In the wilderness God's salvation comes to a broken people. In the midst of what is seemingly an impossible situation, hope emerges with vigour. In this context, hope is an openness to surprise, the surprise that God is in no way limited to the imaginings of human minds and the consequences of human history. This is the kind of hope that is proclaimed in the wilderness by John; it is the kind of hope that trusts that from the impossible, God can work a new creation.
There is something of a time warp in Christianity. What is future is made present. The prophetic oracle announces the future as if it is already happening. This sense of the future-present prompts new ways of living. As the future takes root in human lives, the present is transformed into a new creation and the Day of the Lord appears.
God's future comes through the wilderness into the broken city and inspires a broken-hearted people. The contrite heart is a broken heart, an emptied-out heart, a hope-filled heart. It is a heart that is unencumbered by the past and that lives currently in the passing of time and the fragility of being alive. The contrite, broken heart can be filled only by what is promised in the future. This is the paradox of Advent. In the middle of the wilderness, God works the impossible in those whose hearts are ready for the surprise of hope.
© Dianne Bergant CSA
Tonight, as you sit down reading our newsletter our Grade 5s are enjoying their Leadership Retreat. The retreat provides our G5 students opportunities demonstrate their leadership skills and their ability to work as a team through some challenging activities. The evening also prepares our students for their camping experience at Myrtle Park in Grade 6.
Speaking to our Grade 6’s this morning they all enjoyed their day at St Patrick’s College yesterday. Our students are excited about the next chapter in their education journey and with only a week and half to go in primary school we wish them all the very best for 2021 and beyond.
Our Step-Up Day yesterday was a great success, there were a few nerves amongst students and teachers, but by 9:10am everyone was settled and enjoying their morning. I’m sure your children will be sharing with you the wonderful morning they had, their new friends and teacher. I thank you all for your support with our class selection process, it is difficult for our teaching teams and although there is no perfect method, we do try to do our best to meet the needs of all children in our care.
I am pleased to inform you that Miss Kirin Geale will be the G3/4T teacher for 2021. Miss Geale returns to Launceston after several years teaching in Victoria and overseas. Miss Geale is an experienced teacher with a strong Catholic faith and extensive experience in Catholic schools. She has a great knowledge of the curriculum and in her schools has always developed a great rapport with her students and family. I trust you’ll join me in welcoming Miss Geale to St Thomas More’s Catholic School.
Our End of Year Reports will be available from next Friday, 11 December 2020. Reports are available only via Compass. Teachers are available to discuss your child’s report, should it be required, during the last week of school. You can make an appointment either through the office or by emailing your child’s teacher.
Our End of Year, Christmas Concert will be held on 11th December 2020 commencing at 6pm. Registering for the concert is essential, we will not be allowing you into the concert if you have not pre-registered, this is due to Covid regulations. Entrances will be from Abbott Street and the Campbell Street ramp. Gates will be open from 5pm. Don’t forget your chairs/rug and picnic hamper.
The last day of school for students is Wednesday 16th December 2020. School resumes on Monday 1st February 2021, this is earlier than the State schools. Term 1 concludes on Thursday 1st April 2021. We will be having a 3 week holiday over the Easter break with school returning for Term 2 on Monday 26th April 2021.
Names will be checked upon entry so please ensure you book your tickets to avoid disappointment.
Any queries can be directed to the office. Thank you.
On Monday the Junior Joeys collected all of the donations for the Vinnies Christmas Appeal and packed them into the van for the Vinnies volunteers who will ensure they are delivered to families who need them. Many thanks for your generous support of this appeal.
Please note the last day of Term 4 2020 for students is on Wednesday, 16th December.
Term Dates for 2021 are below:
Term 1 commences: Monday, 1st February
Term 1 concludes: Thursday, 1st April
Term 2 commences: Monday, 26th April
Term 2 concludes: Friday, 2nd July
Term 3 commences: Monday, 19th July
Term 3 concludes: Friday, 24th September
Term 4 commences: Monday, 11th October
Term 4 concludes: Wednesday, 15th December
Please remember to check the STM Calendar on our website for important school dates.
Attached is our parish bulletin for the First Sunday in Advent (Year B). Our newly acquired “Tap to Donate” facility may be of interest (and assistance) as a way of supporting the parish financially in this emerging “cashless” COVID-19 world. This weekend the 10.30am Apostles Mass resumes and the evening Mass moves to 6.30pm. Our Christmas schedule will be published next weekend. At this stage it is worth saying that people will need to book for a place at our Masses over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Warm regards and every blessing,
Fr Mark Freeman