Welcome again to ‘Faith Matters'

The ideal of Religious Education at Padua, and other Catholic schools, is to encourage students to be engaged in thinking about their own faith, and to invite them into a relationship with Jesus as the centre of the Catholic faith. It is a dialogue between their own life experience and the wisdom of the Gospels and Catholic faith tradition.

Obviously this has to be done in age-appropriate ways. The courses and activities at Year 7 will look very different to the challenges we make available for students in Year 12. As students grow in understanding and maturity, so does the opportunity for dialogue with the Catholic tradition.

That is why our Religious Education program in Year 12 is diverse, and we encourage students to engage themselves in an RE course which will engage them in issues of faith and enliven their final year of studies. A snapshot of the courses available to students follows …

Catholic Action program allows students to be involved in community service within or outside the school while connecting their experience to the great wealth of Catholic Social Teaching. Students engaged in our immersions are often part of this group.

Art in the Spirit encourages students to express their faith creatively through individual and joint projects such as the Purple Pardon Bike or the indigenous mural produced this year.

Music in the Spirit students spend time writing their own faith based songs, exploring religious music, and providing the main liturgical music for major College liturgies such as the Opening Mass and their own Graduation Mass.

Media in the Spirit explores the portrayal of religion and faith in the range of media that students engage with today.

Faith & Life engages students more personally in their own faith experience as well as involving them in creating liturgies and prayer opportunities for other students, such the Ash Wednesday services.

Peace & Justice focuses on issues of justice in our world today and encourages students to understand these issues, to see how the Church responds, and to develop skills in ways of being involved themselves.

Religion & Society Units 3&4 is the formal study of religious traditions, and the Catholic Church in particular, as a formal study. This is a subject equivalent to their other Year 12 studies.



… the lineage that gave us Jesus built itself up not just upon the great and the talented, but equally upon the poor and the insignificant. In the list of names that makes up the ancestors of Jesus, we see some that are famous and others that can make no claim to specialness or significance. Jesus' human blood, Scripture tells us, was produced equally by the great and the small, the talented and the talentless.

What's to be learned for all of this? Perhaps Raymond Brown captures it the best. What all this tells us, he says, is that God writes straight with crooked lines, that we shouldn't accept an overly-idealized Jesus Christ, and that our own lives, even if they are marked by weakness and insignificance, are important too in continuing the story of the incarnation.

… Christianity isn't just for the pure, the talented, the good, the humble and the honest. The story of Jesus Christ was also written and keeps getting written too by the impure, by sinners, by calculating schemers, by the proud, by the dishonest, and by those without worldly talents. Nobody is so bad, so insignificant, so devoid of talent, or so outside the circle of faith, that he or she is outside the story of Christ.

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, omi

Michael Harrison
Deputy Principal: Mission & Community