Week 4 Term 1 2023 Newsletter

Dear parents,

I’ve been to several episcopal installations, but only one that did not take place at the cathedral. When Archbishop George Pell was installed in Melbourne in 1996, the Mass was held at the Exhibition Buildings in Carlton. 10,000 people packed the improvised setting in an atmosphere that was nothing short of euphoric. What most in the hierarchy seemed oblivious to, the laity understood perfectly: this was the leader Catholics had urgently and agonisingly been waiting for. And, boy, did he deliver.

I won’t rehash Cardinal Pell’s many achievements that have been the subject of articles, homilies and speeches, which parents may already be across. But, if you’ll permit me a few reminiscences, I’d like to demonstrate something of the man I knew. One morning in 1988 I was praying in one of the transepts of St Patrick’s church in Mentone in Melbourne, when then Bishop Pell appeared, unscheduled out of the sacristy and I promptly found myself to be the sole congregant as he began to say Mass, my first Latin Mass; though, evidently, not his first.

The same year, Bishop Pell visited the youth group I was involved in and the following year I had occasion to meet the bishop at his office in Mentone. Pell’s office was quite a sight with academic, political and scientific journals as far as the eye could see, most opened mid-magazine and precariously propped one on top of another laying on every surface of the office, including the chair I sat on. Pell’s warmth and humour are immediately apparent, but even as an 18-19 year old, I was impressed by his interest in the things I was interested in.

I subsequently met the Cardinal many times and it was always an event in itself. He was gentle, but, typically, he “held court”. Stooping so as to impose the least as possible, given his large frame, the Cardinal’s ability to put people at ease and his good humour are legendary. Cardinal Pell never failed to be deeply interested in those he encountered, and was so liberal when disclosing his own ideas that I sometimes wondered whether it was wise.  I miss him and I know that so many in our community are missing him too.

While canonisations are beyond my pay grade, there is no doubt in my mind that Cardinal Pell is the bishop-saint God knew we in Australia needed. Requiescat in pace good and holy friend.

Warm regards,

Ian Smith



Shrove Tuesday Breakfast

The SRC will be serving a Pancake Breakfast for students before school on the 21st February for Shrove Tuesday.  Serving of pancakes will start at 8.15am from the Food Tech room at $2 per serve.  If possible, those students who wish to have pancakes are asked to arrive at school by 8.30am to allow enough time to serve everyone before the school bell.  This will also allow children who arrive on later buses to have a chance to be served as they arrive.  Thank you.


Winter Softshell Jackets

In preparation for the cooler weather, the Uniform Shop has left a rack of softshell fleece lined jackets in the school office to try on for size before purchasing online.  These jackets are an optional extra to the school uniform and are great for children who feel the cold, particularly in the winter months.


Parents Visiting the School

A friendly reminder to parents that you must sign in and out as a visitor before entering the school grounds during school hours.  This can be done through the self-sign-in kiosk located at the front desk in the school office.  In the interests of prioritising child safety, this is a requirement of all people visiting the school.  Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.


Ash Wednesday

Students will not attend Ash Wednesday Mass during the school day but are encouraged to attend Mass that day with their family.  Mass times in the area for Ash Wednesday are:

Holy Spirit, Lavington: 7.00am & 5.30pm

St Mary’s, Jindera: 7.00am

St Patrick’s, Albury: 7.00am & 5.30pm