‘Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm. A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she laboured to give birth. She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: ‘Now have salvation and power come, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed…”
Revelation 11:19, 12:1-6, 10
Dear Parents, Caregivers and Students,
Thank you to all families that attended parent- teacher interviews. I like to acknowledge and thank everyone for adhering to the covid regulations that were put in place to ensure a safe environment. Staff commented on how much they enjoyed celebrating your child’s achievements with you. I spoke to many families after their interviews and these conversations were both affirming and positive.
Also a huge thank you to all families who supported the Year 6/7 Sydney Camp fundraiser. We bought $5700 worth of fruit pies and pizzas! Together we fundraised $2800 towards next year’s camp. I acknowledge Tim and Julie Vivian from Country Bakehouse for their hard work in preparing the enormous amount of food as well as thank them for their support and generosity. I don’t know too many fundraisers where it has been so easy to make this amount of money.
Learning to take initiative is a behaviour that helps children navigate their lives with courage and optimism. Children do become happier adults when they learn how to overcome challenges and obstacles and to step up and take initiative and involve themselves in activities that are meaningful to them. Year 2 student Harriet has today cut her very long hair in order to raise much needed funds for JDRF and Variety’s Hair with Heart. Staff and students today, got right behind Harriet and helped her fundraising efforts by organising a Blue-Red casual Day. Harriet’s aim was to raise $1000, which she has already exceeded. Harriet’s initiative is a wonderful example of living out of Mary MacKillop’s “Never see a need without doing something about it.” Please join me in congratulating Harriet on achieving her goal.
This week Catholic Education South Australia has launched its new tag line: Raising Hearts and Minds. This sums up in just four words what Catholic schools do and how we make a difference to the lives of young people. At Our Lady of the River School we value the intrinsic worth of every individual. We don’t just know students by name, we know who they are by heart.
This week we have had some former OLOR students join us as part of their Year 10 work experience program. I love sharing my love for teaching with those thinking about joining the profession. Next week we will have two more students join us.
Tomorrow, on the 15th of August, we celebrate the assumption (the bodily taking up to heaven) of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
In the 1981 movie “Raiders of the lost Ark” Indiana Jones went searching for the Ark of the Old Covenant which contained the Ten Commandments (Law), a pot of manna (heavenly bread) and the staff of Aaron (symbol of Priesthood). You can read about the Ark – but not Indiana Jones – in Hebrews 9:4. The Ark was kept free from all defect and corruption, made from the finest purest materials to God’s exact specifications.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the Ark of the New Covenant. As the Ark of the New Covenant, Mary carried Christ who is the Law, the Bread of Life, and the Royal High Priest. Her Immaculate Conception and her state as ever-Virgin kept her free from defect and sin, preserving her throughout her life, until her death where she was immediately assumed to preserve her from any bodily corruption on earth.
Basically, since Mary was preserved from original sin by the unique gift of Christ’s grace, she was able to experience the immediate perfect union with her Son in heaven, never knowing, tasting or suffering from bodily corruption or decay in any way.
One of the things that sets us apart as Catholics from other Christian denominations is that we have a rich understanding of Mary and a tradition of giving her the honour she deserves. She can teach us a lot through her example of virtue and her special role within the Church.
Tomorrow, on the Feast of the Assumption, we celebrate the 6th birthday of the Our Lady of the River Parish. A mass will be held tomorrow at 11 am in St Francis Xavier Church in Barmera. A ‘bring your own’ lunch will follow for those who would like to stay for some reflection time.
Nanda de Winter
Pope Francis’s intention prayer for August
Gratitude is a characteristic trait of the heart visited by the Holy Spirit. To follow God's law, begin with gratitude. (Pope Frances 2017)
As Catholics, living a life rooted in gratitude is essential to growing in our faith. St. Paul offers us this challenge: “Be filled with the Spirit . . . giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:20)
The Year 3 students have taken up this challenge and are learning to Grow in Gratitude with one-another. We have been using the Growing with Gratitude program to help us practice the act of Gratitude. We have learnt that not only are we called to show gratitude, but gratitude is a key feature of our own happiness.
We were lucky enough to be a part of the Growing with Gratitude Big Live Event. Together with students from India, Sri Lanka, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand the year 3 students participated in a lesson taught by Ash Manuel, founder of the Growing with Gratitude, where we practiced gratitude and promoted the importance of our personal wellbeing.
Here’s what some of the Year 3’s thought about the online lesson.
On June 17, our class joined The Big Live Event with 38 other schools around the world. Ash taught us to be grateful. One of the activity’s was to put a sticker on something you were grateful
I put my sticker on hand sanitizer to help stop coronavirus I found the activity really fun. - Jack
Gratitude means being grateful for what you have and there is always something to be grateful for. When I was online and learning with all these other people at the same time, I felt amazing and happy and just so excited that I was with all these people. The meaning of this event was that we learnt about what gratitude really means. – Siri
Growing with gratitude has been an amazing website that teaches you how to be grateful for big and little things. It has been a big experience for me and made me think about the most important things: me and earth! I’m especially grateful for my education,3 sisters, mum and my dad and my friends for supporting me through the way. May god bless all the people who hurt me. - Abany
On June 17, we all got together and learnt what gratitude meant. We also put stickers on what we are grateful for. "I was grateful for light to see in dark places and some people put theirs on water and hand sanitizer and some more stuff. I learnt that gratitude is being thankful for what I have, and that if I want to be good at it, I have to practice gratitude just like practicing to play soccer. - Isaac
Mary MacKillop Mass
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