Recent media reports about historical sexual abuse in the Catholic Church have been confronting for all. In particular we pray for the victims and their families who have been hurt by the actions of people in authority.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge wrote to the Archdiocese of Brisbane over the weekend recognising the failings of the Church and the need to continue to address its responsibilities in the area of care for all. There is still much to be done and many steps have been put in place in all institutions to ensure the safety and care for all.
In his letter he reminded all people of the many aspects of the Church that are often not reported in the media and many are unaware of the good work of so many.
It’s the Church that works every day with refugees who have come to Australia seeking a better life. You help them to find accommodation, to fight for a permanent stay and to reunite with loved ones.
It’s the Church that works on the frontline with domestic violence victims. You help them and their children in the toughest moments that they will face. You walk with them at every step, especially when they feel helpless.
It’s the Church that works with Australians with a disability. You help create a society that welcomes, includes and respects people with a disability as people first – and you support them to follow their dreams.
It’s the Church that works with people on the poverty line. You provide them with accommodation, meals and support when they have nowhere else to turn.
It’s the Church that works with the homeless. You bring a friendly smile, food and warmth to them. Most of all, you help by spending time with them.
It’s the Church that works with people living with dementia. You brighten their lives, you relate to the real person and you provide support for their families.
It’s the Church that provides pastoral support to prisoners. You sit with them, listen to their stories and provide counselling.
It’s the Church that works to protect our environment. You help raise awareness of our common home, the earth on which we live and the need to preserve it for those who come after us.
Of course, it’s the Church that has educated millions of Australian children over generations. Your work in that area continues to have a major impact on our young people and the future of our country.
And it’s the Church that has provided first-class medical treatment in our hospitals for generations. You have literally saved lives and continue to save lives. You have also accompanied the dying with tender care.
I have worked in Catholic education for the past 38 years. I started teaching fresh out of college as a 21-year-old in 1981. Over those 38 years I have worked with many religious and Priests who are truly wonderful people. I know they are feeling disappointed, devastated, angry and hurt by what has been occurring in a Church they have given their lives to. We pray that our Church will continue to listen and respond to the voices of all.
SAFETY IN RUGBY
The injuries sustained by four schoolboy rugby players last year has prompted a review of our safety protocols. Recently all Directors of Sports and Principals/Heads of Colleges from the eight AIC Colleges attended a meeting with the Queensland Rugby Union to discuss the initiatives the governing body will implement over the next few years. This season we have in place the following protocols;
- Concussion protocols as per the Australian Union guidelines.
- Minimum standard for all coaches – “Smart Rugby” course.
- Offering coaches to attend Level One and Foundation coaching courses.
- Information sessions for Coaches held prior to commencement of season.
- Director of Rugby Skills and Coaching Director in place for past two years.
- Specialist scrum coaching across all teams – Year 7 to Year 12.
- Age Dispensation guidelines followed for all players who are outside the two- year window, i.e. a student turning 16 needs the dispensation to play against 18-year-old players.
- Qualified and accredited medical staff at all fields on game day as well as medical staff attending at Villa Park for training.
- All Coaches to have Blue cards and completed Child Protection Training.
Rugby union continues to be a safe sport for students to play and our College and coaches place the safety of all players at the highest priority.
We congratulate Mrs Belinda Tucker and her husband Luke on the birth of their daughter, Katerina Jean Tucker.
We keep in our prayers Mr Roland Camilleri following the recent death of his mother, Francoise Camilleri.
May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace, Amen
We also ask for your prayers for members of the Villanova College community who are battling illness at this time.
Mr Mark Stower, Principal