- Principal's Message
- Is your child wearing the correct uniform?
- Band Soiree - Change of date
- Book Week
- New Online Parent Resource from the eSafety Commissioner
- Student Achievements
- Sun Project - Shadow Judging with CBCA
- James Morrison Concert
- Creative writing Competition 2022 - Grade 6 Writing Extension Group
- From the Conservation Club
- Decodable Readers Australia
- Upcoming Event - STM Disco 2022
- Parish Bulletin
Respect, Honour & Admiration
Humility & Hospitality (Luke 14:1, 7-14)
A reflection on the Gospel from the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
Written by Mr Casimir Douglas
“For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11)
Pride and social status are prevalent issues and drivers of human behaviour in every human society. Indicators of this behaviour range from the subtle (ie. discrete political manoeuvring in an organisation) to the outright gaudy and ostentatious (ie. yachts and mansions). After all, who among us hasn't desired the most fashionable clothes, that new expensive car, the big luxurious house, that promotion and pay rise, and all the recognition, acknowledgement, and prestige that we could fill our boots with.
And certainly, Palestine in 1st Century AD during the time of Jesus’ life was no exception. To set the context, or rather to set the table, for this reflection, an appreciation of Ancient Hebrew dining culture is required. At large meal settings the tables were all set into a large ‘U’ shape, with the host of the banquet seated at base and centre. Then, the most honoured guests would be seated to the host’s immediate left and right. Power and prestige resided closest to ‘the chair’. This exact scenario plays out at modern wedding banquets too… including my own!
In this passage from Luke’s Gospel, at the banquet Jesus notices that out of pride the Pharisees are subtly competing to seat themselves in the designated highest places of honour closest to the host to improve the perception of their social status. Luke’s Jesus uses parable then to rebuke the Pharisees for their actions, and teaches that it is better to seek the lowest seat at the banquet and potentially have the honour of the host moving you to higher seat, than it is to seek the highest seat and then potentially suffer the humiliation of the host moving you to a lower seat. The passage listed at the start of the reflection (Luke 14:11), reminiscent of Christ’s words at the Sermon on the Mount, summarises this exhortation.
However, Jesus is not condemning us for desiring a place of honour, respect and admiration in our society. And Jesus is not against giving honour to the one who deserves it, but he is against the use of power and prestige for self-aggrandisement, selfishness, and greed; and teaches that God honours the humble. Luke’s focus then returns to Jesus’ teachings on Discipleship, and examines the behaviours that do bring honour, respect and admiration to an individual: “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the lame, the crippled and the blind. And you will be blessed…” (Luke 14:13-14).
For the St Thomas More’s Catholic School community, this Gospel passage is a reminder and incitement that we are called to be a people of inclusion, justice, empathy, compassion and humility. And it is through genuinely, authentically, and intentionally, living those Gospel values, that we indeed receive respect, honour and admiration from others. That is Discipleship. Understood in those terms, it should now appear obvious that those who seek respect, honour and admiration through such shallow and obsequious behaviour as where you are sitting during the meal banquet, are not those who Christ considers deserving.
The challenge for each of us is to consciously and deliberately make the choices that lead us toward Discipleship, in every new and waking moment. To do this requires presence. We must be present and open to each moment and each person we encounter. The historical word for presence is prayer. Jesus often called it vigilance, seeing, or being awake. Only when fully present do we see inclusion, justice, empathy, compassion and humility, not as a choice, but as truth.
Friday 26th August, 2022
Paolo Veronese (Italian), Paris, 1563
Dear Parents and Carers,
Grace to you and peace.
ANNOUNCEMENT: RETIREMENT OF MR ANTHONY HEALEY
Please join me in extending best wishes to Mr Anthony Healey, who is retiring at the end of the 2022 school year. Mr Healey enters retirement following his exemplary contribution to Catholic education in Tasmania throughout the years, including serving as Principal of St Finn Barr's Catholic Primary School.
Mr Healey joined St Thomas More's Catholic School in 2017 and has enjoyed a six-year teaching tenure in our community. Mr Healey's humour and wisdom are cherished by his colleagues, as is his sincere care for his students and high expectations for student achievement and behaviour.
It is an impossible task to distil and encompass the value of one's life's work in a single Newsletter article. It is folly to try. Therefore, I simply and earnestly thank Mr Healey for all the gifts he has brought to St Thomas More's Catholic School.
Mr Healey, the entire St Thomas More's community wishes you all the peace, joy, and adventure that retirement brings and insists that our school doors are always open to you. This school will continue to be a home for you, as you have made it home for many, staff and students alike.
STM TV: EPISODE 5
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 5, 2022, our Book Week Parade Special! We hope you enjoy it!
GOSPEL VALUE AWARDS: RESPECT
The following students received a Gospel Value Award during the School Assembly as nominated by their class teacher for exemplifying the Gospel value of Respect this week:
|Reuben Pentland||Prep More|
|Lachlan Oakley||Prep Thomas|
|Archie Smith||Grade 1/2 More|
|Angus Viney||Grade 1/2 Saint|
|Riley Pearce||Grade 1/2 Thomas|
|Flynn McKinnon||Grade 3/4 More|
|Eva Lewis||Grade 3/4 Saint|
|Willow Simpson-Kitt||Grade 3/4 Thomas|
|Milla Johnston||Grade 5/6 More|
|Kingston Gower||Grade 5/6 Saint|
|Tom Walker||Grade 5/6 Thomas|
These students will also attend the Principal’s Morning Tea this coming Tuesday (30th August) morning during the first break at 10:50am with myself and Fr Chathura Silva or Fr Jesse Banez.
CBCA BOOK WEEK 2022
We celebrated The Children's Book Council of Australia's (CBCA) Book Week in style over the past five days. This year's Book Week theme is 'Dreaming with eyes open...' This theme invites students and readers of all ages to reflect on and be inspired to create by the ideas of country, dreaming, and all those things that are hidden but also seen.
Our celebrations began on Monday (22nd August) with our annual Book Week Parade. I was astounded by the commitment, colour and creativity of the costumes displayed during the parade. Staff and students dressed to impress as their favourite book characters, and the joy of the occasion, whilst maybe hidden inside the hearts of our students, was also there for everyone to see during the parade.
During the course of the week, all of our classes were treated to surprise appearances in their classrooms by guest readers, who visited the students to read their favourite picture books to them. Whilst I was dressed as Willy Wonka, the eponymous character from the famous Roahl Dahl children's novel (the costume was of Gene Wilder vintage), my favourite children's books are those written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. I am constantly reading these to my children at home and was thrilled to share the joy of their books' rhythm, rhyme and ridiculousness with the classes at St Thomas More's - even if my voices were ridiculous too!
I express my sincere gratitude to Mrs Rebecca Thomas, our Teacher-Librarian, for her promotion, organisation and leadership of our Book Week festivities.
May the grace of Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Mr Casimir Douglas
We are currently focusing on a few particular items of our uniform protocol. We will be looking for:
- wearing white socks with the sports uniform
- wearing plain studs or sleeper earrings
- having shoulder-length hair tied back
- having winter shirts tucked in
Your assistance with helping your child to follow the uniform protocol is greatly appreciated.
Please find below a copy of our uniform protocol.
Dreaming with eyes open… Book Week 2022 at STM!
STM staff and students have spent a wonderful week celebrating Book Week. CBCA Book Week aims to promote reading and to celebrate quality Australian children’s literature and has done so successfully for the past 76 years. The theme this year was Dreaming with eyes open...
We held our fabulous Book Week Dress-Up Parade on Monday and, despite the inclement weather, we had a great time dressing as our favourite book characters and sharing our creations with our friends across the school. We looked at the shortlisted and award-winning books during our Library lessons, voted for our favourites and participated in our very exciting Book Week Quiz. Prep and Kinder students created some beautiful artwork inspired by some of the wonderful shortlisted books. Mr Douglas and Mrs Pearce also visited our classes to share their favourite children’s books.
What a wonderful way to celebrate Book Week!!
This year a group of Grade 5/6 students from STM have been participating in a new initiative called the Sun Project, run by the Children’s Book Council of Australia. The program calls for students to dive deeply into the books shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year competition and act as “shadow judges”, critiquing the books in terms of the official judging criteria. We were tasked with selecting a winner in our chosen category and developing a series of creative responses to be shared on the national website. As part of the program, Tasmanian author Christina Booth worked with the group to unpack the judging criteria and to learn more about the creative process involved in producing picture books.
STM chose to judge the Early Childhood category and chose Nick Bland’s Walk of the Whales as our winning book. Here is a sample of the creative responses from our students to this and other shortlisted titles.
Special thanks to Christina Booth and the CBCA for this wonderful opportunity to voice and share our opinions and responses to literature.
Last weekend some of our students attended the James Morrison Concert in Launceston with their families. James was playing with the St Patrick's College Concert Band, and while he was here, he held a workshop with students.
Our very own Connor Rogers and Jackson Hodgetts were lucky enough to meet the musical legend!
How exciting, and thanks for representing STM!
Below are a couple more Grade 6 Writing Extension group entries entered into the Creative Writing Competiton, 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.
STM now has a subscription to Decodable Readers Australia
This is a great resource to help your child develop confident decoding skills. Currently, students in Prep to Grade 2 are using this in their classrooms as part of their literacy groups. Once students are familiar with how to use it they will be able to access it from home, too! Some students in grades 3-6 have been given a log-in so they can even practise at home! If you would like more information about how to use this at home with your child please contact Mrs Kidd. email@example.com
Comments from our students have been very enthusiastic, including: "This is so cool! I like how it can sound out the word so I can check if I was right", "I like the lessons so I can practice different sounds", and "I really like the cute animal pictures!"
Here is a great tip from the DRA site about what to do if your child 'gets stuck' when reading. Instead of looking at the pictures and guessing, we want our children to keep their eyes on the word and use the skills they've been learning at school.