Dear Parents, Carers and the St Joseph’s Community,
“Loving God, today marks the beginning of a period of inner reflection and examination. Father, the days stretch before me and invite me inward to that silent, holy space that houses Your Holy Spirit. This special period invites me to examine my life through our Lord Jesus Christ’s eyes and the truth and reality of your love embodied. Father, give me the grace to enter the atmosphere of these days with anticipation of our meeting. Lord, when I open my heart to your presence, let your loving kindness flow over me and seep into the pockets of my soul. I ask this for the sake of your love.”
Today we celebrate Ash Wednesday, the first day of the liturgical season of Lent, a time of fasting and prayer. In this season, we prepare ourselves to celebrate the high point of our Christian life, Easter. Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the head. The ashes are made from blessed palm branches, taken from the previous year’s Palm Sunday Mass. While the ashes symbolise penance and contrition, they are also a reminder that God is gracious and merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts. However, we must not forget that we are called to live as a representative of Jesus every day – even when the ashes have been washed away. So how will you live Lent after the ashes are gone and take up the Cross in the coming 40 days?
A reminder that Parent-Teacher Interviews are being held next week. This is an opportunity for teachers to discuss how your child has settled into the new school year and for you to share any important information about your child with teachers. If you have already had a formal meeting with your child’s teacher, there is no need to attend an interview.
Please follow the below link to make your booking. Bookings will close at 12 pm this Friday.
Social and Emotional Learning
This fortnight my focus in the classrooms in on emotions and the brain. I will be introducing students to Dr Dan Siegel’s ‘Hand Model of the Brain’ and looking at how our ‘feeling’ brain can impact our ‘thinking’ brain to cause us to ‘flip our lid’. The below link is a 2 ½ minute YouTube video that explains this hand model notion in our emotional dealings of day to day life. I will be encouraging students to identify ways that their body experiences stress and teaching them a variety of breathing techniques to help regulate their feeling brain.
A reminder that supervision for the school day commences at 8:20 am. We have noticed an increase in the number of children who are arriving at school before this time. Please note that parents and carers are responsible for their child/ren outside the times of school supervision.
Catholic Education Online Survey
Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn (Catholic Education), will shortly release an online survey to better understand your opinion of the value Catholic schools like ours provide and what that means for you and your children. The findings of this research will be used by Catholic Education to improve the offering of Catholic schools.
The survey will be sent out to parents via email in the coming week and should take less than 15 minutes to complete. I encourage all parents to respond to the survey.
Privacy and confidentiality - Please note that Catholic Education has engaged JWS Research to host the survey, collect the data and analyse the results. JWS Research is an independent, fully accredited, Australian research agency (see www.jwsresearch.com for further information). Survey results will be reported in the aggregate with individual responses remaining completely confidential and treated in accordance with the relevant privacy laws, including the Market and Social Research Privacy Principles and the industry’s code of professional behaviour.
Walk to School Morning
This Friday is our first Walk to School morning. We will be meeting at O'Connor shops at 8.15am and walking together to the school. All students and families welcome.
Enlighten Festival Cake Stall
St Joseph's are running a Cake Stall at the Enlighten Festival this Friday evening. Thank you to all those who have offered to bake for the occasion or help out on the stall. The money raised from the stall will be going towards purchasing new readers for Foundation and Year 1.
Please see the flyer in the P&F section of this week's newsletter.
Pleasingly we have now appointed a new Canteen Manager, Tihana Ravanparsa. Tihana joins us with a background in cafes, and is looking forward to becoming part of our school community. Tihana will begin in the Canteen next Monday, 2 March, getting things ready for a full reopening of the Canteen on Tuesday 10 March. For the remainder of 2020, the Canteen will operate Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday each week. Over the coming week, Tihana will be calling for volunteers and also seeking feedback from parents and students about menu options for the remainder of Term 1.
I hope you have an enjoyable end to the week.
Yours in Christ,
Religious Life of St Joseph’s
Today we celebrate Ash Wednesday which marks the change in our Liturgical Season from Ordinary Time to Lent. In this season, we prepare ourselves to celebrate the high point of our Christian life, Easter. Each year, the readings for Ash Wednesday are the same. They call us to a change of heart and teach us about the traditional Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
Ethos and Charism
Our strategic priority to deepen our St Joseph’s identity means to deepen our understanding of our Josephite Charism. As a staff we have been collaborating to understand what following the example of Saint Mary Mackillop looks like at St Joseph’s O’Connor. Together we have developed 4 core values of what it means to ‘Be a Joey.”
Prayer and Worship
Student Led Christian Prayer
Each Friday after the first break Year 6 lead classes in prayer.
Liturgical Season: First Week of Lent , Year A
Liturgical Season Colour: Purple
This week the focus is on the Gospel: Matthew 4:1-11
Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards, he was hungry. The devil approached and said to him,
“If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.”
Jesus said in reply, “It is written:
One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.”
Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the wall of the temple, and said to him,
“If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written:
He will command his angels concerning you
and with their hands they will support you,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.”
Jesus answered him, “Again it is written:
You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.
Then the devil took Jesus up to a very high mountain, and
showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence,
and he said to him, “All these I shall give to you, if you will
At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written:
The Lord, your God, shall you worship
and him alone shall you serve.”
Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.
At home, we invite you to sing our focus song for 2020, “Be God’s” by Danielle Rose and discuss how we can Be God’s Love. You can view a version with the lyrics at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvddWibgS2E
Celebrating Liturgy and Sacraments
Term 1 Prayer Celebrations and Class Masses
Friday 9.15am Class Mass: Year 3, 1 Teal and 5 Orange
Friday 9.15am Class Mass: Year 3, 1 Purple and 5 Blue
Friday 9.15am Class Mass: Year 3, Foundation Red and 4 Green
Thursday 9.15am St Joseph’s Feast Day Whole School
Friday 9.15am Class Mass: Year 3, Foundation White and 4 Gold
Friday 9.15am Class Mass: Year 3 and ELC Frogs
Friday 9.15am Class Mass: Year 3 and ELC Geckos
Monday 9.15am Palm Sunday led by 1 Purple
Wednesday 9.15am Holy Thursday led by 3 Black
Thursday 9.15am Good Friday led by 5 Orange
Sacrament Dates 2020
As we are a growing community we are asking families to help us be as prepared as possible by enrolling now. Please use the following link to enrol in Sacraments for 2020.
Wednesday 11 March: 5.30-6.30pm Sacrament of Reconciliation Formation Session 1
Wednesday 18 March: 5.30-6.30pm Sacrament of Reconciliation Formation Session 2
Wednesday 1 April: Reconciliation Retreat Day
Wednesday 1 April: 6.00pm-7.00pm: Sacrament of Reconciliation
First Holy Communion
Wednesday 13 May: 5.30-6.30pm Sacrament of First Holy Communion Formation Session 1
Wednesday 27 May: 5.30-6.30pm Sacrament of First Holy Communion Formation Session 2
Friday 12 June: First Holy Communion Retreat Day
Sunday 14 June 9.00am: Sacrament of First Holy Communion
Wednesday 14 October: 5.30-6.30pm Sacrament of Confirmation Formation Session 1
Wednesday 21 October: 5.30-6.30pm Sacrament of Confirmation Formation Session 2
Friday 30 October: Confirmation Retreat Day
Sunday 1 November 9.00am: Sacrament of Confirmation
Yours in Christ,
Religious Education Coordinator
Sustainability in Action
Year 3 Waste Warriors have been put to the test, and have been asked to design a waste system that eliminates problems with current bins. Students were asked to combat the challenge of kids not being able to see items in the recycle bin, and find a way to keep birds and wind from removing the recyclables that have been placed inside. We are looking forward to putting some of these designs to the test!
The Green Team has begun the year on a positive and powerful note. These leaders are promoting Nude Food on T days now (both Tuesday and Thursday), taking extra care in returning clean compost bins, caring for our chickens, and collecting (and eating) our ripe tomatoes.
“There is no such thing as ‘away.’ When we throw anything away it must go somewhere.”-Annie Leonard
Defence School Mentor News
Defence Club is held every Tuesday! Foundation to Year 3 during the first break and Year 4 – 6 during our second break. Defence kids are welcome to join us in the Library and can bring along a friend or two to join the fun.
Our ANZAC Day service will be taking place April 29th 9.15am (first Wednesday in Term 2). We warmly welcome all current and ex-serving members to come along. More info to come later.
A message from Soldier On…..
Soldier On activities and workshops are open to all Defence members, ex-serving members and their families.
Back by popular demand - ‘Learn to Play the Ukulele Workshop’, an absolute must for anyone who would like a new challenge.
Join Soldier On and in 4 short lessons you will be able to play literally hundreds of songs of all genres. Check the flyer for more details.
Defence Support Mentor
Congratulations to this week's award recipients.