Sunday, 23 July 2017

MJR Blog Term 3, 2017

The Sacrament of CONFIRMATION

Image result for CONFIRMATION

The Sacrament of Confirmation is the second of the three sacraments of Christian initiation.
Confirmation completes Baptism, by which in the laying on of hands and the anointing with Chrism Oil, which first happened at Baptism, we are confirmed with the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
We are reminded of our participation in the ministry and mission of Jesus, and strengthened to follow Jesus more closely.

The Sacrament of Confirmation consists of the renewal of baptismal promises and the laying on of hands and anointing with the oil of Chrism. The anointing of the candidate is a sign of confirming the gift of the Spirit, and calling the candidates to use these gifts to become involved in the life and mission of the community.
Related imageUsually the bishop presides over this sacrament. 

Laying of the Hands

The bishop places his hands on the head of the candidates and prays for the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
This ritualises the connection to Baptism and the strengthening of the Holy Spirit in our vocation to follow the way of Jesus

Anointing with Oil

The anointing of the candidate at Confirmation recognises that they are sealed with the Holy Spirit.
The bishop anoints the candidate’s forehead with the Oil of Chrism, saying ‘Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit’.

Sign of Peace

At the end of the rite, the bishop puts his hand on the side of the candidate’s face and says ‘Peace be with you’ and the candidate replies with ‘And with your spirit’, symbolising the candidate’s place within the Church community.

What are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?

The Gift of Wisdom is our ability to value spiritual things over worldly ones. It enables us to desire the things of God and correctly order the things in our life. This gift helps us view the world through God’s perspective and the light of our faith. It instils a desire to contemplate the things of God. In simple terms, WISDOM is the ability to see God in everyone and everything everywhere.

The Gift of Understanding helps us grasp the truths of the faith more easily and profoundly. We cannot grasp all of God’s mysteries, but through the gift of understanding we can be lead to truth, even when we do not fully comprehend. This gift strengthens our insight through prayer, scripture, and the sacraments. Understanding is the ability to comprehend that we are followers of Christ.

The Gift of Counsel acknowledges the difference between right and wrong and bestows proper judgement. A person with right judgement avoids sin and leads a life for Christ. Counsel inspires us to speak up and encourage others to do the correct thing. The gift of Counsel is the ability to know right from wrong and to choose to do what is right.
 The Gift of Fortitude sustains our decision to follow the will of God in any situation. It allows us to stand up and defend our faith, even when threatened. This gift allows us to be steadfast in our decisions to do well and to endure evil even when we do not want to. The gift of Fortitude is The ability to overcome our fear and to stand up for what is right in the eyes of God.
The Gift of Knowledge is awareness of God’s plan. It is not simply an accumulation of facts, but rather an understanding of God’s purpose and how we ought to respond. Knowledge helps bring to light the temptations that we face, and to discern whether to give in or live a life worthy of God’s approval. Knowledge is the ability to understand the meaning of God.
The Gift of Piety or reverence is our obedience to God and our willingness to serve him. It is not just obedience through a sense of duty or obligation, but rather obedience out of love and devotion. It facilitates a deeper respect and honour for God and His Church. Piety is the ability to have deep respect for God and the church.

The Gift of Fear of the Lord makes us aware of how we dread sin and fear offending God. We fear displeasing God and losing our connection with him because of our love for Him. Wonder and awe increases our desire to draw closer to God and depart from sin. Fear of the Lord is the ability to be aware the God is all-powerful, all-loving, all-perfect.

We keep all of our students here at St.Mary's Primary School in our prayers as they prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Further Links: Video Clip  and  Song

Friday, 2 June 2017

MJR Blog Term 2

Welcome to the MJR Blog for Term 2, Week 7. In Term 1, SMPS was amazing in supporting Caritas raising over $900 to support those in need. This term we are working towards supporting the local St. Vincent de Paul Society.

This term we are participating in Pyjama Day at school on Friday, Week 10, 30th June. Although this is a very fun and exciting day, it allows us to reflect on the how grateful we are to have warm clothes and items during Winter. 


Was born in France in 1581. He became a priest at the age of 20.
At first, he was given an important position as the teacher of rich children, and he lived rather comfortably. But while he was traveling by sea from one city to another, he fell into the hands of Turkish pirates who sold him as a slave. Two years later he was finally set free.
He focused the majority of his work on helping the poor. Father Vincent realised how badly the poor people of France needed spiritual help. When he began to preach to them, crowds went to confession. He finally decided to start a congregation of priests to work especially among the poor.  Video Clip

Week 7- What is the St. Vincent de Paul Society and Who is it's Founder?

  • As a class view and discuss the 'Our Story' section of the Vinnies Website
  • Explore social justice. What does Social Justice mean? Where is it evident in our local community and at SMPS?
  • View Kid President Clip and relate to social justice- CLIP

Week 8- Mission and Vision

  • As a class view and discuss the Mission and Vision pf St. Vincent de Paul: link
  • Explore the meaning of the logo: link

The St Vincent de Paul Society logo is used in many countries and is recognised everywhere as a symbol of hope and goodwill. The logo has three components: the hands symbol, the text and the slogan.
The hands signify:
The text:
The slogan:

Week 9 & 10-  Catholic Social Teachings

Catholic Social Teaching covers all spheres of life – the economic, political, personal and spiritual.
With human dignity at its centre, a holistic approach to development founded on the principles of CST, is what Pope Paul VI called ‘authentic development’. Explore the Catholic Social Teaching principles and how they guide the work of Caritas Australia.
As a class explore each of the Social Teachings in depth: all links
Week 9- 
Preferential option for the Poor
Dignity of the Human Person
Stewardship of Creation

Week 10-
Subsidiarity and Participation
The Common Good

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Welcome to the MJR Blog for Term 1 2017

Where was Jesus in my life today?


Week 5- Introduction

"Love your neighbour as yourself" Matthew 22:39

This year as we celebrate Lent, we reflect on the stories of six people and communities and how lives can be transformed when we follow Jesus' instruction to "Love your neighbour as yourself" (Matthew 22:39). 

As a class please take some time to reflect on some words from Pope Francis:
“To love God and neighbour is not something abstract, but profoundly concrete: it means seeing in every person the face of the Lord to be served, to serve him concretely. And you are, dear brothers and sisters, the face of Jesus” – Pope Francis, 2013.

Week 6- Love Your Neighbour

As a class watch the following clip:
1. What made Dinia’s life challenging? 
2. What helped make life better for Dinia and her family? 
3. How did Caritas Australia and their partner SPACFI contribute? 
4. Who showed love for their neighbour in Dinia’s story? How? 
5. What did Dinia share? Why did she do this? 
6. What is one fact you learnt about life for some people in the Philippines?

Explore the interactive information and activities on the following links according to each stage:

Optional Word Search

Week 7- A Shared Responsibility

Martina lives in Timor-Leste, one of Australia’s closest neighbours. Timor-Leste suffered a war with Indonesia between 1975 and 1999. During the war, many things were destroyed like housing, schools, water and electricity systems. It is one of the world’s newest democracies but one of the world’s poorest countries. About 40% of the population lives on less than $1.90 a day.

As a class watch Martina's story:

1. What made Martina’s life challenging?
2. What helped make things better for Martina and her family? 
3. How did Caritas Australia contribute? 
4. Who showed love for their neighbour in Martina’s story? How? 
5. What is one fact you learnt about life for some people in Timor Leste? Catholic Social Teaching Principle 

Explore the interactive information and activities on the following links according to each stage:

Activity Ideas:

-Write or draw three ways we can show respect for one another?

-Use Google Maps to find out:
 • location of Timor-Leste in relation to Australia
• capital city
• a country to the east of Timor-Leste
• a country to the west of Timor-Leste

Join in Prayer:
Timor-Leste For our sisters and brothers throughout the world who are journeying away from violence to lives of hope and promise: That justice may be showered on them and that their human dignity may be assured by their welcome and participation in the community. We Pray as One. For our global community: That those with power and wealth may take seriously the call of the Church this Lent and place themselves at the service of all in need. We Pray as One.

Week 8- Hearing Our Stories

Most children have spent time away from their family. Even if it’s just a sleepover. Perhaps it was for a longer time? Time with your grandparents perhaps? Did you miss your family? Just imagine how you would feel if you were taken away from your family. Taken away from a happy family with a mum and dad who loved and cared for you. Taken away with your sisters and brothers.

As a class watch Uncle Richard's story:

1. What made Uncle Richard’s life challenging? 
2. What caused positive changes in his life? 
3. How did Caritas Australia contribute? 
4. Who showed love for their neighbour in this story? How? 
5. What is one fact you learnt about life for First Australians?

Explore the interactive information and activities on the following links according to each stage:
Activity Ideas:

Follow this steps to complete Uncle Richard's line drawings:

Open the following link and scroll to page 20. 
Under the title 'Fundraising Idea' opening the link that introduces the line drawings. Download and work through with the students.

For the First Australians, who have suffered indignity at the hands of those who colonised their societies: That all Australians may commit to justice and right relationships and embrace the richness to be found in recognising that we all belong to this great south land of the Holy Spirit. We Pray as One. For our land, Australia: That, like Jesus in his encounter with the woman at the well, we may see the lives of our Indigenous brothers and sisters as part of the life-giving grace of the Spirit. May they, with their voices heard and their gifts encouraged, become signs of justice and goodness in the world today. We Pray as One.

FRIDAY 17th March is St. Patrick's Day. All students will wear green and bring a gold coin donation. All proceeds are going to support Project Compassion and Caritas. Please give generously this week to help support those in need.

Week 9- A Caring Community

Are you good at some things but not so good at others? Everybody is. We all have abilities and disabilities. Some children have greater challenges than others. Some children are in wheelchairs. Some are unable to learn very easily. We are lucky that our communities and classrooms are becoming more inclusive. We learn together, sing together, play together and laugh together.

As a class watch Nguyet's story:

1. What made Nguyet’s life challenging? 
2. What helped make things better for Nguyet and her family? 
3. How did Caritas Australia and their partner CRS contribute? 
4. Who showed love for their neighbour in Nguyet’s story? How? 
5. What did Nguyet’s neighbour Qunyh share? Why? 
6. What is one fact you learnt about life for some people with disabilities in Vietnam?

Explore the interactive information and activities on the following links according to each stage:


Activity Ideas:

* Look at the photo collage (on the Interactive Workbook Thinglink) and discuss:
1. What can you see in the photos?
2. What are the people doing?
3. What is similar to your life? What is different?
4. What do you wonder?

* Create paper flowers and decorate your classroom in recognition of the Vietnamese paper flower making tradition

For our sisters and brothers throughout the world who face discrimination and are prevented from reaching their full potential: May the love and support of family and community sustain them as they participate fully in decisions that affect them. We Pray as One For our community of nations: That basic rights and respect for all peoples may be established and become effective in all nations and states. We Pray as One 

Week 10- Stronger Together

Fiji is a beautiful island in the Pacific Ocean. We often see pictures of Fijians wearing grass skirts and flowers singing and dancing. They are generally depicted as happy, smiling people.

As a class watch Semiti's story:

1. What made Semiti’s life challenging?What caused positive changes in Semiti’s life? 
2. How did Caritas Australia contribute? How did Caritas Australia’s partner PCN contribute? 
3. Who demonstrated love for their neighbour in this story? How? 
4. What does the PCN do? 
5. What is one fact you learnt about life for some people in Fiji? 
6. How are any of the issues raised in Semiti’s story relevant to Australia? 

Explore the interactive information and activities on the following links according to each stage:


Activity Ideas:

* Research key facts about Fiji and compare to Australia including population, religion, climate, housing, poverty and injustice

* Complete 'I am grateful...' statements and reflect on the word GRATITUDE

For our brothers and sisters throughout the world who are pushed to the edges of society and whose value and potential are not recognised: That their silent voices may be raised in hope. We Pray as One. For our school community: That we may respond to the call of Jesus to ‘come forth’ and be recognised as people of freedom whose actions reflect the love and compassion of Jesus. We Pray as One. 

Week 11- Our Common Home, Our Future

People all across the world are concerned about changing climate patterns. Rising sea levels, floods, too little rain, hot summers and bushfires concern us all. Caritas Australia works together with vulnerable communities around the world as together they try to lessen the effects of changing weather patterns.

As a class watch Aloma's story:

1. What made Aloma’s life challenging? 
2. What helped make things better for Aloma and her family? 
3. How did Caritas Australia contribute? 
4. How did Caritas Australia’s partner SPACFI contribute? 
5. Who showed love for their neighbour in this story? How? 
6. What is one fact you learnt about life for some people in the Philippines?

Explore the interactive information and activities on the following links according to each stage:


 Activity Ideas:

Hearts for Climate: What do you love most about our planet? Write and send a ‘Heart for Climate’. Send a clear message to our Prime Minister that, out of love and compassion, you are asking for strong climate action by the government. Display them somewhere in your school.         -Download and use the template in the ‘Hearts for Climate’ schools kit- follow the link on page 28- LINK

For our sisters and brothers throughout the world whose homes and livelihoods are in jeopardy from environmental destruction: That world leaders may put people before profit and work to distribute and sustain the earth’s resources for the good of all. We Pray as One. For our World Community: That we may work together to love and care for our common home. We Pray as One. 


God of love and liberty, we bring our thanks this day for the peace and security we enjoy, which was won for us through the courage and devotion of those who gave their lives in time of war. We pray that their labour and sacrifice may not be in vain, but that their spirit may live on in us and in generations to come. That the liberty, truth and justice which they sought to preserve may be seen and known in all the nations upon earth. This we pray in the name of the one who gave his life for the sake of the world, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Meditation: As a class participate in a guided meditation whilst listening to this reflective music to show respect, give thanks and pray for the many men and women that fought to protect our country.

Key Discussion Questions:

What does ANZAC stand for? '

ANZAC' stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. On the 25th of April 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula. These became known as Anzacs and the pride they took in that name continues to this day.

When is ANZAC Day and why is this day/date so special?

Anzac Day occurs on 25 April. It commemorates all Australian and New Zealanders killed in war and also honours returned servicemen and women. The date itself marks the anniversary of the landing of New Zealand and Australian soldiers – the Anzacs – on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915.

Why is the POPPY a significant flower associated with ANZAC and Remembrance? 

The poppy has a long association with Remembrance Day. ... Once the conflict was over the poppy was one of the only plants to grow on the otherwise barren battlefields. The significance of the poppy as a lasting memorial symbol to the fallen was realised by the Canadian surgeon John McCrae in his poem In Flanders Fields.

Watch this dedication clip as a class:

Suggested Classroom Activities