St Paul’s offers parents strong support in their serious parental responsibility to educate their sons in the Catholic faith. We work in partnership with parents and our parish, to ensure the full spiritual development of our students.
We offer this through a range of initiatives and practices that are designed to create opportunities for our young men to better develop and witness to their faith. The following are some examples of what young men of St Pauls will be doing throughout the year.
Each school in the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP) is charged with engaging students in their formation within the Catholic Church. This can take many forms, in 2013 and 2014 the goal for St Pauls was to improve on student knowledge of the Catholic Mass. This continues, with students engaging in Catholic liturgical life by regularly attending weekday Masses throughout each year.
In 2015, St Pauls has asked students to develop their understanding of the historical St Paul (Paul of Tarsus) and his contribution to sacred scripture. We will be developing a long term program that addresses the importance of St Paul to the Catholic faith as well as the practical message that St Paul promotes in his epistles to the early Christian communities.
Each year group attends regular weekday Masses at our local parish, Our Lady Queen of Peace. At these Masses, students take on various ministry roles in order to serve the parish and engage in spiritual life. Students proclaim the readings and acclamations, as well as develop and read the Prayer of the Faithful. We are beginning our Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist program for our senior students in order to provide opportunities for our leaders to administer the Eucharist to all students. This seeks to revitalise the enthusiasm that students have for celebrating the Blessed Sacrament and make real their relationship with God.
Retreats at St Pauls are designed so that students explore the key features of their faith and the way it relates to the world around them. Throughout the year, each year group will participate in a retreat of some description, that will focus on a key area of their spiritual growth. The majority of these events will be linked to the College formation goal. The year groups have been given a focus area to explore in relation to St Paul and his influence on us in our daily lives.
Prayer and reflection
|The importance of taking time out to pray and communicate with God. We discover all too quickly, that our young men are not taking the time to find peace in their days. This focus is on the way that peace can be achieved through a daily encounter with prayer, as well as the various prayer forms that young men can engage in to become closer to God.
|As our relationships grow and change, we feel that an attitude of forgiveness and reconciliation is necessary for our young men to model the attitudes of Jesus Christ, as reflected in St Paul's writings. To be men of St Paul, we are called to be forgiving of everyone, for everything. In doing this, we will engage in the Sacrament of Penance as a group, with the opportunity for the individual First Rite of Reconciliation.
Faith, Courage and Hope
|Year 9 represents a significant time of change for our students. Our goal is to support that change with a focus on what it means to be a 'man' who follows Jesus. One of the best examples of this is found in the life of St Paul, who exhibited these characteristics in his daily life, challenging himself to be 'a man of faith' in service to God.
|One of the greatest ethical frameworks that St Paul developed was the need for service. He provided practical examples of how to fulfil Christ's beatitudes, and service is a key component of that. Year 10 engage in a series of service activities such as: state religious education teaching (Catechists), youth ministry and social justice initiatives.
|Similar to the year 10 theme of 'Service', charity is about drawing our young men into a greater understanding of the motive behind their actions. The commandment to 'love one another' is one that has a prominent position with this year group, and it is reflected in the knowledge that our actions for one another are in direct response to the call from God to love self and neighbour.
|We draw together all the threads of St Paul and life in Christ through the Year 12 theme of 'mission'. This seeks to support our young men in their journey beyond St Pauls Catholic College. It welcomes them to engage in regular worship in Mass, alternatives to schoolies through missionary work, engagement in parish life through our 'Youth Connect' program and the formation of their spiritual retreat that marks them as leaders of the College.|