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From the Principal

The Christian feast of Pentecost developed late in the fourth century, signifying the fifty days of Easter, an entire period of rejoicing.  Pentecost invites us to consider our own participation in the fellowship, worship and mission of the church and renew our commitment.  As our community marked Pentecost Sunday last weekend, the following reflection by Joan Chittister OSB reminds us all of the wider meaning of this celebratory time of illumination.

For fifty great days, the heart of the Christian community has a sense of ultimate fulfillment. It is a delicious time. A shaft of light has come to pierce the uncertainties of the seeking. We are living now with a torch in our hands, however dark the darkness.

For the early Christians, and for us now, it is a matter of allowing the Spirit to transform us so that our lives and the life of Christ do finally merge, do really melt into one another, do truly become one, are united both here and hereafter.

Pentecost is a period of Christian enlightenment. We come to know during these fifty days not only who Jesus is but who we are meant to be, as a result. 

It is a time of unbounded assurance and a sense of limitless liberation. It is hope and faith and trust all bound into one in us. 

(Joan Chittister, A reflection of the meaning of Pentecost, The Liturgical Year)

Over the last two weeks, we have had cause to both celebrate and reflect on achievements within our College community.  Year 12 student Kate McDonald has recently returned from the Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships with two bronze medals.  Kate placed third in the uneven bars individual event, and was part of the Australian girls team which placed third overall.  We are very proud of Kate's achievements and her dedication and commitment to her training.

Our debating team continues to move from strength to strength with Jade Devlin (Year 10) representing Siena at the Rostrum Voice of Youth Public Speaking Competition on 20 May.  Jade won her heat convincingly and will proceed to the semi finals.  Elena Cruz (Year 10) participated in the Rotary Club of Balwyn Public Speaking Competition on 7 May and spoke very eloquently on the plight of refugees.  We congratulate these girls and wish Bianca Cleland (Year 12) well as she prepares to  represent Siena at the VCAA Plain English Speaking Competition at St Leonard’s College on 28 May.

Last Friday, Siena College staff bid farewell to much loved staff member Kate Gotlib, née Kelly, who has taken up a position at St Michael’s Grammar.   Kate is an alumna of the College (Class of 1996) and has been a valued member of staff since 2001.  In this time, Kate has taught English, History, Politics, Geography, Money Markets and Psychology, has been the Debating Coordinator, the Waratah House Coordinator and, for the last three years, our Head of Student Formation and Social Justice Education.  All this while raising a beautiful family with husband, Ralph.  Kate is Co President of the Alumnae Association and has made an extraordinary contribution to many aspects of life at Siena College. We will miss her daily presence and thank her for her leadership, her gifts as an educator and for the inspiration she has been to staff and students alike.


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