Penola 2024 – Issue 8

As explained in the last newsletter, this term we are having two sacramental ceremonies instead of one, as Fr John was unavailable in Term 1. Our Year 3 and Year 4 students are busy preparing to receive two sacraments of initiation (First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion) in the coming weeks. Please make sure you keep them in your prayers.

Penola 2024 – Issue 7

This Friday 3 May, our interschool swimming squad will get the opportunity to do their very best against seven other Catholic schools at Challenge Stadium in Mt Claremont. The bus will be leaving school at 7.40am so we need all members of the squad in the front car park at 7.30am please. Mr Boyce has sent home all the details and I wish our team all the best for the day. I’m sure they will represent our school in the right manner. As usual, all parents and grandparents are welcome to come along and support our athletes.

Penola 2024 – Issue 6

Welcome back to another busy and slightly longer school term! This year, we have some important milestones to celebrate in our community. We have the 35th anniversary of our parish coming up and Fr John has organised a bush dance on our oval and in our hall this Friday evening 19 April from 6 pm to about 8.30 pm (it’s also Fr John’s birthday). The Mucky Duck Bush Band will be providing the entertainment and there will be a sausage sizzle and “food trucks” too. As well as this, some of our students will be assisting Fr John with the unveiling of his new statues. Hopefully, we can get lots of families coming along to join in the fun.

Penola 2024 – Issue 5

We are now in Holy Week, which for Christians is the most important week of the liturgical year. We will be holding a special reflection based on the Stations of the Cross this Thursday 28 March from 8.45am in the Church. You are most welcome to join us in prayer and reflection. In 2019, I was very fortunate to spend three weeks in Jerusalem and one special highlight was being able to retrace the footsteps of Jesus as he made his way to the cross. This walk goes along the Via Dolorosa and we paused at specific places to remember the events that took place. We walked along it on Good Friday and it was very sombre and somewhat confronting as we were watched closely by heavily armed soldiers. We ended up at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (also known as the Church of the Resurrection) which is believed to be the site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. At dawn on Easter Sunday, we celebrated Mass in this incredible Church and our Irish priest, Fr Paddy O’Rourke, delivered a very short but powerful Easter homily. All he said was, “Tell everyone that I’m alive!” For us today, that is our simple message. Jesus is alive and because of his resurrection, we too will also experience it when our time comes.

Penola 2024 – Issue 4

As we are getting closer to Easter, it is a good time to think about the core teachings of Jesus’ ministry, which were forgiveness and healing. It is through forgiveness that we find healing. Sadly, we live in a broken world where there is so much unhappiness and war as a result of people wanting retribution. Just watch the news every night to see for yourselves! Perhaps the last words Jesus uttered were his most important, “Forgive them Father for they don’t know what they are doing.” Where can you find forgiveness in your lives this Easter? Imagine if everyone around the world practised forgiveness on a daily basis. Surely, it would make the world a better place to be!

Penola 2024 – Issue 3

As we move through the season of Lent, we can use this time to reflect upon God’s love for us. Divine love is received by surrender instead of any performance principle whatsoever. Divine love is a love that operates in an unqualified way, without making distinctions between people. I once heard a priest ask the question, “What if we are already saved?” Simple question, but quite profound if you spend time thinking about it as we are so conditioned into thinking that we have to earn God’s love.

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