience of joy is often secularly characterised as a fleeting, temporal and conditional emotion. However, spiritual joy is not an emotion, but instead choosing to place one’s happiness where it belongs: in the fulfilment of life’s deepest purpose. In reflection on the above passage from St Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews, renowned author, Fulton Sheen, in his book, The Life of Christ (1958), wrote that: “Deferred joys purchased by sacrifice are always sweetest and most enduring”. This gives further credence and substance to the idea that joy is not created by our own means, nor can it be designed, calculated or controlled. We do not give or generate it through our own striving; it is a divine gift encountered consciously through letting go and surrender to God.
Catholic Priest and author, Fr Richard Rohr, encapsulates this idea in his book, Falling Upward (2011):
“Joy is both a decision and a surrender. Eventually, we stop being preoccupied with creating a faultfree environment that will ensure our own happiness, and we discover that joy is much more like falling into an objective Presence, a Larger Body, Love itself, a unified field, that many of us would call God. You do not create love, you “fall” into it. You do not attain God, you fall into God. You do not manufacture joy, you collapse into it when you give up trying to make it happen. What freedom when we no longer have to wait for ourselves to be happy! There is no waiting, only receiving. This feast of the Body of Christ is also a promise of joy, and quite daringly—in a quite physical encounter of union, table fellowship, and close intimacy. “I am telling you this so that my own joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11).
The Gospel writer, John, recounted Christ speaking of experiencing the ‘fullness of joy’ in following His Father’s commandments (15:10-12). The phrase ‘fullness of joy’ is derived from the native Hebrew tongue of Aramaic, samach. The etymological roots of the word pointed not only to the divine nature of joy, but to its eternal and unending nature; an inexhaustible fullness. Yet, the call to ‘Proclaim with Joy!’ this Catholic Education Week is not to merely seek to know and encounter this joy, but it is a missionary call to celebrate and contribute its evangelisation.
In his first Apostolic Exhortation in 2013, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), Pope Francis wrote of this evangelising mission: “I dream of a missionary option, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming… everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channelled for the evangelisation of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation” (#27). For the St Thomas More’s Catholic School community, we must understand that joy is not an simply a distant, desirable and inaccessible emotion that we must make manifest by waiting for it, planning for it, or striving for it, but it is a divine inheritance, a Gift of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) freely given that is capable of transforming… everything.
So stop waiting!
Friday 19th August, 2022
Dear Parents and Carers,
Grace to you and peace.
STM TV: EPISODE 4
STM TV is our school's weekly episodic YouTube show designed to share the key learning experiences of nominated students each week to engage our parents and the broader community in the learning journey of our school.
Please find below the episode for Term 3 - Week 4, 2022 which explores debating gaming time limits, cooking in the school kitchen, learning to read in Prep, and First Tasmanian petroglyphs and shelters! We hope you enjoy!
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 RESPECT. These students attended a special Principal’s Morning Tea in Josephite Hall this Tuesday (16th August).
Myself, Fr Chathura Silva and the students were treated to a smorgasbord of fruit, scones and muffins and we each shared what we are grateful for in our lives, which for this group of award nominees was conclusively and exclusively, their family and friends! They also shared about their hobbies, interests and dreams which included dancing, soccer, Little Athletics, and Fall Guys!
CATHOLIC EDUCATION WEEK CELEBRATION
This Wednesday 17th August, the celebration of the Catholic Education Week Mass was held at Sacred Heart Church next to our school, and was presided over by His Grace, Archbishop Julian Porteous. The Year 5/6 students of St Thomas More's Catholic School who attended the Mass represented our school with pride. Of particular note was the performance of both Isabelle Senior and Lillian Watchorn who lead the congregation as cantors for the Penitential Act and Gospel Acclamation.
Following the Mass, the visiting students from all local Catholic schools were treated to a sausage sizzle which had been cooked for them by the Education Officers of the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office. Additionally, all invited guests were treated to a luncheon in Josephite Hall. The celebrations concluded in the afternoon with the Catholic Education Week Awards Ceremony in Josephite Hall. The awards recognise and acknowledge those who have made a significant contribution to the life of the Catholic education in Tasmania. This year, St Thomas More's Catholic School were co-nominees along with Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School of an Outstanding Service as an Employee with Catholic Education award, posthumously awarded to Mr Barry Nas. Vale, Barry!
I wish to express my sincere gratitude to all students, families, staff, and volunteers who contributed to the organisation, presentation and celebration of Catholic Education Week.
APPOINTMENT OF PRINCIPAL: COMMUNITY CONSULTATION
Following the announcement of Mr Shayne Kidd's substantive appointment to the role of Regional Principal Leader: North, Catholic Education Tasmania are now managing the recruitment process for the role of Principal of St Thomas More's Catholic School. A key stage in this process is consultation with our school community, including staff and parents, to identify what the school is looking for, and expecting of, a leader and Principal. Catholic Education Tasmania will soon communicate with the community regarding opportunity to contribute in this consultation process.
FR MARK FREEMAN - APPOINTMENT AS PARISH PRIEST OF BELLERIVE
At the School Board Meeting last night, Fr Mark Freeman informed us that has accepted a position as the Parish Priest of Bellerive in the wake of Fr Richard Ross' departure. Fr Mark's appointment officially commences this weekend, but due to pre-existing commitments, Fr Mark will not relocate until November.
Fr Ben Brooks has been appointed as the Administrator of the Launceston Parish for the next 12 months, but will stay living in Westbury, and remain as the Parish Priest of Meander Valley.
This is a time of great transition in the Launceston Parish after Fr Mark's 12-year tenure as Parish Priest. His departure will also have an impact on the life of the local Catholic schools and Catholic education in Launceston. In 2021, Fr Mark received an Outstanding Service to Catholic Education as a Friend Award during Catholic Education Week, an award that I was pleased to sponsor and support as the Secretary of the School Board at Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School at the time, who made the nomination.
Fr Mark's contribution to Catholic education in Launceston cannot be overstated, and his presence will be missed by our Parish community, and also by me personally. News of Fr Mark's appointment was communicated to the clergy yesterday, and will be shared through both the Parish Bulletin and the Archdiocese of Hobart Facebook Page today. We wish Fr Mark all the best in his appointment to the role of Parish Priest in Bellerive.
Safe travels, and God speed, Fr Mark!
May the grace of Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Mr Casimir Douglas
Please keep our Sacramental candidates in your prayers as they prepare for their upcoming Confirmation.
As part of Writing Extension, a selection of grade 6 students chose to enter a competition this week, for National Mental Health Month The students were able to choose their particular genre and writing style, as long as it was under 800 words, and it related to the themes of mental health and resilience. All students did an incredible job. It will be a challenge for the judges to find a winner! We hope you enjoy reading them.
We will feature a small number of students' writing each week.
In some exciting news, the Pass The Baton Challenge has come to a close.
After just a few short months, we have walked over 22 million steps and circumnavigated mainland Australia!
We got some extra steps and physical activity through the colder months. Additional physical activity has also been scientifically proven to improve mental health and wellbeing and improve attention and focus in the classroom.
More importantly, we did this as a team.
Another important point to highlight is that the origins of this program came from a numeracy extension program with Lachie Connell from 1/2S. Thanks to Mrs Wheeler for making this happen and to Lachie for giving the Wellness Committee and the school this fantastic idea.
But the walk continues! Every student in the school has been given an Athletics Australia/Weetbix Active Band. Check out the next newsletter article for details on bands going home today.
As a big thank you for helping us virtually walk around Australia as part of our Pass The Baton Challenge, Athletics Australia and Weetbix has donated an Active Band to every student!
We hope this will be a way to continue physical activity and have some fun.
The bands link to an app that parents and students can download. You then link the band to the app and create a character.
The goal is to complete and log at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day to gain more features for your character.
Here's some more information and keep active!
Grade 3 /4 M sketched a selection of native plants and finished them with watercolours. We discussed their many different shades, shapes and uses. Some of us had noticed the 'pig face' plant in their gardens and the beach. We discussed the palawa/Aboriginal cultural uses for some of these plants , and the students gained an understanding of medicinal properties and the edible resources that can be found in lutruwita/Tasmania.
We sketched the plants with grey lead, coloured them with water coloured pencil and dipped the paint brush into water and lightly brushed across the coloured pencil.
By Eliza Eldershaw