I am not usually one to count the days let alone the hours but as I write this I am ready for the final bell on Friday. This term has been tough for everyone and yet we have made it. Joan Chittester writes ‘Staying with a difficult situation to resolve it, rather than trying to escape it, gives God the chance to complete what such an experience was meant to affect in us. Survival is a by-product of trust. It’s learning to rest in the arms of the Creator that takes us through what could otherwise have destroyed us. The point is that everything we survive in life provides us with one more layer of humanity with which to live it.’ We have endured and now it is time for us to take inspiration from Jesus who also withdrew from his ministry to care for his soul. 

This week in a Principal’s meeting, Anna Dabrowski from ACER shared with us her findings from research into what supports wellbeing during the pandemic. Many of these things you will have heard before however, I share them with you as a reminder 

  1. Allow yourself to grieve the “old normal’’ 
  2. Recognise signs of COVID fatigue 
  3. Seek help 
  4. Find ways to have community 
  5. Create a routine 
  6. Focus on what you can control 
  7. Set boundaries and limit doom scrolling  
  8. Maintain hope  

I also received a resource for families that came highly recommended as one of the best guides for how to stay resilient as a family during the pandemic https://resilienceguide.org/ 

We encourage families to consider the information we have shared about vaccinations here especially now as all our students are eligible. We know a significant number of our students have already made this a priority.  

It is a little disconcerting not knowing what the start of Term 4 looks like however as we always have, we will respond to what is needed. Our community can rest assured that we will communicate any changes as soon as we have clarity about the processes. I want to especially acknowledge the work of the Year 12 teachers and support staff over this past week who have been extraordinarily resilient in adapting plans for classes and assessments, covered duties and supported our students as they manage end of course commitments, unexcepted COVID tests, vaccination appointments and the usual stressors of the final weeks of Year 12. Their care and commitment have been a true reflection of our Clonard spirit. 

My prayer and blessing for you as we come to this holiday break is taken from ‘A Blessing for One who is Exhausted’ written by John O’Donoghue.

Allow yourself to enter empty time 

And patiently learn to receive the self  

You have forsaken in the race of the days. 

 

Take refuge in your senses, open up 

To all the small miracles you’ve rushed through. 

 

Become inclined to watch the way of rain 

When it falls slow and free. 

 

Imitate the habit of twilight, 

Taking time to open the well of colour 

That’s fostered the brightness of day. 

 

Draw along the silence of stone  

Until its calmness can claim you.  

Be excessively gentle with yourself. 

Gradually you will return to yourself, 

Having learned a new respect for your heart 

And the joy that dwells far within slow time. 

Luci