Each Wednesday, students lead Chapel Prayer. It is a beautiful way to start the day in prayer and reflection, and I am always overwhelmed by the depth of their insights and their expression of their faith. The students often plan the prayer session around not only the liturgical calendar but around current issues or elements of life that are important to them. This week’s Chapel Prayer was led by the Year 11 Ethics class and a quote from Maya Angelou, an American civil rights activist and poet. The quote used was, ‘Try to be the rainbow in someone else’s cloud.’ To be the rainbow in someone's cloud means to cultivate loving kindness as a daily practice in your life. It means tuning in to your heart, practicing empathy and using that empathy to connect to the people around you in a meaningful way. It calls us, as Jesus has called us, to ‘love one another as I have loved you’. How can we put a rainbow in someone else’s cloud?

The cloud of the Coronavirus is still with us and it is apparent here and at other schools that it is having an impact on our students. Research and our own data and observations tell us that a number of students are struggling fitting back into the routine of school life and experiencing elements of anxiety that they may not have experienced in the past. Some are also finding it difficult with some aspects of their learning. As a College, we acknowledge these issues and staff are constantly monitoring and supporting students individually and in groups to address these issues. I encourage students and parents to reach out to us if you have any concerns in regard to a student’s learning or wellbeing. I remind you that on 26, 27 and 28 May, parent/student/teacher conferences will take place via Zoom.

We are in the process of establishing a Respectful Relationships working party to research and develop best practice in this area. The Committee will be chaired by myself and members will include Steven Mifsud, Deputy Principal Student Wellbeing, two students, two staff and two parents. If you are interested in being part of this committee, could you please email me by Wednesday 2 June via principal@msj.vic.edu.au. There will be the opportunity for parents to attend our meetings via Zoom.

It has been absolutely delightful to see the students in the new classrooms. They are fabulous learning spaces and students are telling me that they are loving the new areas. We are also delighted to now have access to the MSJ Café and the walkway connecting the Giovanni building and the Library.

The College Open Day was held on Sunday 16 May. There were 1,500 registrations prior to the day and 1,200 attended. It was wonderful to be able to meet with both parents and students who are considering MSJ and those who have already enrolled for 2022. I am so very grateful to Nicole Magee, Marketing and Communications Officer, who was in charge of the day. Thank you to the College staff and 300-plus students who assisted on the day. We were able to highlight to our visitors what a wonderful community we have at MSJ.

Kate Dishon, Principal