I would like to congratulate the St Joseph’s College Community on a wonderful first term of 2021. From the generous and caring efforts of the parents and ancillary staff in supporting the student and teachers, to the committed and professional work of the teachers in preparing and delivering engaging learning experiences and the organisation and conducting of extra-curricular activities, to the outstanding results of the students in the academic, sporting and cultural life of the College. The first term of 2021 has absolutely raced by and our College community can be very proud of their achievements.
As we head towards Easter Sunday it is important to take the time to reflect upon what actually happened on the first Easter day. Just recently I read a reflection written by Pope Benedict on the first Easter day that I really liked, and I would like to share with you today.
No doubt, if we had been alive in Jesus’ time we, too, would have been astonished by the miracle of a resurrected corpse. Luke tells us that just as Jesus was entering the town of Naim, a funeral procession was coming out. The dead man was the only son of a widow. Jesus was filled with compassion for the widow and so went over to the coffin and said, “Young man! Get up, I tell you. The dead man sat up and began to talk and Jesus gave him back to his mother.” Luke 7:11-17.
Mark tells us how in like manner Jesus resurrected the corpse of the twelve-year-old daughter of Jairus, an official of the local synagogue. “Little girl I tell you to get up. She got up at once and started walking around. Give her something to eat.” Mark 5:22-24, 35-44.
The two individuals raised to life by Jesus returned to their normal lives and at a later point in time they died, definitively. So, how was their “resurrection” different to Jesus’? Well, “Jesus’ Resurrection was about breaking out into an entirely new form of life, into a life that is no longer subject to the laws of dying and becoming, but lies beyond it – a life that opens up a new dimension of human existence.”
Unlike the widow’s son and the daughter of Jairus, “Jesus has not returned to a normal human life in this world like Lazarus and the others whom Jesus raised from the dead. He has entered upon a different life, he has entered the vast breadth of God himself, and it is from there that he reveals himself to his followers.” “In Jesus’ Resurrection, a new possibility of human existence is attained that affects everyone and that opens up a future, a new kind of future, for mankind.”
Now, what would you have been thinking if you were one of Jesus’ followers on that first Easter day? They were simply overwhelmed by the reality, but after their initial hesitation and astonishment, they could no longer ignore that reality. “It is truly he. He is alive; he has spoken to us; he has allowed us to touch him, even if he no longer belongs to the tangible in the normal way.”
Jesus’ disciples were quite used to Jesus performing the unusual; restoring sight to the blind; restoring mobility to the crippled; curing lepers of their disease. But now they had to grapple with a new understanding of Jesus: “He was quite different, no mere resurrected corpse but one living anew and forever in the power of God. And yet, at the same time, no longer belonging to our world, he was truly present there, he himself. It was an utterly unique experience, which burst upon the normal boundaries of experience and yet for the disciples was quite beyond doubt.”
So, when Easter Sunday does arrive we can join with the writer of Psalm 117 in saying, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad”. We can rejoice and be glad, because Jesus, through his humanity, has given us the opportunity of true resurrection. However, as the resurrected Jesus said to the once doubting Thomas, “You believe in me Thomas, because you have seen me; happy are those who have not seen me, but still believe.” John 20:29.
As a Catholic community that’s us.
Reflection by Pope Benedict and quotes from “Jesus of Nazareth” by Pope Benedict
This Easter break we pray that we may open our eyes to the gift of Jesus.
My Lord, Jesus,
You have risen to new life!
Give me new eyes with which to recognise your presence in the world around me.
Sharpen my vision so that I see beyond the ordinary events of each day
and into the extraordinary reality of your grace.
Brighten my view of the world with renewed hope in the coming of your Kingdom.
Soften my gaze so that I view others with the kind of tenderness and compassion you showed so many.
May each day of this Easter season provide glimpses of your glory.
In your sacred name, I pray.
Staffing Term 2
Over the last couple of weeks, we have had a number staffing changes. Mrs Jessica Matchett and Mrs Angela Harris have both begun maternity leave. Ms Therese Cronin has advised the College that she will be taking leave from her fulltime teaching position for the remainder of the year. Miss Jennifer Hesson will also be departing St Joseph’s College and moving to Brisbane to further her study. Mrs Anita McMartin is departing St Joseph’s College and taking up a role at Downlands College. Ms Deb Mischlewski will be on long service leave in Term 2.
In replacing these staff, the following people have joined our College or taken on other roles. Mr Peter Keightley has moved into the Mathematics Curriculum Leader role. Mrs Carissa Jaworski joins us from Concordia College to teach Mathematics and Science. Mr Blake Cullen begins his teaching career at St Joseph’s College teaching Physical Education and Science. Ms Shauna Green joins us from St Ursula’s College as a Guidance Counsellor replacing Ms Stephanie Jones who departed earlier in the year. Mrs Maxine Hetherington is joining us from Our Lady of the Southern Cross Dalby teaching English. Ms Sue Garry will be joining us on a contract for Term 2 teaching English and Humanities.
We welcome these people to St Joseph’s College.
Uniform Term 2
A gentle reminder about information that will be included with your students reports about uniform expectations moving into Term 2. We continue to emphasise with the students that the uniform is an important part of setting the tone for the College community. We hope that this information will assist both parents and students by clearing up any confusion and setting clear guidelines for the appropriate wearing of the College uniform. If you have any concerns please feel free to contact your child’s House Leader, Mr Joseph Cryle or myself.
Best wishes for the break. Please be safe and take appropriate breaks when travelling. We look forward to students returning on Tuesday 20 April refreshed and ready to participate fully and give their best in Term 2.