From the Principal

Last week we opened our newly refurbished front courtyard at Tiverton.

Featuring a straightforward but comprehensive combination of “greening” and beautification the courtyard now features twelve 3–4 metre trees (a little stark now in winter, but will be magnificent in full bloom in a few weeks) extensive decking, several new garden beds, patterns painted on the concrete, including down-ball courts, with an outdoor table tennis table and furniture to be delivered on Tuesday. We are very pleased with the outcome, as are the students. Our students tend to be very territorial in relation to which group occupies which area of the grounds and the front courtyard is traditionally the domain of the Year 8 cohort, who have been delighted to take advantage of the new space and facilities.

I would like to draw your attention to the Subject Selection process for 2019. It is crucial for students of all levels to undertake as much research as possible, do the background checks and assess their own skills and interests in order to make wise choices. This is perhaps even more important at VCE level, as students’ courses make up the prerequisites for tertiary studies beyond Year 12.

In preparation for the Year 10 and Year 11 Subject Selection Interviews tomorrow there are a number of key points I’d like to stress:

  • Students MUST arrive punctually at their appointed time, with ALL preparation exercises/tasks completed.
  • If this is not the case, the process is delayed until such time as those expectations are met. This in turn can compromise the chances of a student gaining access to his preferred course.

It is imperative all students work to the best of their ability to ensure smooth progress and promotion to the next year level. Year 10 and Year 11 students in particular must be mindful they need to qualify for the 2019 subjects of their choice by virtue of a strong work ethic and sound results. Entry is not automatic, so I encourage all students to be mindful of this and work with their teachers to ensure they perform as well as possible.

I wish all students and families a successful Semester 2 and encourage you once again to take advantage of the advice and support in the upcoming Subject Selection process.

Last Friday Pope Francis released a letter to the worldwide Catholic community, partly in response to the latest sexual abuse scandal, an horrific report coming out of Pennsylvania. Given the situation in Australia, including our own Lasallian order, I had intended to comment on this Papal letter and include selected extracts in this edition of Duce, but our new Archbishop Peter A Comensoli wrote to the Archdiocese yesterday with his own remarks. I have included this below for your reference.

To the Faithful of the Archdiocese of Melbourne

Dear Friends,

If one member suffers, all suffer together with it.” (1Cor 12:26) With these words from St Paul, Pope Francis overnight has written a letter to us all, the People of God. In the letter he expresses his own heart concerning the “culture of death” that is clerical sexual abuse and the ecclesial cover-up that often has accompanied it, inflicting deep wounds of disgust, bewilderment, shame, and disheartenment. As the Holy Father says:

These words of Saint Paul forcefully echo in my heart as I acknowledge once more the suffering endured by many minors due to sexual abuse, the abuse of power and the abuse of conscience perpetrated by a significant number of clerics and consecrated persons. Crimes that inflict deep wounds of pain and powerlessness, primarily among the victims, but also in their family members and in the larger community of believers and nonbelievers alike… The pain of the victims and their families is also our pain, and so it is urgent that we once more reaffirm our commitment to ensure the protection of minors and of vulnerable adults.”

I associate myself with these words, and the whole content of Pope’s Francis’ letter

No words of apology – while always needed – will ever be enough to right the evil done to those who have been abused, and those who were not listened to and believed. Efforts to repair the harm done – while entirely necessary – cannot overcome the evil perpetrated upon innocent children and vulnerable adults, and the harm experienced by families and communities.

Therefore, and looking ahead, it falls to me, as your Archbishop, to ensure that our local Church in Melbourne is unequivocally committed to attending to the harm done, prioritising the dignity and care of all who are young and vulnerable, rebuilding trust among our people, and creating safe environments in our communities, agencies and organisations. This is the way of Jesus Christ. It must be my way. And I invite you to join with me in making it our common Gospel way.

Most Rev Peter A Comensoli
Archbishop of Melbourne

Mr Peter Houlihan

Back to The Duce Issue 2018 12 - 23 August 2018