|Christmas Reflection from Aunty Joan Hendriks - 08 December 2016|
“For this Centenary year, we have taken as our theme, ‘Inspiring Stories’. We are inspired by the stories of our history, and the events of this year will no doubt inspire more stories,”
(Ms Robyn Anderson, Principal, Lourdes Hill College)
Look to the Star and Call Upon Mary
As we move into the twilight timeline of the Good Samaritan Sisters’ 2016 Centenary Celebrations there is a sense of renewal in our lives as the community of Lourdes Hill College. As one reflects on the deliberations of the planning process prior to the onset of 2016, there is absolute confidence in saying 2016 has made history and has set the scene for ongoing appreciation of LHC. There is confidence in knowing that the immersion of all who contributed along the way is indicative of who we have become: proud Lourdanians, striving to make a difference in the world around us today.
A sincere thank you to the Sisters of the Good Samaritan for their lifelong journey in building bridges and maintaining the ethos and traditions of who you are and who we have become along the way.
Central to our Centenary Celebrations has been the emphasis on the stories that are at the heart of the 100 years of maintaining the strong faith tradition that is the cornerstone of our College. Stories of listening with the ear of the heart and doing likewise; as in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, the Rule of St Benedict and the Story of Bernadette and Mary at Lourdes. Stories that have fostered caring and sharing in kindness, peace and hope.
The dawning of 2016 realised that the LHC school calendar year would begin the final countdown to the much anticipated Opening Centenary Celebrations.
11 February 2016 heralded in the early morning launch of the Look to the Stars wall; followed by the student’s participation in the annual Cheer competition. The 1,250 students and staff then journeyed via ferry and foot to Southbank in time for a ride on the Ferris Wheel followed by the sharing of the centenary birthday cake.
The celebration of the unforgettable Thanksgiving Eucharistic celebration was the highlight which recognised the many blessings on the College over the past 100 years.
After a year packed with Centenary events, November 17 saw the Celebration of Excellence and College Spirit capture the ethos of the Centenary Year celebrations in all their fullness. This final stage of the Centenary year saw Year 12 students farewelled as a student at their much loved LHC.
Wrapped around our LHC celebrations was the participation in the 2016 Year of Mercy which has now moved into the sunset for the dawning of Advent and Christmas. A time to journey towards the celebration of the Birth of the greatest person to walk this earth.
Over 2000 years ago, a star from the East heralded the birth of Mother Mary’s child, Jesus, who was born in a stable in Bethlehem. Jesus was born into this world and is renowned for both human and divine; and remains as our greatest teacher, our guiding light of today.
Stars are important to us at LHC. It was the star from the East that led the Shepherds and Wise men to the stable where Jesus was born. Back in 2015, our LHC Reconciliation liturgy focussed on the launch of the Mirragin badge which has become the symbol of the star for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LHC Students.
Since time immemorial the eastern star has been the guiding light in the nightfall journey of the original custodians of the land and waters across Australia. Across Australia, according to the relationship to country and the nature and nurture of the environment, there are stories that relate the importance of the night star as their guiding light in living with the signs and symbols of their country.
The teachings of our Dreaming relate the stories of Mother Earth; the dwelling place of Creator Spirit, the Spirit of our lifelines.
The 2016 National Reconciliation Week theme highlighted “Story” as the current driving force behind educating to make a difference across Australia. It included apleaforall Australians to reflect on our national identity, and the place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and rights in our nation’s story.
‘Story’ reflects the journey towards reconciliation. A significant part of encouraging and reinforcing that reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians.
A shared responsibility based on the belief of a fairness for everyone; and that our diversity makes us richer, and stronger together.
As we move toward the celebration of Christmas as families in our homes let us continue to commit to making a difference in the world around us. May we be the Good Samaritans as exampled at LHC.
Have a Peaceful and Joyful Christmas in allowing the Christ of Christmas to be heartfelt.
Look to the Star and Call Upon Mary.
Let Your Light Shine.
See you at LHC in 2017.
Aunty Joan Hendriks
Elder in Residence