Year 5 takes us on a journey with Jesus
It is a St James school tradition for the Year 5 learning community to present the Stations of the Cross in the last week of term. Parents and students were led through the fourteen stations by Jesus, allowing everyone to accompany Him on His journey to the Cross on Good Friday. At each Station, we were given an opportunity to contemplate the meaning of the Station for us in today's world. We took the time to consider how we help others, the times when we've felt different or turned against, how we've overcome hurt, and what it means to be a Jesus person. [foogallery id="1165"] Each of the fourteen re-enactments ended with a shared prayer: Lord, By your Cross and Resurrection, You have set us free; You are the Saviour of the world. We thank the Year 5 Learning Community for their work in preparing and presenting this opportunity for our school community to meditate on the Way of the Cross.
Taking a stand against bullying and violence
On Friday 16 March, students in Year 5 lead the school community at Assembly in taking a stand against bullying. They asked the community to stand and say ‘Bullying. No Way!’  The National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence was one day for our school community to join with other schools across Australia to say ‘Bullying. No Way!’. Students at St James explored bullying and the day of action provided opportunities for discussions about how we all can work together to address bullying and violence. As students in Year 5 told us, when we imagine a world free from bullying: You can be you and everyone will accept that We welcome others and accept other cultures and people Where mean is nice, where rude is polite and everyone is happy and kind A world that you don’t feel ashamed about your differences Where we are a loving, caring and kind community. We also say and believe “Bullying No Way!” Where everyone is treated the same A world that you don’t have to be fake, that you can be your real self Where everyone in the world does not judge by people’s looks and also where people do no judge by their IQ Where no one makes fun of another and everyone is friendly Where everyone is friends and care for others, where nobody is left out. Also people care and worry about others and help them in all that they do. Be kind and caring What do you think if there was no bullying? What would you hear? What would you feel? What would you see? You would see love and compassion. Please do not be mean to people.
Celebrating together as we begin the school year and Lent
We gathered as a school community to celebrate a number of important occasions in our school and Church years. On Friday 9 February, our school came together to ask for God's love and protection as we began our new school year. With the Year of Youth as inspiration, everyone in the community was reminded that they are all special and have a part to play in our school. Through Luke's gospel, Fr Jude challenged everyone to be people of God and to accept the challenge like Jesus did: The Lord's Spirit has come to me, because he has chosen me to tell the good news to the poor. The Lord has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners, to give sight to the blind, to free everyone who suffers, and to say, 'This is the year the Lord has chosen.' (Luke 4:18-19) Fr Jude also blessed our new school candle, which will have pride of place at every liturgy that is celebrated as a school community. [foogallery id="1070"] After our Opening School Year Mass, everyone gathered on the oval to watch Fr Jude burn and bless the ashes to be used on Ash Wednesday. The blessed palms from last year's Palm Sunday mass were collected in a large cauldron and everyone was invited to add their palms from home. Once the burning began, students and adults watched the flames dance around, consuming the once large green palms and turning them into powdery, grey ash. Fr Jude blessed the ashes and work began to prepare them for Ash Wednesday Mass. [foogallery id="1078"] The school and parish communities gathered again on Wednesday 14 February for the celebration of the beginning of Lent. Ash Wednesday is the first day of the period before Easter. During Lent, we are asked to engage in prayer, abstinence and almsgiving. Ashes were placed on our foreheads to remind us that we are people of repentance and forgiveness. [foogallery id="1085"] Our liturgies to mark the beginning of the year were beautiful ways to come together and place God in the centre of our busy lives.
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