Dear College Community  

Did you notice that your child/ren came home on Wednesday with ashes placed on their foreheads? Many of us are aware that this was for Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of Lent in our Christian Calendar.  

To those of us who regularly practice the faith, raised in the Catholic church and attended Catholic schools would be aware of this ancient tradition. At Marist Regional College, we commemorated Ash Wednesday in our Chapel at 8.15am for our staff and Student Representative Council. This followed for our students in their year levels around the school during Pastoral Care, led by our SRC and supported by staff.  

The wearing of ashes is a symbolic action that we share with one another, that we are prepared to turn our attention to God and live more like Jesus in the 40 days of Lent. Despite this very public expression of our faith, we are called to serve one another humbly, without fuss, during this time leading up to Good Friday.  

As members of this community, we are fortunate to have reference points in our lives such as Ash Wednesday and Lent. These opportunities remind us to slow down and reflect on what really matters in our lives, other than distractions or consumables that can redirect our attention from being our best selves. 

Recently, was faced with something that was troubling me. My wife, Amanda, asked me what I could do to navigate the situation. Amanda is not a Baptised Catholic, but she suggested that I spend time in prayer. Great advice and it really helped!  

In this instance, I was in need. I’d lost my way from investing in the relationship with my creator through not spending as much time as I would normally. It is easy to do. For this Lent, making the time for prayer, reflection and meditation is a simple commitment that we can all achieve. Our community and relationships are better for the time we spend in the presence of God.  

I will leave you with the following prayer for this first week of Lent….  

Compassionate God, with great love and tenderness you forgive us. Your boundless mercy frees us to let go of the past and encourages us to embrace new life to which you call us. Remove from our hearts all that binds us and keeps us from loving you. Help us to embrace a future full of hope, knowing that your love is enough for us. Amen. 

In partnership 

Mr Gregg Sharman