We are moving through challenging times, as the COVID response continues to place restrictions on our capacity to gather as a faith community. In the short term, we have postponed our Feast Day celebrations in the hope that a later date may allow us to gather. Nonetheless, we continue to seek ways of connecting with one another which is arguably even more important in times of uncertainty.

Franciscan Friar Richard Rohr offers this wisdom:

I awoke with sources in my mind for guidance: Etty Hillesum (1914 – 1943), the young Jewish woman who suffered much more injustice in the concentration camp than we are suffering now, and Psalm 62, which must have been written in a time of a major oppression of the Jewish people.

These sources form the core of my invitation. Let us begin with Etty:

There is a really deep well inside me. And in it dwells God. Sometimes I am there, too … And that is all we can manage these days and also all that really matters: that we safeguard that little piece of You, God, in ourselves.

—Etty Hillesum

Then, the perennial classic wisdom of the Psalms:

In God alone is my soul at rest.
God is the source of my hope.
In God I find shelter, my rock, and my safety.
Men are but a puff of wind,
Men who think themselves important are a delusion.
Put them on a scale,
They are gone in a puff of wind.

—Psalm 62:5–9

Somehow our occupation and vocation as believers in this sad time must be to first restore the Divine Center by holding it and fully occupying it ourselves. If contemplation means anything, it means that we can “safeguard that little piece of You, God,” as Etty Hillesum describes it.

Richard Rohr recommends that rather than focusing on the negativity presented to us in our endless news cycle, we use our time for some form of public service, volunteering, reading, prayer or preferably, all of the above. As he says:

You have much to gain now and nothing to lose. Nothing at all.
And the world—with you as a stable center—has nothing to lose.
And everything to gain.

The Faith Team is offering a variety of ways for students and families to connect with the faith life of the College at this time:

Join in our weekly Chapel Prayer sessions, held online during Remote Learning. These are being offered in the style of Lectio Divina, a spiritual practice which encourages reflection on a passage of Scripture. Lookout for the link to join in SIMON/PAM each Wednesday morning of remote learning.

In a time of such uncertainty and isolation for which Covid-19 has had such bearing on, coming together as a community of faith to reflect and pray has become more important than ever. In the rush and business of life, we can often forget the paramount importance of taking time out of our day to experience a sense of calm, peace and balance. In an attempt to connect our community through faith, and negate stress levels by finding comfort in God’s guidance, the Ministry portfolio during lockdown ran several virtual morning chapel prayers, in the form of a Lectio Divina. In this contemplative prayer tradition, scripture passages are read three times to allow reflection to deepen each time. Being given the opportunity to lead such a prayer was a truly lovely experience through which I was able to gain a deeper insight into how the scriptures can be used in our contemporary world.

Jade Steenkamp - Ministry Captain

    Discuss at home our ‘Issue of the Month’ focusing on isolation in indigenous communities through Commonwealth border closures: click here to access

    Sort through wardrobes at home and donate clothing and accessories to our MSJ Op Shop! We hope to run the Op Shop in the lead up to our Feast Day celebrations with all proceeds and any unsold items going to Sacred Heart Mission

    Donate to our Sacred Heart Food Drive. We are looking for non-perishable items as well as cleaning products

      Suitable items to donate include (but are not limited to):

      • Plain Flour
      • Rice + Pasta
      • Honey
      • Cereal + Muesli
      • Chicken, Beef and/or Vegetable stock
      • Beans
      • Dishwashing Liquid
      • Laundry Detergent
      • A message from Jeanelle Uy, Social Justice Captain:

      We would like to thank you all for your generosity and thoughtfulness so far, as we have received quite a few donations. A little goes a long way, so please if you haven’t already, bring at least one item! If you would like to find out more about Sacred Heart Mission and its important work for the most vulnerable in our community click here.

      Andrea Grant (Director of Catholic Identity)

      Darcy Robinson & Rob Herrera (Faith & Identity Team Leaders)