Catechesis and Evangelisation
“Repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mk 1:15), “I will make you become fishers of men” (Mk 1:17). This is the first call of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, for the evangelisation of all peoples at all times. With all her energies today, at the beginning of the Third Millennium, this call is still proclaimed by the Catholic Church in every part of the world.
The role of Evangelisation at St John's is one of shared journey. Through providing opportunities to engage with their faith in prayer, liturgy and the mass, students, staff and parents are invited to form a closer relationship with God. The umbrella of Evangelisation also covers the powerful work the College does in the field of social justice.
St John's aims to help all in our community connect with their faith in meaningful ways, be it at school based events or at the parish level.
Social Justice and Community Service
Social Justice Committee
"Among us, who is above must be in the service of others. This doesn't mean we have to wash each other's feet every day, but we must help one another." Pope Frances
The role of the Social Justice Committee is to endeavour to make Mary present in the world today by imitating her attitude of service and humility.
This group of dynamic, caring students have been working tirelessly for a number of charity groups and organisations since 2002. The group was originally formed to provide leadership opportunities for Year 10 students and to harness their enthusiasm for righting injustice and their passion for making a difference and seeing Jesus in the face of every person.
The committee organises its fundraising and awareness-raising around the premise of viewing the world from a local, national and international viewpoint. All of our projects reflect our desire to reach those in need in all communities.
In line with our commitment to Caritas’ objective to Walk As One we dedicate a term to fundraising for Project Compassion and the Catholic Mission. Students work collectively with their Home Groups to purchase “Hearts of Hope” that are designed and produced by the committee. Each heart is decorated and displayed as a commitment from our community to support a range of projects. The projects include providing healing workshops for indigenous communities in Australia, training and education for women in Bangladesh and Papua New Guinea and purchasing bicycles for students in Asia. The “Hearts of Hope” are also purchased by individuals and friends. In line with Caritas we have an Annual Casual Clothes day which has a new theme each year. In the past we have seen Hawaiian, Childhood and Hippie themes.
One of our major foci has been the establishment of an ongoing relationship with the Marist Solidarity Project in Cambodia. This project provides not just a home, but an opportunity for life for handicapped youth from primary school age to university. People with disabilities are the most marginalised in Cambodia. They are often stigmatised within their own community and live in extreme poverty. The Solidarity Project gives dignity, hope and security to these amazing young people. We have welcomed the links with this group and see them as an integral part of our Woodlawn Community.
The committee has been on a quest to ensure that a number of excellent projects have come to fruition. These include the raising of funds for a self-sustainable farm in the provinces and the purchase of workshops for carving, mobile phone repairs and motorbike repairs. In 2012 we worked together with the whole College community to raise funds for a bus to transport disabled students to school. Recent projects include the raising of funds to sustain the food and education needs of Villa Maria for a year. In 2015 we are becoming involved in the construction of a residential village with cottages for ten students that are designed to reflect the simplicity and functionality of province life. The cottages will house handicapped students from local and regional areas with a focus on education, care and lifeskills. Fundraising has been supported widely with a number of events featuring annually in the school calendar: DAG Day, Walk a Mile in My Shoes and the SPRING FLING have garnered a great deal of excitement and support.
This link to Yodifee House has been extended with the Cambodian Immersion experience being offered to Social Justice Committee members. This opportunity to paint, teach, clean and interact with the youth in Cambodia is a once in a lifetime experience and focuses on a key theme of Catholic social teaching of solidarity.
The College Chaplain
The College is fortunate to have Father Paul Pidcock, S.M. as its Chaplain. Father Paul is the Superior of the Marist Community at Woodlawn and is a long serving member of staff. In his past roles as a teacher, Bursar and Musical Director, Father Pidcock has brought a wealth of experience and wisdom to the role of Chaplain and Pastor to our school community.
Amongst his duties are the celebration of Class, House and College Masses, the administration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, assisting with College Retreats and being available for interviews with students, ex-students and parents.
Father Paul runs a Sacramental Program each year for students who have not received the Sacraments of Confirmation, Reconciliation and the Eucharist.
The College is privileged to have its own Chapel in a central location on campus. We gather as a school community to celebrate a number of significant events in the school year. These liturgies are always a high point in the life of the College as they build a genuine sense of belonging and community.