World Teachers’ Day

“World Teachers’ Day is held annually on 5 October to celebrate all teachers around the globe.” (UNESCO)

To commemorate this day, Sr Mary McDonnell interviews students and a teacher from St Justin’s Catholic Parish Primary School, Oran Park NSW in the school’s Mary MacKillop Prayer Garden.

We invite you to view the interview above.

The Value and Hope of 150 Days of Action for Refugees

“Refugees” by climatalk is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Who could have imagined when we began the journey of 150 Days of Action for Refugees that we would be grieving for the beautiful country of Afghanistan? As we watched the Kabul airport fill with fear, bombs and those desperately seeking safety, we knew we were watching the beginning of life on the road for thousands of people.

This is why it is so important that we stay with the prayers, thoughts and political action necessary to change hearts and minds in our country Australia. Right now, the Australian community is deeply concerned about those we have left behind after 20 years in their country. The media is full of stories of those who need to find safety from the predation and politics of the Taliban and ISIS.

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Honour Father Julian, Care for the Earth

Photo by Markus Spiske

Commemorating Julian Tenison Woods’ anniversary of death (7 October), we examine his vision from our present time and perspective.

In the 1860s, Julian Tenison Woods invited Mary MacKillop to share his vision of a group of women working with children and families in Australia. His vision was born of the country areas he ministered in, of the urgent needs of his time and place.

He could see the immediate need for education, as communities were isolated from the major towns where they might receive it. He saw the need for continuing education in faith, because families were spread in parishes and celebration of Mass was infrequent.

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Let’s Cultivate the Vision of Father Julian Tenison Woods

Photo by Ann Morrison rsj

Julian Tenison Woods was gifted with the ability to see the presence of God in all that surrounded him. His God was embedded not only in human life and the people around him, but in the entire creation.

In a letter he wrote to Mary MacKillop in 1870, he said, “God’s beauty, God’s goodness, God’s fatherly watchful care of me and all nature pursues me everywhere.” 

The very rocks, trees, caves, skies, plants and animals shone with the beauty and unique wonder of God for Julian. So much so that he was able to simply say, “All created things give us ideas and glimpses of the beauty of the infinitely beautiful Creator.” (1881) 

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Good Grief: Promoting Mental Wellbeing In Adults and Children During COVID

For there is always a light, if only we are brave enough to see it, if only we are brave enough to be it. Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in US history. 

COVID-19 continues to impact our lives in a variety of ways: who we can see and what we can do at home, school, work, and play.

No-one really knows yet what the long-term impact, if any, will be on children. What is known though, is that a caring, consistent, and open parent or carer, who is coping as positively as they can, is likely important.

The evidence shows that this relationship helps support children’s resilience and wellbeing when they adapt to big changes, whatever they are. So it is critically important that adults acknowledge “we can’t give what we don’t have”.

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Mary MacKillop’s Humanity and Humour

Illustration by Jane Maisey rsj.
Flesh and blood MacKillop is a woman of strength and humour who had her share of personal heartbreak. The real, very human MacKillop lies somewhere between feminist icon and humble saint. No one is the loser if you recognise her sanctity and holiness, but you don’t lift her out of the realm of human beings, as a woman struggling in tough times. [1]

Many of the stories relayed to us by the sisters who personally knew Mary MacKillop give insights into her works of mercy, her massive kindness, her amazing compassion, her commitment and love of God.

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Season of Creation: The World is Our Household, Let’s Honour It

Photo by Kateri Duke rsj.

The Season of Creation is a month-long prayerful observance, from 1 September to 4 October, that calls the planet’s 2.2 billion Christians to pray and care for God’s creation.

It is a time to reflect on our relationship with the environment — not just “distant” nature, but crucially, the place where we live — and the ways in which our lifestyles and decisions as a society can endanger both the natural world and the humans and other creatures inhabiting it.

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National Child Protection Week: 5-11 September

National Child Protection Week is facilitated by The National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) each year as a means to create awareness and prevention and aims to bring abuse and neglect out of the shadows and put child wellbeing on the national agenda.

NAPCAN was co-founded in 1987 when the issue of child abuse and neglect was a taboo topic. NAPCAN’s purpose is to bring an awareness of child abuse and neglect and create safer communities for children.

Protecting children from abuse is a whole of community responsibility.

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