Campus Ministry at Marian has had an amazing start to the school year with a great number of Mercy events, encompassing all members of the Marian community.
Year 13 students started the year with a three day retreat at Wainui, where the focus was on Creation. Supported by a great team of staff and guests including Gaylene Barnes and Fr. Paul Shanahan, the students focused on the sacred nature of taiao, the earth, art and everyday life. Activities included coasteering, painting illuminated manuscripts, a reconciliation liturgy, and reflective silent walks.
The staff attended a beautiful opening mass celebrated by Fr. Dan Doyle. This mass was inspirational and encouraged everyone to start afresh spiritually.
The Year 9s were later welcomed in a liturgy, led by the new Peer Support leaders and Special Character leaders for this year.
The entire college came together for an opening mass at St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral. Fr. Simon Eccleton celebrated this Mass with the college, and the new Extraordinary Ministers and Student Leaders for 2016 were commissioned.
Lastly, Marian College welcomed Lent beginning its Lenten journey with an Ash Wednesday Liturgy honouring not only the new liturgical season, but also the recently celebrated Waitangi Day. Crosses were displayed around the college as an acknowledgement of the season.
Pope Francis has declared 2016 to be the Jubilee Year of Mercy, and it will be a time of grace, peace, conversion and joy, meant for everyone – people of every age, from far and near. He describes it as a “time when we can discover that life together as brothers and sisters is like a great party, the endless party that Jesus has taught us to celebrate by his Spirit. The Jubilee is the party to which Jesus invites us all, without excluding anyone”.
It is fantastic to see Marian College accepting this challenge, by hosting a range of Mercy events encompassing and embracing the entire college community. From staff to students both new and old, Marian has undertaken Pope Francis’ request to include everyone in the celebrations of the Year of Mercy.