st monica's college, epping
college theme 2017
Each day as we move around we leave behind our imprint, a mark that is individually our own. This is our footstep. The Monican community in 2017 will reflect on those impressions left by ourselves; Jesus, the Son of God; and our Monican predecessors. The College theme for 2017 is ‘Sacred Footsteps’.
Footsteps are left behind when we walk and run, and indeed we shall walk with Jesus, our College’s founders, past and present Monicans, and even with the peoples of the world, especially those most in need of our companionship and support. Each footstep we make or follow is sacred, special and holy, because it is part of us, our influence and effect on the planet.
We shall reflect on how we can follow in the sacred footsteps of Jesus, our loving God and creator. Jesus walked on this earth, leaving behind human and divine footsteps for all peoples to trace and follow. The footsteps of Jesus will lead Monicans to the scriptures, the Word of God, our road map on the path of life. As we follow Jesus we shall realise the power love has over hatred and evil; the profound effect of compassion just as Jesus showed to the downtrodden, the children and those who were ill; the challenge Jesus presents us through where his footsteps often led – the poor widow’s house, the desert of isolation, eventually even the tomb. We shall also be led to understand that the tomb had no power over Jesus and we can be reborn every day in the light and love of Jesus’s words.
We shall walk with Jesus as Pope Francis urges in his book of that title; we will be encouraged to envisage the authority and sensitivity of the Risen Jesus as he walked on the road to Emmaus: the sacred footsteps of Jesus will always be too big for us to fill but they shall never lead us astray.
In 2017 we shall follow in the sacred footsteps of those men and women who established St Monica’s College, Epping and whose labor and commitment, whose prayer and perseverance laid foundations strong enough to sustain us now and into the future. They were sacred footsteps trod by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan as they made their journey from Preston and elsewhere every day to the literal outback of new Epping. They were sacred and holy footsteps as these women sacrificed their time and comfort in order to serve and nurture the young people and parish communities of the north of Melbourne. They were sacred, holy and deep footsteps, as they determinedly strived to provide first class Catholic education to those children of the North, a priceless legacy handed down to Monicans of 2017.
Good and honest men and women from the parishes left behind sacred footsteps we can still see today – footsteps that created solid buildings, spacious grounds, gracious gardens and safe and secure places thousands of Monicans have enjoyed for nearly sixty years.
Our footsteps will force us to climb hills at those times when we confront injustice and stark and confronting images of poverty, horror and tragedy. At these times our footsteps will be sacred as we trudge uphill and maintain our momentum as Monican footsteps deepen and shorten with the pain of perseverance.
Committed footsteps will lead us to strange and foreign lands and into places of darkness and danger. At these times our footsteps will be sacred when we feel the presence of God beside us, sometimes even carrying us so that there is only one imprint of footsteps along the track. God will be nursing us like a mother loves and cares for her child and a father loves and protects his children.
Because they will be sacred, our footsteps will be blessings for those whom we approach with arms open and hearts on fire with love. Because they will be sacred, our footsteps will be holy as we celebrate through liturgy, dance and joy-filled spontaneity, acclaiming the Catholic faith and our destiny to live eternally with God. Because they will be sacred, our footsteps will be similar to those people who provide us with inspiration like Teresa of Calcutta, Mary of the Cross MacKillop, men and women of yesterday and today whose lives reflect humble service, all for the sake of God and anyone in need. We shall be introduced to these people throughout 2017.
Our footsteps will be sacred as they lead us down to The Wetlands to spend time in prayer with God alone during class time. Monican footsteps will be sanctified as they move us along to embrace each other in unity and harmony. Our footsteps will even be consecrated as we approach the altar for the Eucharist or a personal blessing on St Monica’s Day.
In 2017 may our footsteps lead us to follow Jesus more closely as he urged us to do; make us prouder to be Monicans as we walk in the footsteps of those giants of the Monican past; lead us to places we love and are happy as often as they lead us to places which challenge us. Saint Monica, guide our footsteps this year as we pray and persevere.
Brian E. Hanley B.A., Dip. Ed., Grad. Dip. Ed. Admin., M. Ed., MACE, MACEL, FACEL