Saint Ignatius College Geelong

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    From the Principal

    Article by Mr Michael Exton

    From the Principal

    Feast of the Assumption – 15th August

    Today is a very special Feast Day in the Catholic Church’s calendar - the Feast of the Assumption.  To explain the significance of this celebration, I provide the following explanation from “Prinscripts No. 24, 2010.”

    “If we were asked to offer a phrase or two to describe the word “mother”, most of us would come up with something like this: an amazing, multi-talented person, who gives birth, demonstrates loyalty, bears sorrow, offers support and encouragement, looks after her family. Well, from the most ancient of times, Mary has been venerated under the title of God-bearer or Mother of God. Down through the ages, paintings and statues of Mary have mostly given expression to a “motherly smile”, a smile that is welcoming and expresses peace and serenity."

    A 3rd Century Papyrus Manuscript, published by Roberts in Manchester in 1938, contains the well-known prayer “Under Your Protection” and demonstrates that from the earliest times, Mary was regarded as a mother-figure for Christians of the early Church:

    “We turn to you for protection

    Holy Mother of God.

    Listen to our prayers

    and help us in our needs.

    Save us from every danger

    Glorious and Blessed Virgin.”

    These Christians of the early Church would have been well aware of the role Mary fulfilled as a constant connection with Christ. It was she who had nurtured Him during the years leading up to His public life. She had a leading role at the marriage celebration in Cana, when Jesus began His public life. At the end of His life, Mary witnessed the sorrowful events of the Passion, Crucifixion and Death of her Son. Mary was with the Apostles when they gave witness to the facts of the Resurrection and Ascension. It was Mary, the constant Mother, who prayed with the Apostles and sustained them in their belief until the First Pentecost.

    There is little written about Mary, especially what happened after Pentecost, but there is strong evidence, through tradition, that at the end of her life she was united with her Son in a manner similar to how her Son was united with His Father. After an in-depth study of tradition and the early writings of the Church, and after broad consultation with bishops, theologians and lay people, Pope Pius X11 in 1950 declared that, “…. The Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory”.

    Mary had been so closely associated with all the mysteries of Jesus’ life, so it is not surprising that the Holy Spirit has led the Church to believe and declare, that she must be with Him body and soul in heaven. Mary is now in a position to be mother to all people for all time.”

    “Holy Mary, Mother of God,

    pray for us, your people, now,

    and at the hour

    of our death.  Amen.”

    (Acknowledgement: Prinscripts No. 24 “Mary’s Assumption,” 2010)

    Return from Sabbatical Leave 

    I returned on Monday after nearly six weeks of Sabbatical Leave. While on leave, I undertook the first phase of Australian Catholic University's (ACUs) "Forming Leaders International Formation Program" conducted in London, UK and Rome and Assisi, Italy. The program was an enjoyable and engaging experience for which I am very grateful. It was particularly significant for me that my wife Mary was able to accompany me and share in part of the program. My previous Sabbatical involved undertaking a course at Harvard University in Educational Leadership. This time I thought I would choose a course that would support my leadership in the sphere of Education in Faith. The course offered me the opportunity to further grow in my faith and consider ways forward for how schools can better assist adolescents with their faith formation. The program involved undertaking two units from ACU's Graduate Certificate in Education (Leading the New Evangelisation.) Leading the New Evangelisation is about doing better in schools to help young people develop their relationship with Jesus Christ.

    The course involved lectures and workshops at St Mary's University London and ACU's Rome Campus. Each day also included prayer, Mass and a retreat as well as visits to significant sites. In London, the sites included Westminster Cathedral, the Catholic Education Service of England and Wales, Tyburn Convent and the Shrine of the Martyrs as well as some secondary schools. In Italy, we attended Mass in the crypt of St Peter, visited many Basilicas and other places of significance including a two-day retreat experience in Assisi which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    Participants were from Australia, England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. I was inspired and encouraged by the faith-filled and friendly fellow educators undertaking the course with me and the ACU and St Mary's University Course Leaders. In particular, I am grateful to Archbishop Christopher Prowse (Canberra Goulburn Archdiocese), Mr Peter Woods and Br. David Hall FMS from the La Salle Academy for their inspiring leadership. 

    I am also very aware that this leave was made possible because many people supported me to be away. I express my gratitude to Michael Timms (Acting Principal), the College Executive, my P.A., Kim Abbott and everyone else who facilitated my absence from school.

    I will share various aspects of my learning with staff members, parents and students when appropriate opportunities arise. Soon we will be moving into the first phase of developing the College's next School Improvement Plan. My learnings from the program will inform this plan's development where we address enhancing the College as a Christ-centred community.


    I was delighted to receive a letter from the Chief Commissioner, Scouts Victoria informing me that one of our Year 9 students, Ada Hand, had earned the "Australian Scout Medallion." This award places Ada among the top achievers of the millions of scouts worldwide.

    To attain this award, Ada has demonstrated initiative, sustained efforts, self-discipline, teamwork and leadership. These qualities are among those we desire for our students and will put Ada in a strong position in her future. Congratulations and well done Ada!

    2018 Annual Report to the School Community

    As part of the funding agreement between the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) and the Australian Government, schools are required to report on particular categories of School Performance Information. This information is supplied to the school community in some ways that include (but not limited to): fortnightly newsletter; an annual report; annual school magazine “Magis” and our website. 

    I am pleased to inform you that the Saint Ignatius College Geelong 2018 Annual Report to the School Community is available on the College Website and a copy is also available upon request at the College Office. The report covers three key areas: 

    1. Our College Vision,

    2. Professional Engagement; and

    3. Key Student Outcomes.

    Staff News

    On next Monday Mrs Annette Chidzey (Deputy Principal – Teaching & Learning) will commence Long Service Leave for the remainder of the term. On behalf of our College community, I wish Mrs Chidzey a very restful and enjoyable break.

    Ms Elise Meehan (current Science Learning Area Leader) has been appointed Acting Deputy Principal – Teaching & Learning for the duration of Mrs Chidzey’s absence. Please refer any matters you would usually contact Mrs Chidzey about to Ms Meehan. I congratulate Ms Meehan and welcome her to the College Executive.

    Best wishes,

    Michael Exton  Principal

    Privacy and information collection - Saint Ignatius College Geelong is bound by the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1998. In relation to health records, the School is also bound by the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic.). A copies of the College’s Privacy Policy and ‘Collection Notice’ that take into account these laws, technology and changes to the School’s operations and practices is available on our website. You can find the link at the bottom of the College’s web page.    


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