Welcome to Faith Matters

As we come to the end of another wonderful year in the Padua College community, I would like to recognise the work of so many staff who work to further the faith of our young people in so many ways. The RE teachers who walk the journey of faith with their classes each year. The Homeroom Teachers and House Co-ordinators who pray with our students each day and hold the dignity of each student as sacred.


In particular I would like to recognise and thank the Padua College Faith Team who work to co-ordinate the multitude of courses and programs, across all campuses and year levels, with such commitment and passion:

* Tania Grace (Director of Faith)

* Peter O’Halloran (Faith & RE Co-ordinator Rosebud)

* Anne-Marie Wilkinson (Faith & RE Co-ordinator Tyabb)

* Mary Cameron (Pastoral Associate)

* Gina Reimers (Liturgical Music Co-ordinator)

*Bernadette Young (Social Justice Co-ordinator)

*Ange Virgona (Faith Formation Leader)



Over the past few years, we have developed our practices of using the “Bunjil’s Nest” to reflect our respect and developing awareness of the ancient wisdom and culture of indigenous Australians.

Each campus has expressed this development in their own ways.

On all campuses, the Year 7 students study aboriginal stories of creation in RE. All students write messages of hope on the sticks that make the nest. At Mornington, the sticks are collected from the vine growing outside the chapel. At Rosebud and Tyabb, sticks are collect from campus gardens.

The created nest forms a central focus for a creation liturgy. The nests are situated in chapel of St Francis of Assisi (Mornington), Murrup Bik (sacred space – Tyabb) or in the garden near the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags (Rosebud).

As Advent approaches, these nests are transformed to the advent wreath, as we await and prepare for birth of Jesus, our new creation.

The final stage of process is when the sticks of the Bunjil’s nest are burnt. The ashes are used for the Ash Wednesday liturgy. After this liturgy, the ashes are returned to the earth.



Clearly, then, learning to wait is an essential dimension of spiritual development.  It has its own values, bringing its own character to the process of becoming spiritually mature.

Waiting hones our insights.  It gives us the time and space, the perspective and patience that enable us to discriminate between the good, the better, and the best.  It is so simple to go through life blind to the wealth of its parts, swallowing life whole, oblivious to its punctuation points.  Then we fail to call ourselves to the small, daily demands of compassion or choice, trust or effort.  If we do not learn to wait, we can allow ourselves to assume that one thing really is as good for us as another.  Then we forget that life is about more than this life…

The function of Advent is to remind us what we’re waiting for as we go through life too busy with things that do not matter to remember the things that do…

We all want something more.  Advent asks the question, what is it for which you are spending your life?  What is the star you are following now?  And where is that star in its present radiance in your life leading you?  Is it a place that is really comprehensive enough to equal the breadth of the human soul?

Michael Harrison
Deputy Principal: Mission & Community