Sharing The Story at Holy Cross

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation

During the past fortnight 100 children have received the Sacrament of Reconciliation at Blessed John XXIII Parish at Stanhope Gardens. It has been a wonderful demonstration of the power of the faith of the parents of these children who firstly enrolled them in the programme and then worked with them at home, through the booklets provided, to prepare them in the knowledge and understanding needed to participate in this programme. We thank particularly the parents, priests, the Sacramental Co-ordinator and her helpers and the teachers of the two parish primary schools in preparing the children for such an important milestone in their journey of faith.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Kids Congress 2007

This year four children and two teachers from Holy Cross attended the Kid's Congress 2007 held at the Australian Catholic University, Strathfield. It seeks to combine social justice issues and communicate them through various technologies. This year’s theme, ‘Kids Care – Earth Share’ had delegates focused on environmental issues such as climate change, drought and water conservation, pollution and energy alternatives.

The students who attended on 22nd-23rd November were from Years 5-8 from over 50 Catholic schools in the Parramatta, Broken Bay and Sydney Dioceses.

The congress, which is a joint initiative of the Catholic Education Office, Parramatta and the Australian Catholic University, is an event ‘for kids run by kids’. Students as young as 10, hosted technology workshops and others acted as media representatives. Even the technical support for the congress was provided by students. Artwork created by the students on the theme, which this year included digital art, decorated the main auditorium.

Over the two days young people shared their ideas for making the world a better place. Workshop sessions had students working in groups to complete a multimedia project on the issue that most concerned them. Applications such as Legomation, voice threads, podcasts, Design Studio and Google Sketchup were utilised, allowing students to create a presentation that could then be used within their own school communities to raise awareness of social justice issues.

The keynote address, ‘It takes just one to make a difference’, was given by Jenni Downes, a young arts graduate who has been working in a slum area in Nairobi and who will be returning to Kenya next year to continue her work. The great debate featured students from Parramatta Marist Westmead and OLMC Parramatta. As usual the rock band from Terra Sancta College delighted the children with their music.

It was a great experience and one the six of us from Holy Cross will remember!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Feast of Holy Cross

On September 13th we gathered together as a community to celebrate Mass to commemorate the Feast of the Holy Cross. The cross is a wonderful symbol of God's love for us. Fr. Istvan celebrated the Mass for us and gave a special homily on the history and importance of the cross in our lives. Each class prepared a part of the Mass and the choir ably led us in song. It was an especially memorable day as it came the morning after our successful Creative Arts Presentation. Many parents were able to attend our Eucharist with us and we thank them for participating in such an important event in our school year.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Spiritual Reflection Day for Staff

Father's Day Mass

Last Friday the fathers and children of the three schools in the Learning Community of Blessed John XXIII Parish combined to pray together for fathers. A Mass was held at 7am followed by a breakfast which mothers from the schools catered for. It was wonderful that so many fathers were able to schedule this event into their otherwise busy working lives and we thank Fr Istvan for his moving homily. We have featured a Mass and breakfast like this at Holy Cross for several years and it is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on fatherhood especially its importance in the lives of our children.

Reception of First Eucharist

Over 100 children received the Sacrament of Eucharist on the weekend of the 24th and 25th August at Blessed John XXIII Church at Stanhope Gardens. It was an historic weekend for the Parish as it was the first time that First Eucharist had been in the new church. The Friday previous the children receiving the Sacrament attended a Eucharist Reflection Day at Holy Cross Primary School at Glenwood. The Sacramental Team from the Parish, parent helpers and teachers from Blessed John XXIII School and Holy Cross School planned the day together. It incorporated several activities which the children rotated around. These included making bread and tasting grape juice, watching a DVD on the parts of the Mass, receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation and practising hymns for the First Eucharist Mass, craft activities for the symbols used in Eucharist and meditation and prayers. The day began with Fr Paul praying for its success and ended with the children's prayers of thanks and a slideshow of the day's events. We thank all those involved especially the children and Fathers Paul and Istvan who contributed so much of their time. The children also appreciated very much the pizza lunch!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Spiritual Reflection Day- Friday 21st September 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Confirmation 2007

Last Wednesday and Thursday nights, Fr Robert McGuckin together with Frs Paul and Stephen celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation in the new Church of Blessed John XXIII. Much prepaaration had gone into this with special groups meeting in the preceding weeks to come to a deeper knowledge of the Sacrament and its meaning for them. Families and friends from near and far came to join with the children in this special ceremony. The rain and cold did not dampen anyone spirits neither did the fact that the State of Origin match was on the Wednesday night! It was a great occasion as Fr Robert recalled with photos his confirmation and spoke to the children about what it means. Fr Paul also reminded the children how special it was they they had been blessed with the same oil that only a week before was used to bless their new church.

Opening and Blessing of New Church for Stanhope-Glenwood

On Saturday 2nd June the Parish Church of Blessed John XXIII was officially opened Stanhope Gardens. The Rite of Dedication was a wonderful ceremony that incorporated the ritual and tradition associated with services such as these while incorporating much of the spirit of the community of Stanhope-Glenwood. Many people were involved in the ceremony and the Liturgy of the Eucharist including parishoners, choir members, drummers, altar servers, readers and acolytes. Many priests and deacons from the Parramatta Diocese as well as local dignitaries were present. After the ceremony a reception was held in the grounds of the nearby parish primary school. Congratulations to Frs Paul and Stephen and the parish community fro making it such a memorable occasion for everyone who attended.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Celebrating The Easter Season

Last Friday the school community came together to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord with a liturgy. There was a welcome and the symbol of a fishing net was brought in to remind us that Jesus urged his followers to be "fishers of men", people who would bring the message of joy and hope to others. It was followed by a song then Mrs D read from the gospel of Mark and Year 3 responded to it using words and pictures they had created in their classroom. After Prayers of Intercession the Assembly left singing the "Easter Hallelujah" song.

Harmony Day

On March 21st we celebrated Harmony Day at our school. We had a liturgy of the Word in which many people participated. Mrs G welcomed us on behalf of the traditional owners of the land and the children and teachers joined in by singing, praying, miming and acting. Mr J spoke about the differences between Canada where he lives and Australia where he is living for this year.
At the conclusion of the liturgy we had a group of our children who had been trained by Chris and Lisa from the Jarara Indigenous Centre perform a traditional Aboriginal dance for us.
Later each grade spent time learning to dance with Chris and paint in an Aboriginal style with Lisa. They continued with this theme in their classrooms later during the day. We extend a special thank you to Chris and Lisa who went home very tired after a long day and to all our children, teachers and parents who participated so willingly in the events.