St Thomas More’s staff climb new spiritual heights
With the new school year just around the corner, St Thomas More’s Primary School staff at Campbell in Canberra have gone above and beyond to prepare for the big day.
At their ‘spirituality day’ on 25 January, the school’s new and continuing staff participated in a walking excursion from the bottom to the top of Mt Ainslie, which overlooks the national capital.
On the feast day of St Paul the Apostle, parish priest Fr Emil Milat prepared a Stations of the Cross style reflection for staff incorporating 13 stops up the mountain. Then, after a short rest, they joined in the celebration of Mass at the summit.
Fr Milat had also linked the climb up the mountain and St Paul’s feast day to the World War II Battle of Kokoda as a symbolic reflection of the battles and challenges in life, especially for those working in education.
Environmental and indigenous themes were also an important part of the day.
“It started with Christian meditation and the introduction of new staff,” said school principal Luke Donnelly.
“We then moved into a session with a Ngunnawal elder who took us through some native plants in a community garden near the school.
“The purpose was to try and connect some of that indigenous spirituality to what we’re doing within our school.”
During the walk up Mt Ainslie, Mr Donnelly said they had come across the grasses and native plants they had earlier learnt about, which combined nicely with the other themes of the day, the Stations of the Cross, St Paul’s journey, the Battle of Kokoda, and the celebration of the Mass.
“And now we’re at the top of the mountain…it was just perfect,” he said.
Great stuff Fr Emil.
A wonderful, inspiring start to the school year; well done principal and staff.
What a wonderful way to start the new year. May our Lord bless all staff, their families and loved ones.