Principal’s Report – Issue 27
First Holy Eucharist (Communion)
This weekend we will commence the celebration of the Sacrament of First Eucharist in the parish, a most significant time in the life of our Year 4 students and their families.
Those old enough minds can cast their minds back to the time when churches had altar rails. This was a type of small fence-like structure, often presented in fine marble or crafted wood, that divided this century of the church from its main body. At Communion time during Mass, members of the congregation knelt at the altar rail to receive communion from the priest who moved from person to person along the other side. After receiving communion, the recipient returned to their place in the church to converse intimately with Christ now present within them.
After the Second Vatican Council numerous changes were made to the external expressions of the Church. One change that seems to be of a somewhat minor nature was to remove the altar rail. However, there was a strong message associated with this change. Now, we were encouraged to understand the reception of Christ in the Eucharist as St Augustine explained it, “We eat the Body of Christ to become the Body of Christ.” Nowadays, we stand to receive Communion ready to take Christ with us out into our local community.
The Eucharist is the most powerful prayer in which a Christian can participate. Firstly: Union with Christ in the Eucharist enables a Christian to offer the day to day life to the Father in the most intimate way possible. Secondly: We are bonded more deeply in Christ and empowered to love one another as he loved us. Thirdly: “. . . Only say the word and I shall be healed,” allows the power of Jesus’ healing to flow into our hearts.
This threefold effort of revitalisation offers the Christian the opportunity to return to their community – home, neighbourhood, workplace – strengthened to rise above human failings and live joyfully, honestly and non-judgementally. It takes courage to maintain our day to day lives and the opportunity to share Jesus’ love can give us the strength and purpose to not simply exist, but to celebrate our lives.
The apostles at the Last Supper must have been startled when Jesus stood up to do his duty as host and say that blessing over the cup and the bread. Here, where new words spoken: “This is My Body which is given to you”, “This cup is God’s new covenant which is poured out for you.”
Here, was Jesus offering Himself and telling his Apostles to “Do this in memory of me”. The Apostles might have been bewildered at the Last Supper, but they were full of purpose after Pentecost and took Jesus’ request to various parts of the world. The Eucharist is the centre of Christian heritage and should be cherished by Christians as the principle means to union with Christ.
Parents have the responsibility and privilege to hand on this heritage to their children. What better way to achieve this than to share the Eucharist with their children in union with other members of their Christian Community. As we watch our children receive Communion for the first time, we are thrilled by the beauty and simplicity of their belief in who it is they are receiving.
You give us your body and blood in the
Eucharist as a sign that even now
We share your life.
May we cherish the sacraments as the life
Source of our Christian heritage and
Ensure that it may become the life source
For our children.
What an amazing turn-out we had for our very first Grandparents Day here at Infant Jesus School. It was wonderful to see so many grandparents visiting our classrooms, joining us for prayer and staying for a cuppa! May thanks to our Year One Classes and their teachers for coordinating the day as well as to the rest of the staff for opening their classrooms and making themselves available for this celebration. I share the following email I received (name withheld) as I feel it highlights the importance of this celebration to very important members of our community.
To the Principal, Staff and Students of Infant Jesus School
I would like to acknowledge with thanks to everyone for the beautiful morning you put on for the grandparents of the students at the school.
The Liturgy was very moving and made us, the grandparents, feel special. We were then made feel very welcome in the classroom with special activities presented to us. To finish off the wonderful morning tea and company completed the morning.
Thank you for all your efforts and I’m sure you will continue to keep up the good work at the school.
Thank you to all our Grandparents who came along on Tuesday and for making the day very special for us all.
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
Response to the Royal Commission
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia’s Response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was released on Friday 31 August 2018.
This formal response was addressed to those who have suffered from child sexual abuse and those who have suffered with them, to the Catholic community in Australia, to the Australian Government and to the Australian people. The response was released together with the final report of the Truth Justice and Healing Council (TJHC).
Please find attached Archbishop Costelloe’s pastoral letter for the Catholic Community of the Archdiocese of Perth, including Catholic schools. Click on this link. In it he states:
“The Royal Commission itself, over long years of intensive investigation culminating in its final report and extensive recommendations, has been and will continue to be an invaluable tool in assisting us to grapple with the causes of this terrible tragedy. We must never allow ourselves to become complacent and think of this only as a dark past which, with the conclusion of the Royal Commission, is now behind us: it is also our present and an urgent demand on our future.
Many survivors of sexual abuse, and their families, continue to suffer the consequences of the crimes that were committed against them. We must as a Church, as a community of disciples of Jesus Christ, do everything we possibly can to help people move into a better future. That we failed to do this in the past only makes it more urgent that we do so now and, in the years, ahead.
At the same time, we must continue to explore every possibility open to us to ensure that our Catholic communities, be they parishes, schools, hospitals, social welfare agencies or anything else, are places of absolute safety for our children, our young people, and indeed for everyone who comes in contact with the Church in any way.”
Lessons About Life
All I Really Need to know about life, I learned from Noah’s Ark:
- Don’t miss the boat
- Don’t forget we’re all in the same boat
- Plan ahead – it wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark
- Stay fit – when you’re 600 years old someone might ask you to do something really big
- Don’t listen to critics, just get on with what has to be done
- For safety’s sake travel in pairs
- Two heads are better than one
- Build your future on high ground
- Speed isn’t always an advantage, after all, the, snails were on the same ark with the cheetahs
- When you are stressed, float a while
- Remember, the ark was built by amateurs: the Titanic was built by professionals
- Remember that the woodpeckers inside are a larger threat than the storm outside
From My Readings . . .
Nine Digital Technology Guidelines for Parents
by Martine Oglethorpe
Technology is everywhere now, in our homes, in our pockets, and perhaps worryingly for many parents, in our children’s hands.
Every family is different and will have their own ideas around what’s considered ‘normal’ or acceptable use of our beloved devices, which means there’s no universal answer. However, there are some suggestions that can help you build some rules of your own and bring some order to the way your children use digital devices at home.
1.Know what the rules and expectations are at school
School digital device policies make a great starting point for families. Every school is different – some let students keep mobile phones in lockers or backpacks, while others allow limited mobile phone usage between classes or even during class time to aid with assignments. Make sure that you and your child know what the rules are at school. Importantly, support the school and keep your own expectations in line with theirs.
- Specify hours for digital use
Set the ground rules for when your youngsters can use their tablets and phones, and when they need to shut them off for the night. It’s just a smart way to build a habit for the whole family so it becomes ingrained and just the way things are done in your home. Keep in mind that this age group faces tremendous peer pressure to be online 24/7, and even though they’d never admit it, it might be helpful for them to have an acceptable ‘way out’ from their demanding digital life.
- Consider a digital device ‘contract
Mobile phone ‘contracts’ were popular with parents a few years back and they are still a smart way to go. Clearly set out your digital device usage guidelines and print them in an agreement that you and your young one can both sign. If there are any disputes, then you both have the expectations in writing. This digital technology guideline maybe a little too formal for many people’s tastes, but it removes the grey areas around expectations that many young people are likely to exploit.
4. Consider a digital device ‘contract’
Make the consequences clear for breaking the rules, such as taking away the phone or tablet for a set period of time. But remember, the goal isn’t to punish them, but just to set clear boundaries. Your home’s digital device guidelines should be reasonable rather than excessive and be made in collaboration with your youngster so they feel a sense of ownership about the rules too. This should make it less likely for them to ‘break the law’, so to speak.
- Talk about respectful relationships
You can’t let your young person loose in the digital world without having several conversations about how to stay safe online, how to show respectful behaviour and be aware of the pitfalls of pornography. Each of these topics is a separate issue on its own, but each is deeply affected by the virtual, boundary-free nature of digital technology. This kind of digital exposure can have massive ramifications on the growth and development of young people, especially when it comes to the quality of their relationships and well-being.
- Be prepared to learn
Be ready to learn about social media, and the different apps and games that young people may be playing. But at the same time, be mindful of their boundaries. A recent Australian survey found that young people see TV-watching as a way of connecting to their family, and social media as a way of connecting to their friends.
- Change the rules if necessary
Many families will have a young one who believes that rules are made to be broken. They are the ones always pushing past their boundaries, their own limits and the limits of their parents’ patience. Smart parents take a more flexible approach and believe that rules are made to be changed. Be prepared to keep evolving your rules based on your young person’s behaviour, maturity, sleep habits, their tendency to leave homework or chores unfinished, bullying or any number of issues that will invariably crop up to make them feel like your rules just aren’t working.
- Keep digital devices out of the bedroom
If there was one rule that you should stay firm on, then this is the one. Many young people are in a constant sleep deficit as it is without bringing digital devices into the mix. They may say they want to charge it in their room. Keep the charger in a public place. They may even want to use their mobile or tablet to wake up in the morning. Applaud them on wanting to wake up on their own but get them a regular alarm clock instead.
- Have a ‘digital detox’ one day a week
The only way that this idea will work is if you join them in making one day a week a digital device-free day. They will probably not like it, and neither will you, but the point of having one day off is to prove that they can live without their digital device and involve them in different forms of communication and entertainment.
Digital technology is now an integral part of our lives, but it’s not the only option we have for entertainment, information and or communication. Before we help our young people, it’s best to look at our own digital habits to make sure we are providing them with what they need – that is, leading by example and being balanced role models who know when to use and when not to use their devices. They are far more likely to walk our walk than follow our talk.
It’s not easy, but with a little effort and forethought, it does not have to be such a daunting proposition.
Prayer for the Week
Give me a kind heart that will endure
One that’s strong and secure
To help someone along the way,
May this be my goal every day.
Let me lend a helping hand
To someone whose life has not gone as planned,
Reaching out to one in need,
May this be my daily good deed,
To provide a guiding light
For someone lost in the dark of night
Let me take time to care
For someone experiencing despair.
Whatever I do,
Everywhere I go,
Your Will, Lord, let me know.
Did you Know?
- Over 500 meteorites hit the earth each year.
- “Almost” is the longest word in the English language with all the letters in alphabetical order.
- Crocodiles swallow rocks to help them dive deeper
- Polar bears’ fur is not white, it’s actually clear. Polar bear skin is actually black. Their hair is hollow and acts like fibre optics, directing sunlight to warm their skin
Thought for the Week
Some people grin and bear it; others smile and do it.
Finally, let’s hope the WEST COAST EAGLES do the right thing by the Western Australian teams and knock off Collingwood this weekend. I got tickets for the game . . . and then realised that it was First Holy Communion Mass for our Year 4 students. So, I will be using the ‘power of prayer’ to get my Eagles home this Saturday night instead of screaming my lungs out at the footy!
Have a Great Week
© Infant Jesus School 2017
17 Smith St, Morley WA 6062
Tel: (08) 9276 1769 | Fax: (08) 9276 2998
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