On a very warm Monday, January 29, St Patrick’s Cathedral Ballarat welcomed staff for the Central Zone Mass to mark the beginning of the Catholic education year, in this national Year of Youth. In Catholic education, this provides an opportunity for us to focus our energy anew on our ministry to students, many of our parents and younger staff members.
At World Youth Day 2016, Pope Francis called young people and the Church to ‘open new horizons for spreading joy’. As we set out on the journey of the 2018 school year, we are all challenged to consider how we can:
…take the path of the “craziness” of our God, who teaches us to encounter him in the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, the friend in trouble, the prisoner, the refugee and the migrant, and our neighbours who feel abandoned. To take the path of our God, who encourages us to be politicians, thinkers, social activists.
Perhaps seeking God in the lives and witness and yearnings of the young people with whom we work – whether students, young staff or young families – is a good starting point. So often, a small unexpected interaction might be the ideal opportunity to share the Good News and to accompany young people as they discern the paths to which God calls them.
The beginning of the school year is always a busy and exciting time for school communities and families. It is extra-special for families who are new to school life or new to Catholic education… and I extend a very warm welcome to every new family and every new colleague in Catholic education across the Diocese of Ballarat. May 2018 be one of partnership, learning and a renewed focus on the youth of our education community.
Audrey Brown – Director of Catholic Education