“For Jesus, there are no countries to be conquered, no ideologies to be imposed, no people to be dominated. There are only children, women and men to be loved.” (Henri Nouwen)

As I write this article, the Catholic Church across the world is celebrating the Feast of the Sacred Heart. It is a Feast that calls us to be reminded of the love of God, and invites us to reflect on how we are living as examples of a Christ-like love in this world. The devotion to the Sacred Heart was an important component to the spirituality of Mary MacKillop and Father Julian Tenison Woods. The Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart have continued to live out this call of love in all that they do. Today the Sisters continue to minister to the most vulnerable in our society. As a Josephite school, our community is called today to reflect on the most Sacred Heart of Jesus and reflect;

How do I show love to others?

How can encourage others to show love?

How does compassion guide what I do?

The Feast this year falls within Australia’s acknowledgement and celebration of Refugee and Asylum Seeker Week and in the midst of a global pandemic and global protest to raise awareness for the persecution and racism faced by many people around our world. These events have caused wide spread media coverage, highlighting injustice, anger and despair by many. At MSJ, we have called our students to respond, through prayer, education, awareness and to use their voice to stand up against such injustice. Our Social Justice Leaders are busy planning our first Indigenous Week at MSJ to acknowledge NAIDOC Week which will occur early Term 3. We will use this week to acknowledge, celebrate and stand in solidarity with our Indigenous brothers and sisters, seeking to learn more about their culture, heritage and the injustice they face so that we as a community can commit to genuine reconciliation and recognition.

When you discuss these issues of racism, injustice and discrimination with your families at home, I encourage you to reflect back on the Sacred Heart, on the model that Jesus has left us to show love to all. May we commit as a community to be people of love, humility and welcome.

"Let the gentle Sacred Heart be your model." (Mary MacKillop, 9.3.1890)