It is with an attitude of gratitude that we reflect on all that we have experienced and achieved this year, especially in the area of Campus Ministry at Aranmore Catholic College. Despite slight disruptions due to COVID-19, we have been very blessed. 2021 has been a year of extra-special anniversaries, particularly within the context of our wider Catholic Church community.

In honour of the 150th anniversary of Saint Joseph being declared patron of the Universal Church, Pope Francis placed this liturgical year – December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021 – under the special care of Saint Joseph. Limited details in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke tell us the very little we know about Joseph: that he was the husband of Mary, foster father of Jesus, a distant descendent of King David, from Bethlehem, and a carpenter. Joseph is portrayed as being open to God, obedient, upright, a protector, a worker, a just man, and, above all, kind – qualities that we can all aspire to embody in our own lives.

This year we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the beatification of Edmund Rice (when he was declared “Blessed” by the Universal Church), the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) by the Bishops of Western Australia, the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the first Sisters of Mercy in Perth (and the whole of Australia), and the (belated) 200th anniversary of Catholic education in Australia (which commenced with the first Catholic school in Parramatta, New South Wales, in 1820). These milestones remind us that we are part of a much bigger picture in our shared vision to be a Christ-centred and student-focused community, inspiring all to actively live the Gospel. We are mindful of the fact that our College community is gifted with people from various countries, cultures and religions. Such cultural and religious diversity reflects the wider society beyond school and encourages acceptance, tolerance, empathy, compassion and inter-faith dialogue among our students and staff. This, too, we give thanks for and celebrate.

As we look to the Second Week of Advent and continue to prepare for the birth of Jesus Christ – “the reason for the season” – there is an emphasis on peace, represented by the second purple candle in the Advent wreath. May we pray and strive for peace and harmony within ourselves, our families, our communities and our world. On behalf of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, thank you very much for your generous support of the Vinnies Christmas Appeal. Our donations will be placed in hampers to distribute to those in need to help them celebrate Christmas this year.

Congratulations to our new Student Leaders who were commissioned during our recent College Awards Ceremony:

Student Leaders 2022

On Friday, 26 November, our new Student Leaders gathered for their Formation and Planning Day on campus, which allowed time for them to meet, reflect on the values and attributes of good leadership, and plan for their respective leadership roles and portfolios in 2022. Our theme for the day was “Be More”, inspired by Saint Oscar Romero, and our Student Leaders were challenged to harness their skills in listening, speaking and teamwork. Already they have some great ideas and initiatives. I wish them well and look forward to seeing what they achieve together next year.

Thank you again to our 2021 Year 12 Student Council, as well as our supportive Years 7-11 Student Leaders: Ellen Clocherty, Dylan Wolmarans, Matthew O’Loughlin, Anthony Panaia, Benjamin Smith, Joe Collins, Te Huika Mason, Salesi Tatafu, Lucas Kelly, Hadia Ashraff, Estella Gillam, Chelsea Young, Lachlan Coates, Olivia Wolmarans, Cameron Rangitoheriri, Marshall Honore, Thomas Gregory, Olivia Pappas, Cooper Poustie and Ben Ridgewell. I thank them all for their support, hard work and dedication. May they continue to show good leadership in who they are and what they do. May they “live life to the full” (John 10:10).

It has been a pleasure and privilege to oversee this important aspect of our College – our heart, soul and faith in action – following on from the dedication, passion and leadership exercised by Ms Shannon Smith in previous years. Our Campus Ministry has been a great team effort, and we could not have organised and hosted the various events without assistance from many staff and students. Thank you to the other members of our College Ministry team: Mr Declan Tanham, Father Elias Kilzi, Mrs Sue Russell and Sister Janina Pascoe RSM. Special thanks to Miss Emily Vuong for assisting with so much of the behind-the-scenes work and on the days of so many of our Ministry events, as well as Mrs Lara Hardisty, Mr Dom White, Mrs Patricia Bailey and Miss Rira Tipene-Grace. Thank you to all staff, students, parents/guardians and families for lending helping hands and providing compassionate care this year. Thank you also to our very generous and increasing number of volunteers from Mercy Connect (a project of MercyWorks, a ministry of the Sisters of Mercy) who have been mentoring some of our students in the Intensive English Centre and mainstream classes. May the God of mercy bless and protect us all; may the God of peace comfort us in times of trial; and may the God of love shine forth in our lives.

Jesus is the Reason for the season

Sr Emma Llewellyn
Head of Ministry | Sister of Mercy


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