Volume 32 Issue 06 - 3 April 2020

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College

Sue Lennox - Principal

What a term we have had. Who would have thought at the start of the year we would be experiencing the change and disruption to every part of our lives we now have. As we returned to school this year, I distinctly recall thinking of the grief and hardship our families faced through the bushfires and floods over Christmas, never realising more was around the corner. As we watched the devastation unfold in China, I don’t believe we had a full appreciation of the impact this would have on our island nation a few weeks later.

The girls have adjusted to the online learning very well. The feedback from staff is very positive and the girls particularly enjoy their opportunity to touch base with each other during pastoral each morning. They are often chatty and bubbly and keen to share their experiences. They have generally managed the workload, although some are feeling overwhelmed and struggling. The time away from the screen over the holidays will do them all good.

As the girls are not physically in our classrooms at the College we have limited duty of care. That duty falls with the parents or a responsible person whilst they are at home. Could I ask that you check your daughter is engaging with her work and online each morning. We have a few girls who are not allowing their camera to video their face and instead they present an image. This could be because they are camera shy or not comfortable with others seeing them in the morning. The difficulty for staff though is that we can’t be sure they are there or that they are connected for the lesson. I believe it is best that each girl activates the camera, at least for their pastoral period, so their homeroom teacher can check they are ready and then they can operate behind their image for the rest of the lesson. If you could check that she is safe and engaged that would be perfect. Where we have concerns for girls we are calling parents, but your help will be appreciated.

As you would be aware we had to cancel our Emerald Gala Ball this term due to COVID-19. This is the only fundraiser for the scholarship fund at the College. This fund provides some support to families who don’t have the resources to send their daughter to St Patrick’s. We have decided to open the raffle online. We have the prizes donated and we are hoping to be able to sell some tickets to potentially raise a little for the scholarships that will be needed for the coming year. I appreciate these are hard times for all, but if you are in a position to assist, we would be very grateful. The prizes are very good and I am sure the winners will be very pleased should they be successful.

As we finish, we will be going into Easter. This Sunday is Palm Sunday and it will be very strange not to go to mass and bring home a palm for the year. I will leave you with a prayer on Easter as we long for the hope of joy and new life this wonderful feast gives us.


Sue Lennox - Principal 

Lord, the resurrection of Your Son
has given us new life and renewed hope.
Help us to live as new people
in pursuit of the Christian ideal.
Grant us wisdom to know what we must do,
the will to want to do it,
the courage to undertake it,
the perseverance to continue to do it,
and the strength to complete it.

source: New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book

Holy Week and Easter Liturgy 2020

In Jesus we have life and have it to the full.


For the time being, Christians, and indeed members of all religions throughout the world, are not allowed to gather together for communal prayer. This means that Christians cannot gather for the communal celebration of Holy Week and Easter.

This circumstance has highlighted for all of us the importance of preserving life in the midst of so much suffering and death. All our efforts nowadays are focussed on keeping people alive and healthy.

Holy Week, Easter, and the gift of the life of Jesus to our world prompts the question, “What does it mean to be fully alive?” Our current situation has made the answer to this question very clear to us:

We are fully alive when we can again:

  • Embrace each other with a kiss and a hug
  • Share a meal together
  • Go outside and play in the park with many friends
  • Attend Mass at a Church
  • Go to a crowded shopping centre
  • Attend a routine visit to the doctor
  • Watch a film in the cinema …

So how can we stay “fully alive” during these days of isolation, disconnection and unfamiliar ways of behaving and interacting?

To begin with, we need to note that any faith journey—for any religion—is an inner journey. This inner journey of faith is also a journey undertaken with someone. In the case of Christianity, we undertake our faith journey with Jesus. Christians also undertake their inner faith journey with the support of the Christian community of believers.

Jesus is for us the one who offers us life to the fullest. The celebration of Holy Week and Easter is for Christians a bringing to life the core beliefs and the essence of their faith. Let us therefore ponder and prayerfully experience the Holy Week and Easter stories.


God of life, you are the God of peace, justice and stability.
Guide us during this time of trial and keep us safe.
We call to mind the words of the prayer your Son taught us:
“lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Save us from all harm so that we may have life and have it to the full.
We make our prayer in Jesus’ name
and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.

The Last Supper

A reading from the holy gospel according to John (13:1-15)

While they were eating, Jesus stood up and took off his robe. He got a towel and wrapped it around his waist. Then he poured water into a bowl and began to wash the followers’ feet. He dried their feet with the towel that was wrapped around his waist.

He came to Simon Peter. But Peter said to him, “Lord, you should not wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “You don’t know what I am doing now. But later you will understand.” Peter said, “No! You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “If I don’t wash your feet, you are not one of my people.” Simon Peter said, “Lord, after you wash my feet, wash my hands and my head too!”

Jesus said, “After a person has a bath, his whole body is clean. He needs only to wash his feet. And you are clean, but not all of you.” Jesus knew who would hand him over to his enemies. That is why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

When Jesus finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and went back to the table. He asked, “Do you understand what I did for you? You call me ‘Teacher.’ And you call me ‘Lord.’ And this is right, because that is what I am. I am your Lord and Teacher. But I washed your feet. So you also should wash each other’s feet. I did this as an example for you. So you should serve each other just as I served you.”

Reflection on the Gospel

John’s account of the Last Supper does not mention that part of the meal at which point Jesus offered to the Apostles the gift of his eternal presence in the form of Eucharistic Bread and Wine. Jesus says, “Take this bread and eat of it, for this is my Body.” Similarly, Jesus says, “Take and drink from this cup of wine for this is my Blood which I offer in sacrifice to you and for all time.” Every Eucharist that is offered is the Last Supper happening again and again and again. The events of the Last Supper are eternal.

In this time of COVID-19, we do not have access to Holy Communion. The challenge we now face is to put into practice that which John’s Gospel does describe at the Last Supper: the washing of the feet. Jesus washed the feet of his closest friends as a humble act of service. Having washed their feet, Jesus says to his Apostles, “If I, your Lord and Master have washed your feet, how much more should you wash each other’s feet?”

Good Friday

A reading from the holy gospel according to Mark. (15:22-39)

They led Jesus to the place called Golgotha. (Golgotha means “The Place of the Skull”). There the soldiers nailed Jesus to a cross. It was nine o’clock in the morning when they nailed Jesus to the cross.

At noon the whole country became dark. This darkness continued until three o’clock. At three o’clock Jesus cried out loudly, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani.” This means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Some of the people standing there heard this. They said, “Listen! He is calling Elijah.” One man there ran and got a sponge. He filled the sponge with sour wine and tied it to a stick. Then he used the stick to give the sponge to Jesus to get a drink from it. The man said, “We should wait now and see if Elijah will come to take him down from the cross.”

Then Jesus cried out loudly and died.

When Jesus died, the curtain in the Temple was torn into two pieces. The tear started at the top and tore all the way to the bottom. The army officer who was standing there in front of the cross saw what happened when Jesus died. The officer said, “This man really was the Son of God!”

Reflection on the Gospel

Jesus having been crucified is a tragedy as it is the product of humanity at its worst. Jesus dying on the Cross is the result of humanity’s pursuit of selfish interests rather than pursuing what is good and right and just for humanity.

Life in the time of COVID-19 has shown that humanity can be at its worst and also at its best. Humanity is at its worst when we are selfish. We are at our best when we look to the example of Jesus as the one who lived life with care, compassion, wisdom, and self-sacrifice. Holy Week and the Easter event help us to make sense of the saying of Jesus: “Those who save their life will lose it and those who lose their life for the sake of the Kingdom of God will save it.”

We build up the Kingdom of God with every act of kindness, with every pursuit of justice, with every expression of peace, with every act of compassion.

Universal Prayer

Our God is the Lord of life and holiness. With trust and hope in God, we confidently place before him our needs and the needs of our troubled world.

For the sick: that they recover from their illness and be restored to fullness of health. Lord, hear us. Lord, hear our prayer.

For doctors, medical staff and all health workers: that they have the capacity to continue to undertake their work in safety. Lord, grant them strength and bless them with your healing touch. Lord, hear us. Lord, hear our prayer.

For political and religious leaders throughout the world: that they demonstrate wisdom, compassion, and integrity in their decision making in this time of uncertainty. Lord, hear us. Lord, hear our prayer.

For the gift of family: that families live harmoniously and support one another during these extraordinary times. In particular, bless parents with patience and understanding as they home school their children so that they manage this important role. Lord, hear us. Lord, hear our prayer.

For the unemployed: that they be appropriately and compassionately cared for and protected by a kind society and through the generosity of others. Lord, hear us. Lord, hear our prayer.

For workers: that they be kept safe as they continue to provide that which is essential for the good of others. Lord, hear us. Lord, hear our prayer.

For those who have passed away due to COVID-19: that they may be at peace in the loving embrace of the God who offers Eternal Life. May they be duly remembered and honoured with an appropriate funeral service whenever that may be able to occur. Lord, hear us. Lord, hear our prayer.


God of peace, justice and stability,
shower us with your grace
as we live through this time of trial and isolation.
Strengthen each of us to show loving care towards each other.
Protect the doctors and nurses
who are your instruments of healing in our broken world.
Restore for us the joy of fulness of life.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Jesus story does not end with his Crucifixion. On Easter Sunday all Christians will rejoice in the joy of the Resurrection. Jesus is the Son of the God of Life. Jesus rose from the dead because the promises of God, his Father, were fulfilled. That is, those who live a life of love will live forever.

“I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

“I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

Many Christians may be surprised to realise that this Sunday, 5 April, is Palm Sunday which marks the start of Holy Week. All of us have been caught up in the events and news of each passing day which has perhaps drawn our collective attention away from the usual rhythms and cycles of life. Added to this, we are facing the reality of the coming Easter period as being one in which we can neither gather in our churches for communal worship nor even gather in large family groups at home to mark the most holy and important days of the Christian calendar.


Despite this, our faith compels us to trust in our God who is for us “the Lord, the Giver of Life.” The events that all Christians commemorate during Holy Week are for us the essence of our faith. And the events of Holy Week guide us on the journey from death to new life; from falling to rising.

These are the rhythms and the cycle of Holy Week:                                                                                                                    

Palm Sunday  (Jesus proclaimed as the one who lives life to the fullest)          

Last Supper (Jesus offering to us the gift of his eternal presence)                      

Good Friday (Jesus surrendering his own life so that we may have eternal life)             

Easter Sunday (Jesus being raised from the dead to affirm life)

These are also the rhythms and the cycle of life for all who believe in Jesus. Jesus calls us to fulness of life. Jesus calls us to be in his presence and to know that he walks the journey with us. Jesus calls us to surrender those parts of our self that prevent us from being fully human. Jesus calls us to be fully alive by our placing our lives, our hope, and our trust in him.   

During times of surrender—just like during this COVID-19 experience—we come to a greater understanding of the beatitude that proclaims, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” To be poor in spirit means to know one’s place and to not be proud or boastful. To be poor in spirit means to be able to surrender to God’s will. And surrender requires trust.  God’s promise to those who believe in Jesus and are filled with the Holy Spirit is that we have nothing to fear. “Be not afraid!” the Lord proclaims.

The Easter Message is clear: to live life in Christ is to be fully alive. To be fully alive is to walk life’s journey with Jesus, trusting that however life unfolds for us, we are in the care and protection of a loving Saviour who knows our human frailty as well as our human potential for greatness.

Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator


Looking After Our Girls – Wellbeing During These Difficult Times

As parents with your children at home, I don’t need to tell you how different this is from anything you and your family have experienced before. We have been very impressed with the way the girls have adapted to the remote learning platform and how positive the staff have found the “zooming” experience and being able to talk face to face with the girls.

Students Wellbeing at Home

As the number of COVID-19 cases rise in Australia, anxiety about the virus is understandably increasing. It is important to balance out ‘school as usual’ against the significant disruptions occurring across our community and addressing these directly with your daughter.

I know that the pastoral advisors have been engaging the girls during homeroom by giving them the opportunity to share how they are feeling and what they are doing to look after themselves, as well as providing them with ideas and sites to visit to help them. The common themes are ‘missing friends’ and ‘not being able to do sport, dancing’ and all those extra things that make up their routine. From next term we have an added service for the girls. They will be able to access our school psychologist for online sessions. Girls in Years 7 to 10 need to go through their Year Coordinator. Girls in Years 11 and 12 can make direct contact. A letter will be sent out via your daughter's Year Coordinator, as a number of permissions will need to be sought to ensure the protection of the girls and staff.

The Year Coordinators have lots of resources that they can share with you with suggestions of how to deal with this as a family unit and how to talk to your children and stay positive for them. Please feel free to contact your daughter’s Year Coordinator or myself should you need some support in this area. We are all travelling down this new road together and we will get through with love and support.

There are lots of sites that you and your daughter can get information from – and if you are unsure, please contact me and I can point you in the right direction.

Karen Wright - Assistant Principal Students

New Canvas course - Activities & Resources for Students at Home

A new Canvas course has been created suggesting free activities and resource links for students to engage in each day after their studies are complete.

Look for "Activities & Resources for Students" on CANVAS.

All students have been enrolled in the Activities & Resources for Students at Home Canvas course - a resource dedicated to making student's free time at home a little more enjoyable.

In this course, students will find activities to keep them occupied once their daily school work is complete. There are links to free eBooks, audiobooks, podcasts, video tutorials, interactive online tours, meditation and mindfulness activities, online colouring and online word puzzles...plus a list of screen-free activities they may like to try. 

It's unusual times for everyone, and it may take time to adjust not only to a new way of schooling, but also a new way of passing the time at home after 3pm each day. It is our hope this resource (which will be regularly updated) will go some way to keep students entertained beyond the school day.

The Library Team 

Book Clubs and DEARS Move Online

We have moved the Library Book Clubs and the DEAR program online!

DEAR program is now online! - Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator

With the move to online learning, the Library has created both a Junior Book Club (for Years 7 and 8) and a Senior Book Club (for Years 9 - 12) Canvas course. Currently our Book Club members are the only students enrolled, however if a student is interested in joining, they are encouraged to email Mrs Robertson in the Library (lrobertson@saintpatricks.nsw.edu.au). 

The popular DEAR program for Years 7 - 9 has also moved online. DEAR is an acronym for Drop Everything And Read - all students in Years 7 - 9 have been enrolled in the DEAR Canvas course which outlines how students can write a very short book review in return for a merit and a point towards their House winning the coveted DEAR Cup trophy later in the year!

The College Library 

Important Dates

What's on ... 

Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator

for all events at the College, CLICK HERE