St Joseph’s Primary School - O'Connor
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Boronia Drive
O'Connor ACT 2602

Phone: 02 6248 9818
Fax: 02 6247 1792

Week 5 Term 2 2019 Newsletter

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Week 5 Term 2 2019 Newsletter

"We received this world as an inheritance from past generations, but also as a loan from future generations, to whom we will have to return it!”

Remarks, meeting with political, business and community leaders, Quito, Ecuador, July 7, 2015

“Dear young people, you are not the future but the now of God and he invites you and calls you in your communities and cities to go out and find your grandparents and elders; to stand up and with them to speak out and realize the dream that the Lord has dreamed for you.” 

Homily at the closing mass of World Youth Day in Panama, Jan 27, 2019


Today I reflect on two quotes from Pope Francis that provide insight and guidance on what he sees as vital, and immediate, directives as we look towards the future. In 2015, Pope Francis issued the first-ever papal encyclical on the environment, articulating a call for all Christians to actively involve themselves in addressing the environmental challenges we currently face, as an act of faithful stewardship. At the 2019 World Youth Day earlier this year, Pope Francis brought this call into sharper focus, stating that our children are not the future but the now.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to sit with the now when I watched the docufilm '2040' with the St Joseph’s Sustainability Team. It is interesting how through necessity (we needed another teacher to accompany the excursion), I had the chance to spend time listening closely to the ideas that were presented in the film, but also to consider what is our role in making change within the school, and even personally at home, that can contribute to a different year 2040. The premise behind the film is that we have current practices that, should they be taken on more broadly, can potentially make a significant difference to what is commonly projected to be a somewhat bleak environmental future for our children.

What I particularly took from watching the film, and reflecting on how Pope Francis calls upon us, is that the now have the answers for what they see as the challenges we currently face. The innocent hopes for the future shared in the film, to ‘have everyone take care of the world’, ‘stop cutting down all the trees’, ‘have enough food and energy for everyone’, or to ‘have clouds that rain chocolate’ (this one may be a little hard to action) are not able to be argued against as being reasonable hopes for the future..

As we left the movie, listening to the excited comments from the Sustainability Team, I was reminded of something I took from a keynote speech by Alfie Kohn, an educational theorist, some years ago; Why is it that in schools, we make our students wait until they are 15 or 18 to get on and start doing what they know they want to do. We make students sit through school, often asking them what they want to be / do when they grow up. Why don’t we let them start now. As a parent, as a teacher, and as a principal, there are times when ‘no’ is the right answer to a lot of questions or requests. However, I know that as we listen to the now, we also need to hear the opportunities to say ‘yes’ so that we can truly see what remarkable things are possible. Our students have remarkable ideas and are only limited by the obstacles that are either put in their way, or experienced along the journey. It is exciting to listen to the now, with an insight into the future as they navigate these obstacles.

Yours in Christ,

Cameron Tarrant


Season of Eastertide

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This coming Sunday is the liturgical celebration of the Ascension of the Lord, when Jesus was taken to heaven on the 40th day after Easter. This year our Gospel is taken from the conclusion of the Gospel of Luke. In the Synoptic Gospels—Mark, Matthew, and Luke the accounts of Jesus' Ascension are similar. In each account, Jesus assigns his disciples the task of proclaiming the Gospel to the entire world. Our focus scripture for 2019 (Matthew 28 16-20) is taken from Matthew ‘s account and is titled ‘The Great Commission.’

The Synoptic Gospels, which all convey the same vital message of continuing Jesus’ work when he is no longer with us, have distinct differences. These differences can be explained and understood by looking at these scriptures through the Worlds of the Text:

  • World Behind the Text: How is an understanding of this text influenced by what we can learn about its context?
  • World of the Text: How is an understanding of this text influenced by what is actually in it?
  • World in Front of the Text: For whom might this text be relevant today?

In the Gospels of Mark and Matthew, the disciples are sent by Jesus to baptise as well as to preach. In Luke's Gospel, however, this commission to baptise is absent. Instead, Jesus directs the disciples to return to Jerusalem to await the fulfillment of his promise to send them the Holy Spirit. Curiously, only Mark and Luke actually report Jesus' Ascension into heaven.  Our focus scripture for 2019, (Matthew's Gospel) concludes with Jesus' promise to remain with his disciples forever. Those who believe in Jesus will be empowered to do what Jesus himself has done and try to live as his followers.

As you reflect on the Gospels of Luke and Matthew with your family this week, talk about how to follow Jesus’ example in your life.

Student Prayer Focus

Our Student Prayer Focus this week centres on the Gospel of Luke and connects to our 2019 focus Scripture from Matthew. In classes students hear the scriptures and respond to the question:

What do I wonder about the Gospel this week?

As a part of our Student Prayer Focus this week you will see that another white leaf is being  added to our trees in each class prayer space. The white leaf symbolises the season of Eastertide. On each leaf of a word or phrase is written which symbolise how each class member will work to glorify Christ with their life during the week.

How will you Glorify Christ with your life this week?

Sacramental Information

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Sacrament of First Holy Communion

It was wonderful to see many school and parish families come together for the first  preparation session for the Sacrament of First Holy Communion. The preparation sessions continue this Saturday. 

Please contact Father Paul  if you have any questions about sacraments at:

Holy Communion Classes

(Year 4 and older)

5.15pm in the Hall followed by Mass at 6.00pm in the Church

Saturday 1 June

Saturday 8 June

Saturday 15 June

Sacrament of First Holy Communion

Sunday 23 June 9am

Yours in Christ,

Melanie Stratford

Religious Education Coordinator 

Sustainability in Action


Straws no more! Week 6 will begin our trial of a straw-free canteen. Milks and juice will now be $1. Now the only problem is, what should you do with that extra dollar?

We need your help! Sustainability  and STEAM are coming together to help students create a pop-up library in the school yard. If you have the materials, time, or just will to participate, please join us in creating this hands-on project! Please email  for more info.


Green Team enjoyed an excursion to the cinema to view the sustainability documentary ‘2040.’ The film is a positive spin on what the world could look like in 21 years, if we put existing sustainability practices into action. Green Team is inspired to put these ideas in motion by caring for God’s earth and carrying out our mission to make a waste-free canteen!

Ryan McGee

Sustainability Coordinator 

2This term, along with the Defence Kids Club every Tuesday first break, I have been visiting classrooms spending time with each Defence child. The children have enjoyed showing off their work and reading skills. I will continue to visit classrooms on Mondays and Tuesdays checking in regularly with the kids. If you have any questions or queries be sure to send me an email -

Please check out the Defence Community Organisation (DCO) for additional support and information if you need extra assistance, especially during times of parent absence or deployment. DCO provides a range of support services and programs to support Defence families manage the military way of life. The Defence Family Helpline can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 1800 624 608 .


Sally Adams

Defence Support Mentor 


If you are unable to volunteer your time in the canteen, but would like to contribute in some way, we always welcome donations of various items for use in the canteen.  We are currently short of the following items:

Dishwaher tablets Reusable Ikea containers - 0.6L with lids
Dishwashing detergent Chux
Cleaning cloths Floor clearner

Michelle Welch

Canteen Manager

Congratulations to this week's award recipients. 

Foundation Red

Evie McG

Aneesh T

3 Silver

James A

Josie B

Foundation White

Moira K

Patrick McD

4 Blue

Gracie O'C

Olivia F

1 Purple

Annabelle McP

Scarlett S

4 Orange

Ashera D

Josephine S

1 Teal

Maddison D

Connor J

5 Gold

Kosta V

Maxwell G

2 Magenta

Attharva T

Kobe P

5 Green

Abagail W

Aaryan B

2 Yellow

Sophie G

Santiago K

6 Black

Serafina M

Ewan G

3 Lime

William P

Violet W


Happy birthday to these students celebrating their birthdays this week.

Leonardo Q
Joseph E
Esmee V F
Antonija K
Miller W


Tiffany Fletcher

P&F President


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Don't forget!
School banking day is Thursday.
Please put your bank books in the note bag on a Thursday morning.
For more information please visit 


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