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Year 7 Reflection Day

With great excitement and anticipation, our Year 7 students headed out for a day of reflection, spirituality, fun and friendship in beautiful Lysterfield. Fr Martin Tanti welcomed us to the Don Bosco Retreat Centre where we all quickly made friends with Monty the Jack Russell. 

Our theme for the day was Pentecost (meaning fifty), the coming of the Holy Spirit and the special gifts bestowed on the frightened disciples to equip them with courage and wisdom. We enjoyed a guided Thanksgiving meditation to practise prayerful relaxation in the beautiful Chapel, we mindfully contemplated whilst creating a colourful Pentecost ‘stained glass window’ mandala and we performed in a Pentecost dramatisation which called us to make a courageous pledge: Committing to the future to take daily steps towards reconciliation.

We were treated to a delicious morning tea and lunch, however the real highlight for us was the mass, prepared by the Year 7 students and celebrated by Fr Martin Tanti and Fr Kevin Toomey OP, aided by Monty.

Fr Kevin, our Chaplain, spoke of the special friendship between Elizabeth and Mary in his homily on the eve of the Feast of the Visitation. He reminded us of the wonderful things that happened to Mary and Elizabeth as mothers at the heart of which lies a friendship that was cemented on that day for life. Fr Kevin called this feast, the Feast of Friendship. He told us that, very often, it is at school that lifelong friendships are born, and the values of love and support that they will bring us begins there. He encouraged us to connect with those girls who will be our good friends now and also later in life. 

Some student reflections on the day include:

‘I learnt a lot from St Catherine, especially about making a difference and using our unique abilities to make good changes in our world. When we went to the chapel for Mass, I felt comforted and at peace. This Reflection Day was definitely needed and I learnt much that I will try to use and take with me through my life.’  Yasmin Korfiatis

‘The Mass at the end was a great way to finish off the day and bring everyone together. I really enjoyed the company of the little dog, Monty. The muffins and juice were delicious and meant that the people who planned our retreat really cared about us.’  Madison Simmons

‘I loved the amazing scenery and views. We could take time to meditate and relax. It was really calming. It was fun to perform the play about Pentecost. The Mass was good as everyone was involved and I liked the choir singing.’  Lucy Parnell

‘The most relaxing part of the day was meditating in the chapel and I was calm and relaxed, not worrying about anything. It was really fun to perform the Pentecost play with my whole class. I really enjoyed the warm up activities at the beginning.’  Indira D’Sylva

‘I liked how our Reflection Day was a different way of learning, that we were relaxed but still learning about the important themes of Reconciliation Week, Pentecost and St Catherine’s message to us.’  Eilish Hersom

‘The day was one of the best days ever. I love reflecting on God and religion. The meditation allowed me to pray and let my worries go.’  Lily McNidder

‘I enjoyed being in a peaceful environment with beautiful views of the mountains and my friends. My favourite activity was colouring our ‘stained glass window’ mandala, gazing out at the alpacas and sheep.’  Madeline Castoldi

‘I was chosen to decorate the altar for mass.  I really enjoyed picking the flowers and deciding on the symbols that represented the Siena Year 7 students as a community.’  Athena Tsonis


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