st monica's college, epping
college theme 2018
do not be afraid
Each day we meet and encounter different persons, varying situations and circumstances, and unexpected happenings. This is life, a life full of the richness of surprise, discovery, wonder and mystery. Monicans in 2018 will be encouraged to embrace these encounters wholeheartedly with the theme of 2018 ringing in their ears, ‘Do Not Be Afraid’.
We shall learn gently and wisely how to be strong personally and as Monicans throughout this year, neither fearful nor scared of the Unknown. Monicans will be nurtured on how to grow as persons of the light, as they are guided through a theme that inspires and motivates them not to be afraid.
The prophet, Isaiah, tells us to fear not, rather to be strong and sturdy followers of God who knows us intimately and strengthens us in heart, mind and soul. Isaiah reminds us that God knows our name and uses it to call us toward Him. No person ought to be afraid when God is holding us in the palm of his hand, loving us with infinite love, and walking beside us along our life journey.
During the year, we shall hear messages that constantly ring out the call, ‘Do not be afraid’. We shall meet people of the past and many of the present who overcame fear, faced the unknown with courage and lived rich and fulfilling lives, many for the sake of the Risen Christ. Therefore, we shall listen to stories that relate the lives of holy saints and martyrs, bold heroes and Christian warriors, determined people who battled illness, poverty, imprisonment and torture yet were not afraid. We shall research and discover what moves people to be not afraid to try something new, to risk making mistakes, to know when to speak out and when to be silent.
Pope Francis says do not be afraid. He teaches, ‘In the art of walking it is not the falling that matters, but not staying fallen.’ Monicans will not fear recovering from a loss or blow, learning wise lessons from a setback, and starting all over again in the spirit of Pope Francis.
With God by our side and united through the spirit of Monica, we shall not be afraid to stand up for and speak out about peace, racial tolerance, justice for all humankind and respect for the very young and the old. We shall not be afraid to proclaim our beliefs peacefully and clearly, directly or with subtlety when that is the better way. Hard work will not trouble us when justice is at stake; perseverance will prevail when times become tough or tedious; prayer will sustain us to be resilient and determined. Fear will never curtail our actions. The world is stricken at times with wars, threats, terrorist raids and evil personified. Our message must always be ‘Do not be afraid’ and believe that peace will always win through. God will never abandon the world. Jesus and his blessed mother, Mary, will be at the heart of this 2018 theme, promising, giving and leading us to safety and security in their loving arms.
Do not be afraid when all round us there is despair and hopelessness. Do not be afraid when paths are blocked and mountains seem too hard to climb. Do not be afraid with Jesus at your side. In faith and charity, we must never be afraid to strive always to be united as Monicans, lending a helping hand, offering an encouraging word, sharing a kind thought. We must not be afraid to do our work seriously and give thanks that we are fortunate to have an education delivered in a loving community.
We must not be afraid to sing, laugh, play and rejoice in our Monican endeavours. We will celebrate as people of the Good News of Jesus, the good news of being Monican, the good news of being young and free. Let people watch us be valiant on the sporting fields, brave when we perform to entertain crowds, courageous as we learn knowledge and skills that will send us rocketing into the future as enterprising Monicans.
Our College Theme will teach us, ‘Do not be afraid to be the one in the crowd who stands for strong values and morals. Do not be afraid to be recognised as Monicans in the wider community who demonstrate manners, courtesy and kindness. Do not be afraid to be a proud member of a College that proclaims the Gospel of Jesus in our tradition of being a regional school of the northern parishes, a school established by the Good Samaritan Sisters in the spirit of Saint Benedict, and a place where love finds a home.’
Saint Monica was not afraid to leave her homeland and travel to Milan in search of her son. Saint Augustine was not afraid to turn back to God and preach His message in the most exceptional manner. The founders of St Monica’s College were not afraid to build this school on the rocky earth of Epping in 1964. Present day Monicans will not be afraid either as students, citizens, future leaders of society and as people of faith. We shall trust in the words of the prophet Joshua (1:9), ‘Have I not told you: be strong and stand firm? Be fearless then, be confident, for go where you will, Yahweh, your God, is with you.’
Brian E. Hanley B.A., Dip. Ed., Grad. Dip. Ed. Admin., M. Ed., MACE, FACEL