St Teresa’s Day once again showcased the heart and soul of our amazing College. The day started with a special liturgy that focused on the duel charisms of St Teresa of Avila and St Marcellin Champagnat two amazing people that at a very young age expressed a wonderful wisdom that we must all walk through this life together with a heart filled with love. At the Liturgy, the Gospel reading was the Beatitudes, and in my reflection, I focused on the need for all of us to be Beatitude people. The Beatitude of Meekness was explored; to be meek is not to be weak but the exact opposite, exceptionally strong. However, it is a particular type of strength, this type of strength is beautifully explained in our Marist spirituality: As Marists, we are asked to combine a strong mind with a gentle heart. This is what it means to be meek, to have love in our heart for all people no matter their race, colour or creed. But it also means having the strength of mind, the integrity to stand by this conviction and to reach out in all we do to our brothers and sisters in need. As a sign of our solidarity with our New Zealand family, every student at the Liturgy came forward and accepted a simple string bracelet. To see over nine hundred students and staff come forward to receive this bracelet in complete silence was a heart-warming symbol of their deep respect for the Islamic community that has suffered such terrible loss. Our Chapel Band lead by Mr James Garrahy played beautiful music creating with it a deeply spiritual space. The Chapel Band finished the liturgy with My Lighthouse which had everyone on their feet with its message of hope.
After the Liturgy the House Groups, Avila, Cana, La Valla, Penola and Pomona took to the stage one after the other to perform ‘Dare the Dream Off.’ The competition is based on each House Group taking the words of the College song Dare the Dream and singing them to the music of a different song. These are amazing performances that showcase the depth of House spirit at the College, there was certainly no lack of enthusiasm with each House giving it their all. But in the end a winner had to be chosen and it went to Cana House. Cana took the Dare the Dream Off performance to a new level setting the College song to the music of Queens, Bohemian Rhapsody. To say that Cana’s performance was spectacular would be an understatement their win was very much deserved. Well done Cana, Ms Murray-Salter the Cana House leader will be smiling for the next two weeks if not longer. After Dare the Dream off, Our Campus Minister Chris who is from Christchurch, invited the students to go down to the oval and in a wonderful action of solidarity with New Zealand form the letters CHCH representing Christchurch. The students did this with great respect and a photo was taken from the stairs of the sport centre. This was a moment of solidarity that will last in our minds and hearts forever. The symbol CHCH will be recreated Friday morning so a special aerial photo can be taken using a drone.Our community then came together for the Make a Difference Stalls, these stalls raise funds for Marist Asia Pacific Solidarity (MAPS). Both students and staff had put in a huge amount of time and effort into each stall. There were many wonderful stalls including a sausage sizzle stall, ice-cream, thong throwing, Rave-Cave, High Tea and my favourite, Pin the Tie on the Principal. It was a very hot day, but the staff and students overcame it and raised a large sum of money for poor communities of young people very much in need, the stalls where a wonderful example of just how strong family spirit is at St Teresa’s.
Below is a sample of some of the Make a Difference stalls.
Pin the tie on Mr McInnes Get your hot chips!
Donut eating competition High tea
Rave Cave Darts
Basketball throw Icy Cups
From the Make a Difference Stalls we went into St Teresa’s Idol our version of Australian Idol where students get up on stage and perform for the whole College. This year the judging used the seven foundation values as criteria: In The Way of Mary, Presence, Family Spirit, Wisdom, Aspiration, Simplicity and Contemplation. Chris our campus minister did a wonderful job as MC making all the performers feel valued and calming their nerves. The standard of talent was exceptional in both music and dance. There were solo performances that were soulful and bands that made everyone want to get up and dance. In the end the winner was a mixture of both music and dance with Maddie Clarke standing on one stage singing and playing the acoustic guitar and Ava Foreman on the other stage dancing to the music. It is difficult to express just how amazing this performance was, all I can say is that it was a privilege to experience something so wonderful.
There are so many people that make this day happen, quite literally every staff member and every student, so a very big thank you to the St Teresa’s community for supporting this very special day. I must give a special thank you to one of the newest members of our St Teresa’s family Chris Lysaght our Campus Minister for the past three weeks he has worked tirelessly with the College community to make sure the day would be all that it could be, well done Chris on your first St Teresa’s Day and one of our best ever. Once again St Teresa’s Day has given students and staff the opportunity to express what makes this College truly great, EVERYONE, we all make this day great because we are all family.