Dear Parents and Carers
It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas…! I hope the excitement has started in your homes as we prepare for the festive season, and all that it brings. As Christians, it’s a timely reminder that we consider those families in need. I read Pope Francis’ reflection from the weekend,. He said “The Gospel of today’s liturgy, the first Sunday of Advent, that is, the first Sunday of preparation for Christmas, speaks to us of the coming of the Lord at the end of time,” the Pope explained. “Jesus announces desolating events and tribulations, but precisely at this point he invites us not to be afraid,” Francis continued. “Why? Because will everything be okay? No, but because he will come. Jesus will come back, Jesus will come, he promised it. He says thus: ‘Rise up and lift up your heads, for your deliverance is near”. As a community, we have faced many challenges and my prayer for you during Advent is that the festive season brings joy and hope as we prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas. During our final week of term, on Tuesday 14 December at 10.00am we will gather in prayer. Our Kindergarten students will be leading us in the Nativity Play at St Bernard’s Church as part of our Christmas celebration.
This week as I walked around the school, I witnessed the values of St Bernard’s in action. I was talking to one particular student who was feeling upset with something that had been said on the playground. The student came and spoke to me about what had been happening and we decided together that we should work through this with the other student. As the conversation unfolded, there had been a misunderstanding and I witnessed both students working through the problem with the support of a teacher. Neither student were afraid to share their thoughts and through the restorative justice process, the problem was resolved. I believe when students feel empowered to be better and supported to do so, positive change occurs. At St Bernard’s, it is essential that the students are learning in an environment that fosters inclusivity, trust, care, respect and safety. We must be true to our Catholic values and I can honestly say that each day I witness this with the staff and students at St Bernard’s.
Next year’s staffing details will be emailed to families on Monday. Staffing is a complex process. I believe our plans for the new year are exciting. My hope for this community is that every year we grow stronger and continue to develop a culture of understanding that is true to our Catholic identity. I look forward to continuing build upon the many excellent learning experiences that are being offered to our students at St Bernard’s.
School Board and P&F Christmas Parties
Last week the P&F came together at the Catalina Club to celebrate the end of the school year and next week the School Board will celebrate at Kholi’s in Batemans Bay with Carroll College Community Council and the Parish Pastoral Council. I sincerely thank our wonderful parents who contribute in so many ways to making St Bernard’s great! On behalf of the staff… thank you from us all!
A reminder that this Friday, 3 December, is Super Hero Day! The SRC have planned this event to support the everyday superheroes in our community – in particular the staff at Batemans Bay Hospital! Students are invited to come dressed as super heroes or wear mufti clothing. Remember not all superheroes wear capes! Thank you to our SRC for their organization and support of such a worthy cause.
Blessings on the week ahead.
Welcome to the long-awaited season of summer, and December, the last month of the year with the promise of greater freedoms following the protracted restrictions. As we make plans and preparations for the summer holiday, the focus this 2nd Sunday of Advent is on St John the Baptist, and his message: “prepare the way” for Jesus in time, within a civic and religious context.
John, a cousin of Jesus, had left his commune on the edges of the Jordan River to enter deeper into solitary, ascetic preparation in the desert for the advent of the Lamb of God c. 29 – 30 A.D. He is the last prophet of the Old Testament, who preached the theme of repentance and conversion, baptizing the people with the Baptism of Repentance for the forgiveness of sins. John told them to hear and to listen, for the time is now to turn their lives around and return to God who loves them.
God had chosen John to become the precursor of the long-awaited Messiah, Jesus the Christ, so that the Children of Israel would be ready for his coming; but not just for them, as Christ would bring redemption to all people. John’s basic virtue was humility intricately linked to the truth that – "Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals … he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mk 1:7-8). At the start of his ministry, Luke, quoting Isaiah 40:3-5, has John proclaim, “Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight … all mankind shall see the salvation of God” (Lk 3:1-6), reflecting the prophecy of Baruch, “take off your dress of sorrow and distress, put on the beauty of the glory of God for ever … God has decreed the flattening of each high mountain … the filling of the valleys” (Bar 5:1-9).
In response to the prophesy of the new exodus when God will save his people in the future like he did in the past, John’s audience turned up for baptism in repentance from immorality, impurity, greed, hatred, jealousy, anger, drunkenness, carousing, selfishness, and the like (Gal 5:19-21; Prv 14:24-35; CCC 1740-1742). These are plainly obstacles, the mountains to be levelled and the valleys to be filled in preparation for Christ’s coming, as they not only distract, but can easily turn them away from the true love of God, neighbour and the peace wrought by Christ.
Clearly, the mood this weekend is, alertness, excitement, joy, and hope. Not in the sense of just “hoping something good will turn up,” but in “the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ's promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit” (CCC 1817-1821). Together, let us prepare a way in order to celebrate God’s hospitality at Christmas.
LIVING FAITH IN THE EVERYDAY
Contemplating the Face of Christ
As we journey further into Advent we are focused on Preparation as we aspire to be People of Hope & Hospitality!
The reflection in the Year C Advent Booklet invites us to reflect on the Letter of St Paul to the Philippians – a very familiar text:
‘I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the
first day until now. I am confident of this, that the One who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ’. (Phil 1:316)
St Paul was in prison when he wrote these words. It is interesting to know this as we reflect on his tone. He is a man of joy and is at peace. Times of difficulty do not take these things away from him. Instead, they seem to cause him to reach out to Jesus more strongly, thus increasing his joy and peace.
So what about us? These are testing times for people of faith, and it is easy to feel insecure about that.
When we read the words of St Paul to the church of Philippi in this weekend’s reading, we get a sense of how close they all were. I t was not always easy. There were arguments and tensions, but there was also joy and real solidarity. People hung in because they were loved and supported (hospitality), and they knew they were travelling together towards the same destination:
‘ the day of Christ!’
Pope Francis is adamant in his teaching that we will not get far if we do not keep very close to Jesus Christ – a disposition he describes as
‘Contemplating the face of Jesus.’
(Shane Dwyer – Evangelisation Brisbane)
Dear Parents and Carers,
The second Sunday of Advent in 2021 will be Sunday, December 5th. After a chaotic year, there is comfort to be found when we pause to read, pray, and reflect over the course of the Advent season...a time when believers eagerly anticipate the celebration of Christ’s birth.
The second Sunday of Advent gives us the opportunity to prepare our hearts in faithful waiting, celebrate the birth of Jesus, and ready ourselves for his second coming.
It's a beautiful chance to reflect on the ways prophecy has been fulfilled and to ponder what the future will bring.
Psalm 46:10-11 says:
...Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
This week, we pause to remember who God is and what He has done for us. When our lives are hurried, we only have the chance to focus on our to-do lists. Making space in our schedules for prayer and meditation helps us to better see God at work in our lives and in our world.
The Candle Ceremony will be held on Thursday 9 December at 2.00pm in St Bernard’s church. We ask that Year 5 parents be seated by 1.45pm. The Candle Ceremony is a special time for our Year 5 students when they receive the leadership of the school for 2022. It also gives us the opportunity to acknowledge the leadership given by our current Year 6 students.
GRADUATION MASS & PRIZE GIVING – “From Little Things Big Things Grow”
Year 6 parents are invited to the 2021 Graduation Mass and Prize Giving next Friday the 10 December at 9.15am. Parents are asked to be seated in the church by 9.00am.
ST VINCENT DE PAUL GIVING
This year St Vincent de Paul have asked that all Christmas donations be made online. Due to COVID restrictions, our annual Christmas Giving and Mass will not be taking place this year.
Students can purchase a St Vincent de Paul Christmas Bauble from the front office. Family names can be written on the bauble which in turn is hung on our school Christmas tree.
Mr Gary Norris thanks every family for their generous donations during the year.
Year 5 will attend a mini retreat on Monday 6 December. It will be held in the school hall. We thank Liarna Miller our school CSYMA youth minister for her leadership. It is a great opportunity for students to think about how they might use their leadership skills in the coming year.
A Sausage sizzle lunch will be provided.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend
Sharon Beashel REC
Dear Parents and Carers
Christmas time is fast approaching. The season of Advent brings so much joy and anticipation for the students. Teachers are contributing to this at school in various ways with Advent prayers, lighting of Advent candles, tracking the days until Christmas with Advent calendars and looking out for the Elf on the Shelf.
We have many events to signify the end of the school year taking place next week. Year 6 will celebrate their graduation and awards ceremony on Friday and Year 5 the handing on of leadership and announcement of 2022 school leaders. It is certainly a time for hope and recognition for our older students.
Carroll College Orientation
Last Friday our Year 6 students attended the Carroll College Orientation Day along with students from nine other local primary schools. The day was enjoyed by all students as they experienced the excellent learning opportunities offered.
Highlights included a music lesson, where students each contributed to play a combined rendition of 'Smoke on the Water' on keyboard or guitar. In Science students experienced refracting light rays with prisms, Ph testing in chemistry and observing living things under microscopes in biology. A round robin of soccer and basketball in the hall was lots of fun, as well as making a plastic phone stand and cooking pastries in Technology and Applied Studies.
Thank you to the Carroll College staff who ensured that this was such a wonderful day.
K-12 Pathway: Key Dates 2022
Combined Schools Mass
|7 April||Carroll College|
Retreat for Teachers of Sacramental classes- Year levels 3, 4, 6, 9, 10
|25 February||St Joseph's Convent|
Year 3 First Reconciliation Retreat Day led by Carroll College students
|18 March||Carroll College|
Week 8 Class Awards
Presented : Friday 26 November 2021.
Congratulations to the following children who received class awards this week. It is great to see so many
children working hard and receiving acknowledgment for their efforts - well done to all!
|KBD: Raph C, William O'C, Scarlette S.||KW: Astrid B, Bexley B, Johann D.|
1C: Indie A, Heidi F, Avia N, Braxton P, Archie P.
|1H: Whilloe H, Gurfateh S, Brooklen S, Annie W.|
|2G: Aurora B, Sienna N.||2SH: Harper B, Christopher H.|
|S1H: Michael S, Levi T.||3C: Emerson K, Joshua M.|
3S: Isla B, Seth B, Gemma M, Matthew S.
4K: Alice McD, Steven M, Amanda N.
|4M: Mikinley B, Dusty F, Bay L.||5C: Jackson F, Cooper S, Ashton W, Elyssa W.|
|5M: Remi C, Bailee H, Max L.||6F: Bonnie D, Lara D, Maxwell E, Ellen H.|
6M: Zach A, Benjamin E, Ayden S-P
These dates are also on our St Bernard's Calendar
St Bernard’s Primary School - Batemans Bay, David St, NSW, 2536, 02 4472 4446
It also comes in handy as it can be downloaded and printed.
There are also updates on the Canberra Goulburn Sport Facebook page.
We are running a Summer Reading Club this year at the Eurobodalla libraries. Children 12 years and under will uncover tales of mystery, intrigue, and discovery during the 2021 Summer Reading Club. Running from Wednesday 1 December until Monday 31 January, the Summer Reading Club is free to join at your local branch. On joining kids receive a library bag with a reading log, challenge sheet and bookmark. Read over summer and complete the challenges for a chance to win weekly prizes and a major prize! Contact your local library team at Batemans Bay, Moruya, or Narooma for more information.