It would be easy to look at St Catherine of Siena as quite distant from our own existence. Written accounts of fourteenth century saints and mystics can leave us feeling in awe, or inadequate! Despite differences, even today, St Catherine invites us to discover common threads, shared spaces to examine the human condition; nudging (or in the case of Catherine, urging) us to enflame our energies and strive to be lovers of truth, lovers of the world, seekers of God in the everyday.
I am reminded of Catherine when reflecting on the events of this week. NAIDOC WEEK, Remembrance Day, commencement of VCE Exams, completion of senior Student Leadership appointments. In each of these seemingly diverse events, a common thread is woven. Seeking, striving, truth telling…St Catherine invites us to see God whom she called “Gentle Truth”, in every context. The ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ spirit of indigenous Australians, the ‘Lest We Forget’ spirit of those who gave their lives in service to our country each speak to a truth about who we are; not always a convenient truth, but a probing truth, a gentle Truth with love at its heart. As parents, teachers and leaders, we give witness to our young women when we urge them to learn and use their learning for truth telling in our world.
Like Catherine, we continue our prayers for our senior students, our country and our world this week: may we seek and be the gentle truth of God’s grace.
I commend a number of Year 7 students in particular who, with Jemimah Walsh, Head of Humanities, led a beautiful whole school Remembrance Day ceremony on Wednesday. Thank you Katrina Gavralas, Tia McCann, Alexa Tricario, Cilla Brownlie and Megan Ferreira Hughes. It was also wonderful to have Year 9 students Lilly Oliphant and Elaine Koimala-Brown share their connection to country and culture, with such pride and respect for their families and communities as part of our NAIDOC Week celebrations. My thanks to Bronwyn Ilott and all staff who, like Catherine, ‘enflamed the energies’ of this busy week.