Hope, Salvation and Sacrifice  

As I write to you, I am 'enjoying' the last day of my household contact COVID-19 isolation. It hasn't been easy, but my weekdays have been filled with interviews of prospective families whose sons will be joining us in 2024. These interviews have lifted my spirits every day, hearing the reasons parents are considering CBC Fremantle, and observing the quality of our future families. Much of the credit for our school's success is founded on you, the families, and all I kept hearing was the testimonials you give your son's school and the regard they have for you, your parenting and your son's formation. Thank you for being such steadfast partners and for the unconditional support you provide your son and his school.

My COVID journey was pretty easy but my wife's experience was far more debilitating. I have tried to contact every family whose son has tested positive and the range of experiences have covered the normal curve. Despite all this stress, anxiety and disruption, we are here on the eve of a very welcomed circuit breaker, with Holy Week beginning on Palm Sunday. In my last correspondence I asked that the meaning of Lent and sacrifice of Christ become a topic of conversation around the dinner table. In the lead up to our most sacred day, our College celebrated Easter through a livestreamed Liturgy on Wednesday. As is always the case, the boys behaved impeccably in their Mentor Group classrooms while watching the service, and the message of hope, salvation and sacrifice could not have been more apt in the context we currently find ourselves in. COVID fatigue is a real thing, and I'm sure everyone can't wait until it is consigned to the history books, but until then that message should be pivotal in guiding our actions.

As I sign off, may I take this opportunity to thank all of you for your continued contribution to your son's journey and for the grace and kindness you have shown the staff. I wish you all a Holy, restful and peaceful Easter, and should social restrictions limit your chance to be present in your own church to celebrate the pinnacle of our Christian faith, you can experience our College's special Easter service here.

I leave you with these beautiful words Ms Knox delivered to the boys at the end of the Liturgy. God Bless.

Mr Domenic Burgio  
Principal

Lenten Reflection

1h1a4108.jpgGood morning.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you. The strength of a community is shown in how we support one another, and this term, when called to step up, you have stepped up. 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 Omicron outbreak in WA, our lives and our schooling have been disrupted. Our usual House Swimming Carnival, school assemblies, and vertical Mentors all had to change to accommodate government restrictions. 

Each day there are students and staff in isolation, learning and working from home, recovering from illness, or returning to classes after being away and catching up with what they have missed. Each day there are students and staff worried about family members who are sick or vulnerable. Learning, friendships, routines and co-curricular activities have all been interrupted. 

For some of you, this pandemic has had little impact – but for others, the impact has been significant. Regardless, our community on the whole has cared for each other and looked out for each other. Our students continue to show optimism and resilience, our staff continue to put the boys first, and our families continue to support us. 

The CBC gentleman is selfless – this means he serves others without thinking of himself. He isn't selfish, thinking only of his own comfort, and he acts without need of reward or recognition. We see how this has played out during the pandemic peak caseload period when students wear masks properly even though they are uncomfortable, isolate even though it's boring and lonely, socially distance when they need to, and bounce back when things don't go as planned. These are selfless acts. 

Our founder, Blessed Edmund Rice, was a true example of selflessness. He saw children in Ireland struggling and suffering, pushed to the margins of society, and decided to help them. We have a founder whose likeness sits in the centre of the Cloisters, who we see every day, and who is the model of a selfless man. 

During Lent, Christians often choose to give up life's pleasures: chocolate, coffee, social media or even Wordle. Father John Sebastian says we do this as a way to foster simplicity and self-control; we use our cravings or desires for these items as a reminder to pray and to refocus on spiritual matters and on what is really important to us. 

Lent is a time for us all to reflect deeply and to consider who or what is my master. If it's hard to give something up, why is that? What am I in control of and what is in control of me? Is my master sugar? Caffeine? Tic Toc? Instagram? Netflix? Perhaps it is my iPhone, video games, or instant gratification? Is it the approval of my peers or seeking the easy way out? 

While these things may  provide short term pleasure, they do not last. They do not love you; they do not care if you turn out okay; they aren't invested in you reaching your potential, in your journey to becoming a good young man, and they certainly do not have your back when times are tough.  

Think for a moment – who loves you, who wants what is best for you even when times are rough, who will be there for you when everyone else turns away? 

I hope the answer to this is your family, your school, your true friends, and your faith. I hope that gratitude, love and kindness are your master, that these Gospel values are the basis for your attitudes and actions.  

Giving up things isn't easy, but it helps us work out what is ruling our lives, what is truly important and what is really helping us. 

Soon you will receive your Term 1 Report and this is a time for honest reflection and accountability. What have you given of yourself this term to make things little bit better? How have you stepped outside of your comfort zone? Where are your priorities? How have you given your best? Ask yourselves the hard questions and set yourself goals for Term 2. 

During this time of Lent, what we can reflect on is that we have a resilient and caring community. For all of us who have helped our community this term, rest easy and rest well these holidays knowing you have made a difference. Keep yourself safe and come back in Term 2 refreshed and ready to give your best.  

Ms Jenny Knox  
Vice Principal – Identity and Mission