A Day for Celebration
Prayer, fun, games and action for people in need! Such was the way students and staff at St Joseph’s College Lochinvar set aside the usual timetable on 8th August to celebrate the life of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Australia’s one and only canonised saint. They invited the local community of the Sisters of St Joseph to join them. Like many other schools in the Josephite tradition across Australia, this feast is a day to reflect on St Mary’s life and the way she lived the gospel values of compassion, forgiveness, the dignity of all people and love for disadvantaged people.
The total school assembled in MacKillop Place to begin the day with a Liturgy of the Word ably led by the student leaders using the scripture texts for the day’s feast. Sr Patricia Egan, in her reflection encouraged the students to think how they might take Mary’s words: Never see a need without trying to do something about it and incorporate into the living of their lives - to take her words and put them into action.
Mrs Patricia Hales, the principal and a former student of the College told the students of her own involvement with the Sisters over the years. She encouraged them to make the most of the different opportunities available to them and to carry on the spirit of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop. At the conclusion of the service, the College leaders presented the Sisters with a beautiful golden floral arrangement. While the students dispersed to be begin the fun part of the day, the College executive and student leaders invited the Sisters to join them with a freshly baked morning tea.
During the day, there were many and varied activities to engage the students in their year groups from Year 7 to Year 11. Students and staff were on fire musically with Gigs on the Green. There were presentations about the DARA van and its partner Orange Sky Laundry. DARA is the Development and Relief agency of the diocese that offers food and hospitality to people in need. Some students worked tirelessly in cooking slices that were then packaged with a personal message before being sent to DARA’s van for distribution to people experiencing homelessness in the area. What a perfect way to celebrate the feast of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, the woman who famously said, Never see a need without trying to do something about it.