St Agnes Catholic High Rooty Hill Newsletter

Term One : Issue 1 | 14 February 2020

From the Principal

Pace Bene!

Welcome back to the 2020 school year! A particularly warm welcome to the St Agnes Catholic High School community to all our new students and their families. 

2020 is an exciting year as we welcome our first HSC cohort and celebrate along with the Diocese, 200 years of Catholic education in Parramatta. 

As a growing school, we welcome new staff:   

Ravneet Kaur - English/HSIE     

Bronte Dunne - English/RE/HSIE  

Kristone Capistrano - HSIE/RE 

Noel Bajada - TAS  

Giancarlo Ison - RE/English 

Michael Fisher -PDHPE  (covering Claire Ely S1)

Tomas Sarac - PDHPE (cover Chris Chavez T1)

Michelle Morrissey -TAS  

Christopher  Vellio - IT  

Olivia Phillips - Learning Support

Tara Stojanovski - Experiences/Attendance Officer

As learners, I commend each of the students on the excellent start they have made to the year. Year 7 have made a smooth transition to high school and it was lovely to see so many Year 7 parents come together for the information session this week. Your support is greatly appreciated and a sound foundation for the students journey at St Agnes.  Year 11 parents have a similar opportunity next week, again I look forward to meeting parents and working in partnership to ensure the best learning outcomes for each student. 

The Opening Mass last Wednesday formally welcomed the new members of our community and acknowledge our School Leaders for 2020: 

School Captains

Dillan Goro

Katalina Vave

Catholic Identity/Social Justice

 Nicole Cabalhin

Neil Swin

Pastoral Care

Janelle Viray

 Javieer Garcia

Peer Support

Dalia Alameh

Summer Tomruk


Emma Johnston

Raneen Hashim


Rita El-Ghossein

Rianna Lal

Digital Media & Communications

Vansh Thakker

Marc Gabarda


Akon Gob

Simon Kako






Mila Raikadroka

Siui Vave

Jianna Castro

Ila Fuimaono

As the year begins, I remind each student to: care for themselves, each other and our school; be proud of themselves and their achievements; every day do their best and be the best they can be; and importantly, support those in need and seek support when needed. 

Have a great year, 

Lisa-Maree Browning


18 February - Year 11 Information Evening

25 February - School Photos Years 8-10 & 12

2 March - Swimming Carnival (Mt Druitt Pools)

4 March - Year 7 2021 Information/Enrolment Evening

9 March - Staff Development Day (Pupil Free Day)

18 March - Year 7 Camp

23 March - Year 12 Retreat, Interim Reports Distributed

9 April - Stations of the Cross Passion Play

10 April - Stations of the Cross - St Aidans Parish, Good Friday Walk, School Holidays begin

29 April - Year 7 Vaccination - First Dose

5 May - Year 11 2021 Information Night 5:30pm

From the Assistant Principal

I give a warm and sincere welcome to all our families. The school year has begun very well, and we would like that to continue.

Almost every person has a smartphone and it is true that they have changed our lives, but not always for the better. In school, smartphones are a constant distraction for students and teachers. Today’s phones are designed to be addictive and they generally achieve that aim.

Many students are unable to resist checking their phones or sending a text or a post every few minutes. Research shows the average teen is online for 5 hours a day and checks their phone 50 times a day with 20% of teens using social media during classes.

This year we are asking students not to be using their phones when they are at school. This means from the time they enter the school gate until they leave. Teachers will ask students to turn their phones off and put them away. Obviously, we need the support of families for this to work. If parents need to contact their child, we ask that they ring the school office on 8882 0700. If students need to contact family members, they are to use the school phone. This ban also applies to students wearing headphones and earpods/buds. Research shows us that students are more content and happier when they talk to their peers and do not feel the need to constantly access their phone. Students who refuse to comply will be dealt with by our usual procedures, which may include confiscating the technology, requiring parents to come to school to retrieve it.

We know that we have a difficult task ahead of us but that is not a good enough reason not to try. We have seen the effects of smartphone addiction and we are obligated to do what we can to ensure that our students have the best learning environment we can provide. Of course, if a teacher decides that the technology is necessary for a specific purpose in a lesson then they will advise the students that they may use their phones for that purpose.

Is your smartphone a problem?

  • Is your smart-phone always within reaching distance?
  •  Is checking your smartphone the first thing in the morning and last
  • thing you do at night?
  • Do you check your smartphone when you are in a face-to-face
  • conversation with someone?
  • Do you use your smartphone when watching TV or eating meals?
  • Do you worry when you realise the battery is running low and you don’t
  • have a charger on you?
  •  Do you start worrying when you think you left your smartphone at home?
  • Do you lose time while on your smartphone?
  • Do you obsessively check for emails, texts, social media posts etc?

If you answered yes to 5 or more of these questions you may have a problem with your connection to your smartphone.

Ken Wolffe

Assistant Principal


From the Head of Mission

Feast of St Agnes (21 January)

Pace e bene! Welcome to all staff, students, parents, families and to our St Agnes community to the 2020 school year.

During the school holidays on the 21st January, we acknowledged the Feast of St. Agnes. On this day we remember the life of our patron saint, a twelve year old girl who lived in Rome in the 4th century who devoted her whole life to love God above all things. In a time of Christian persecution, her beauty was often abused by men, however, with her purity of heart, she was not easily tempted by riches and empty promises and willingly surrendered her life to preach her love for God.

St Agnes is often represented with a lamb, the symbol of her virgin innocence, and a palm branch, like other martyrs. As a community, may we imitate St Agnes’ love and faithfulness to God, as we live deeply in His Words and stay faithful to his unending love for each one of us.

We began the school year with a liturgy that welcomed our newest members to the St. Agnes community, our Year 7 students. The theme for the Year 7 liturgy was “Let your Light Shine” (Mt 5:13-16), a message that will be a constant theme for 2020 that encourages us to be a person that brings light to other people but also allow the light of Christ’s love to permeate through our faith journey. At the same time, we welcomed back our Year 11 students and the theme for their liturgy was “Take courage! It is I, do not be afraid” (Mt 14:22-33) as they embark on the HSC journey that has its own challenges, but also opens up many joys when doubts and trials are overcome.

On Wednesday, 12th February we formally welcomed our school year with our Opening School Mass, as well as the Blessing and Commissioning of our Portfolio Leaders, new Staff and inaugural School Captains for 2020. There are only a few firsts in life, and this day was definitely one of them. After 57 years of Catholic education, we have become a 7 to 12 high school and this new journey we have embarked on that opens the opportunity for leadership that is mirrored in the servant leadership of Jesus Christ in the footsteps of the Franciscan tradition. We are incredibly proud to witness each day the growth of our School Captains as a positive role model for all students. With the St Agnes community, a very big congratulations to Dillan Goro and Katalina Vave, our inaugural School Captains for 2020. Photos from our Opening School Mass can be found in our social media pages. This is an opportunity for me to thank all staff and students for the reverence, participation and prayerful space you all created at this Mass that sets the tone for our prayer life. And a special thank you to Fr Alan Layt, our parish priest for his continuous support to our Catholic school life, for which these celebrations are possible.

Here is the School Captains Leadership Pledge that holds significant meaning to what makes St Agnes a great place to be, that invites all of us to be leaders in our own way:

School Captains Leadership Pledge

Leadership is hard to define.

Lord, let us be the ones to define it with justice.

Leadership is like a handful of water.

Lord, let us be the people to share it with those who thirst. 

Leadership is not about watching and correcting.

Lord, let us remember it is about listening and connecting.

Leadership is not about telling people what to do.

Lord, let us find out what people want and need.

Leadership is less about the love of power and more about the power of love.

Lord, as we continue to undertake the role of leader

let us be affirmed by the servant leadership we witness in your son Jesus.

Let us walk in the path He has set and let those who will, follow.

Let our greatest passion be compassion.

Our greatest strength love.

Our greatest victory the reward of peace.

In leading let us never fail to follow. In loving let us never fail.


In community service news, we had the wonderful opportunity last Wednesday 6th February with Legacy to visit our elderly community at Minchinbury Manor Aged Care. William Palaki (11.4), Beatrix Favor (9.3), Amarra Bumactao (9.2), Katie McLean (8.5) and Sofia Corpuz (8.2) with Mr Hilder’s supervision, graced the residents with music and song during their morning tea - and what talent they shared! You can watch a video of their performance again on our social media pages. It is in these opportunities and the time we give back that makes all the difference in walking in the footsteps of Christ.

At St. Agnes we greet our students “Pace e bene”. What does Pace e Bene mean? Pace e Bene is an old greeting used by the Friars, used by Francis and Clare and other followers of the Franciscan spirituality. It translates as 'Peace and Goodness'. Why do we use that greeting?

  • The first is rooted in the words of Jesus Christ. When Jesus sent the Apostles out for the first time, he said to them, that when they entered a village and knocked on a door, they should greet the people by saying 'Peace be with you!'. He said if a person of Peace lived there, your Peace will remain with them, if not, it will return to you.
  • Secondly, it is rooted in our Franciscan Tradition. St Francis saw EVERYTHING as Good because everything comes from God who is Goodness Himself (with a Capital G!). Francis wrote 'Mi Signore, Sei il Bene, tutto Bene, multo Bene' - 'My Lord, you are Good, every Good, All Good'.
  • Thirdly, it is rooted in our Christian identity and mission. When we greet somebody with 'Pace e Bene' or in another similar form (Pax et Bonum ... Peace and Goodness.. Peace by with you), we are identifying ourselves as Representatives of Peace (with a Capital P) and Good (with a Capital G), who is God. 
  • Peace and Goodness, the essential message of Jesus Christ, is the essence of Christian living and discipleship. It is what we need as individuals, as families, as a society and a world. 

    A significant aspect at St Agnes is our sacramental life. ‘Sacramental’ are sacred signs that help us recognise that Christ is always with us. One way we continually do this is through our Thursday Morning Mass that begins from 8:00-8:20am and Confession is available every Friday from 11:00am. Staff and students are invited to attend these opportunities to receive Communion and Confession and is greatly supported by Fr Alan Layt, Fr Galbert Albino and Fr Pat Mullins SJ. Seeking and deepening our faith is a part of the St. Agnes mission and is a place where staff and students are encouraged to live in the spirit of Jesus.

    I wish you all a very blessed, safe and exciting new year of ahead of learning at St. Agnes. We are a community who build each other up, cares for every individual and who continue to pray for one another.

    Pace e Bene to you all!!

    In Christ,

    Mrs Mary Reyes

    Parent Retreat Day Flyer

    From the Head of Learning

    Welcome to 2020 and another great year for learning at St Agnes. It is a very exciting time to be here, as we are now a comprehensive Year 7 - 12 high school. All the teachers are prepared and ready to provide quality educational experience for our students.

    Our Inaugural group began Term 4 last year with vigour and enthusiasm. They are now 1/3 of the way through their Year 12 studies, with most students having completed one assessment in each subject. All of our students are reminded to know when ALL assessments and major works are due, allowing themselves plenty of time to seek help from their teachers. Also, they do need to remember the many ideas and study techniques presented to them late last year by Dr Prue Salter.

    The Year 11 group have commenced their senior studies with interest and diligence. Some students are still discerning about their exact pattern of study and if they do wish to change subjects, they must do so now. We simply want all of our students settled and in the right course so that each student will get the right result.

    Our current Year 10 cohort have commenced their final year of Stage 5 in an earnest manner. Whilst some students are in the process of finalising their electives, on the whole they are settled and ready for work. During the second half of this term, we will be organising for the students to complete the Minimum Standards Testing. Specific time will be allocated across their Mathematics and English classes to assist the students in preparing for these texts. 

    This year, we have provided an opportunity for students completing 5.3 Mathematics to do so in a compacted environment. To that end, they have 7 lessons of Mathematics (when the rest if Year 9 does) and an additional 5 lessons during the time allocated for 1 elective. These students have demonstrated their capability in Mathematics and it is our aim, that after successful completion, that they will commence Stage 6 Advanced Mathematics in Year 10.

    The new Year 7 students have commenced their high school journey with excitement and a willingness to learn. They have been guided gently into the realm of St Agnes by their Learning Advisors, Learning Mentor and Leader of Learning: Pathways. This year, we have altered slightly the way we group our students for their core class. During Orientation Day, the students sat a test which gave the school insight about their numeracy, literacy and reasoning ability. To that end, we have grouped the students in such a way to benefit their experiences in the classroom. The relevant class teacher will be able to cater for the learning in order to accomodate all needs in the room. These can range from experiences that provide a rich foundation, to those that will make the students think and ponder on a deeper level.

    Study Skills


    With the beginning of the new year, it’s always a great time to reassess your academic approach. The key to making the most of this opportunity is focusing on the things which will bring the biggest return.

    1. Simplify Your Organization System

    Every student has an organization system. True, the definition of “organization” may be looser for some students than others, but everyone has a way they stay organized (or attempt to). Maybe you’re the “Type-A” student and you have a clearly defined system. You’ll know that you’re “Type-A” by the file folders you both own and use, the folded socks in your drawer, and all the lists by which you keep track of important information. You probably have a calendar, a planner, and you know exactly which clothing is clean and which are dirty. But not everyone fits in such a naturally organized world. These students can be called “Type-B.”

     If you’re a “Type-B” student, you’re not alone, but organization probably requires more effort. “Type-B” students tend to prefer “piling systems” to filing cabinets. Calendars often seem like too much work, so they’d rather just put everything in their backpacks and find it later. Students on the far end of the “Type-B” universe may even find themselves sorting laundry via the “smell check” method. Regardless of whether you are a Type A or B student, though, one of the biggest difference-makers this year is your organization system. Few things will save time and improve academic performance the way an effective organization system will.

    A great organization system has at its centre one goal: replace your brain.

    The more organized you are, the less you have to think. Your organization system should be simple enough that you don’t have to make any decisions about where you put new assignments, where to find completed assignments, or what to do with graded assignments. You shouldn’t have to go through a mental checklist every time you study because your organization system does it for you.

     The fewer decisions you need to make, the more your thoughts and energy can focus on things that matter. Consider these four questions to determine how simple your organization system is right now:

    • Do you have good systems in place to manage and organize both the paper and digital resources for school?

    • Do you have a system to make sure that all assignments and due dates are marked on your calendar / planner?

    • Do you have a system to focus on what needs to be done today and not just what’s due tomorrow?

     When you can answer each of these four questions without thinking, you’ll know that your organization system is simple enough to be a major asset this year.

     2. Break the “Cram Cycle” Before it Starts

    By the end of the semester, students often find themselves overloaded and overwhelmed, having to rely on cramming for final exams to get through to the break. They are exhausted and in survival mode. Thriving academically no longer matters. All that matters is the break at the end.

    If you’ve ever felt this way, you’ve experienced what we call the “Cram Cycle.” Students get busy during the semester, which leads to exhaustion. When you’re exhausted, the only thing you want to do is zone out for a bit. After an afternoon of zoning, students are forced to put all their effort into completing assignments that are due tomorrow. We call this “cramming.” As students work on only that which is due tomorrow, long-term assignments pile up and create even more busyness, which leads to exhaustion, and the “Cram Cycle” begins to accelerate. Most students only get out of the “Cram Cycle” when the semester ends.

     But this year can be different. If you want to stay out of this dreaded cycle, commit yourself to doing some independent learning at least five days a week, even when you don’t have anything due the next day. Use every day as a review day, spreading out your study sessions for big tests and projects across multiple days instead of letting them pile up. This approach takes more effort initially to create these habits, but you’ll reap the benefits when you’re free of the “Cram Cycle” and the stress that follows it come finals season.

     3. Supercharge Retention with Scientifically-verified Study Strategies

    Everyone knows that taking notes is a good idea. Reading your textbooks seem like a great thing to do. And you’ve probably learned that it’s best to have a consistent place to study, one which is quiet, clean, and comfortable enough (but not TOO comfortable). But what are the strategies that have been scientifically-verified to boost your retention?

     One of the best things you can do is to take a break in the middle of your study sessions. In one study psychologists wanted to find out whether there was any difference in “spacing” a study session (this means to take a break in the middle) or “massing” instead (which means that you hammer it out all at once).

     The researchers took two randomly-chosen, equal groups of students, gave them the same amount of study time, gave them the same material, and tested them on the material afterward. The only difference was that one group took a short break in the middle and the other group didn’t. The results were incredible. The group that studied with “spacing” did 50% better than the group that studied with “massing.” That means in the same amount of study time, you could potentially boost your retention by 50% by just taking a ten-minute break.

     Learn more this year about how to improve your results and be more efficient and effective with your schoolwork by working through the units on Our school’s access details are:

    Username: stagnes

    Password: 24success

    Mr G. Kemmis

    Head of Learning

    From the Business Manager


    We have a number of procedures and expectations to ensure the safety of our students and staff. Thank you in advance for supporting the following procedures when on school grounds:

    Visitors during the school day:

    Whilst we actively encourage an inviting and welcoming school, the safety of our students, staff and resources remain our highest priorities. All visiting parents, workers and contractors are required to report to the School Administration Office prior to undertaking any activity within the school, where they will be required to complete and sign in at  the Ipad located in the admin office. Any items that need to be given to students should be handed in to the administration office.


    Children benefit from attending school all day every day and should only leave the school during operating hours for exceptional and unavoidable reasons. We ask that all parents visit our front office to collect or drop off their child during the school day. Please ensure that all partial and whole-day absences are explained promptly with a note to the office or reply to our SMS system. All unexplained absences will be followed up with a letter home.

    New Leaving Early Policy

    On the morning of the absence, the student needs to get a release slip from the attendance office.  The student shows this slip to the teacher of the class where the student needs to leave early. It will indicate the time the student must leave class.  It will be the student’s responsibility to keep track of time and leave class to meet his/her parent or guardian at the attendance window to sign out. We will not call students out of class, as it is very disruptive to the entire class. Please try and make appointments after school hours.

     Car Parks 

    We ask that you do not use the staff car park to drop off students before school or pick them up at 2.25pm. With the constant movement of vehicles in and out of the car park, it is not safe for pedestrian use. All students should enter and leave the school via the front gate facing Evans Rd. The car park is for staff parking only. Thank you for upholding our school expectations when entering or leaving the school. Please note that parking in Our Lady of Consolation is also not allowed.

    Sick Bay Policy

    Please be advised that if your child attends sick bay due to illness or injury, you will be notified and asked to pick up your child. If you are unable to pick up your child you must organise for another person to pick your child up and notify the school of that person. If we are unable to contact parents, the emergency contacts will be called. 

    Contact Details

    If your contact details change, please notify the school immediately

    Kelly Pickett

    Business Manager

    School Activities

    Year 7 History


    This month is panning out to be a very busy month. We have students entering TAFE courses and looking for traineeships, we have already signed up a student for a school-based traineeship in retail and we will have so many visitors attending from a variety of Universities to support students with gaining as much information as possible regarding their pathways once they complete their schooling at St Agnes Catholic High School. 

    It is crucial at this stage that our Year 12 students have a plan regarding their transition into the community in 2021. The earlier you have your goals and targets set, the more likely you are to attain a pathway to your dream career or vocational education course. For those in Year 7 through to 11 you will have a great amount of support and guidance to assist with your pathways, but the key is to really start thinking about your personal strengths and passions to decipher where it is you want to transition once you leave school. To help guide you with this, we will be launching a new Career Tool which will have a link on our school website. The site is at . This Career Tool will allow you to book in an interview for a Careers Counselling session and also has a multitude of resources regarding jobs, careers, university, TAFE and so much more. Students will be given a login to a secured section.

    Wellbeing and Diversity

    Thursday 13th February, staff from St Agnes attended an event that marked the anniversary of 2008 National Apology and this will be followed by a yearn with students in period 5 on Wednesday 19th which marks the National Close The Gap Day. This will see many young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students around the school talking to students in the playground about the inequalities that are still currently faced in Australia with regards to health and we have an opportunity to send our governments a clear message that Australians value health equality as a fundamental right for all by signing a petition. For further information you can download resources from the following website or speak to Mrs. Karafotias about what you can do to help support the aim of achieving Indigenous health equality by 2030.

    Nashwa Karafotias

    Careers Advisor

    Alumni Literacy Mentoring HSC students

    Over the past year, students at St Agnes have been involved in activities to promote their literacy development on a whole school basis. Teachers have engaged with a Visible Literacy Continuum, students have engaged in case management processes, meeting with all their teachers to discuss their writing, and now, St Agnes Alumni have returned to support Year 12 students as literacy mentors!

    Individual St Agnes HSC students have been aligned with Alumni who are studying within their area of vocational interest. The Alumni are human rights lawyers, architects, physiotherapists, animal scientists, medical scientists forging through to medicine, teachers... and the list goes on... Yet most significantly, they are students from here. 

    Our Inaugural Literacy Mentor meeting, pictured above, was both heart-warming and academically rigorous. After a welcoming speech, our students and mentors were deep in rich conversation about challenges, pathways, opportunities, and the buzz? It was tangible! 

    All literacy case managed students, and some not started yet, were aligned with Alumni literacy mentors... And, by the end of the gathering, a plethora of alumni names have been forwarded for more students. 

    We felt it was pivotal that we introduced our new HSC students to those Alumni members who could assist with key information and strategies to achieving their post-HSC vocational dreams. Let’s see where this process takes us. With the quality of these alumni… the possibilities are endless.

    Mrs Antoinette Meade and Mrs Christine Payne

    Head of Wellbeing and Diversity and Leader of Learning 


    Homework Club

    St Agnes Catholic High School runs a Homework Club on Tuesday afternoons.  Homework Club is a great opportunity for students to receive help with homework and/or assessments on a one on one basis.

    Homework club starts at 2:30pm and concludes at 3:30pm.

    Students can choose to attend regularly or on selected afternoons, depending on their circumstances.

    All students are expected to bring appropriate work to complete. This is a great opportunity for students to get into the habit of doing their homework straight after school, whilst also being able to have their teachers feedback on assignments.

    Teacher Communication

    St Agnes Catholic High School recognises that email is a fast and convenient way to communicate with your child's teacher.

    When sending these, please be mindful that the teachers read their emails at various times throughout the school day. Further, teachers are generally not expected to respond to emails from parents and students outside of normal working hours. In the case of a genuine emergency please contact the school office during business hours on or phone 8882 0700.

    From the Library

    Welcome back to all students. We now have a space in the Library that is dedicated to Year 11 & 12  for their study periods. It has been working well so far, and I am sure when the new furniture arrives they will feel more comfortable and relaxed.More updates to follow.

    School Fees

    School Fee statements for Term 1, will be posted in bulk from the Catholic Education Office, Parramatta (CEO) in the third or last week of February.

     The mailing will include Flexible Payment Plan Options, in previous years these have been very popular. (Payments are scheduled between March and November).

     For families making full payment for Term 1 the due date is 18 March, 2020.

     If you are experiencing financial difficulty, please contact the Business Manager, Kelly Pickett, immediately on 8882 0702, or email  

    If you do not receive your statement or have other questions, please contact Lorraine Bailey on 8882 0706 or email

    2020 school travel applications NOW OPEN

    If students need to update their information or re-apply, they should go online to

    Students in the Opal network applying for a SSTS or Term Bus Pass entitlement for the first time will receive their card at their nominated postal address. 


    If students do not have an OPAL Card, the full fare must be paid.

    Please ensure students TAP ON & TAP OFF. 

    The School Bus Service is on demand from how many students TAP ON. So if you do not TAP ON, this will tell the bus company we no longer need the service and they will cut the number of buses that pick students up. Stranding our students.

    Please remember to TAP ON & TAP OFF.


    St Agnes uses Skoolbag to notify parents and students of important information regularly.

    Make sure you have notification settings for Skoolbag, and you have joined your Year Group as we will often only send notifications to a 'Year Group'.

    Students will find Assessments uploaded in the Year Group and parents can be aware of due dates for students on these Assessment overviews.

    From the Bishops Office

    Australian Church Bushfire Response

    Thank you for your support of the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal during the Australia Day weekend. Australia is currently facing an unprecedented bushfire crisis in many parts of the country, including within the Diocese of Parramatta. We are urged to pray constantly for those affected, for those fighting the fires and for an end to the bushfires. To access prayer resources, make a donation or for more information, including how to support people affected by bushfires within the Diocese of Parramatta, visit

    Australian Commemoration of the Sunday of the Word of God

    The Bishops Commission for Liturgy is considering how the Church in Australia will mark the celebration of the Sunday of the Word of God, established by Pope Francis and held on the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time. This celebration is held in Rome during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which is celebrated much later in the year in Australia. The Commission has proposed another date be established for the Sunday of the Word of God in Australia, and will provide recommendations to the Bishops Conference in May.

    Country Care Link Volunteers Needed

    Open Support, a not-for profit, community service organisation is in need of volunteer drivers for their Country Care Link program, which is a transport service for regional NSW families, couples and individuals when in Sydney for medical appointments and hospital stays. For more information or to receive a volunteer information pack, please email, call (02) 8382 6437 or visit

    Catholic Mission Camino 2020 Pilgrimages

    Catholic Mission is organising two pilgrimages to walk the Camino Portugués (17 days) from 11 to 27 May 2020 and the Camino Francés (16 days) from 19 September to 5 October. Each pilgrimage will offer small groups lead by an experience guide. For more information, please contact Sr Veronica Rosier OP on 0451 387 906 or visit

    Catholic Healthcare

    Government-funded Home Care Packages. Catholic Healthcare’s local Care Advisors can work with you to create a customised support plan. Their in-home services include gardening, shopping, meal preparation, transport and nursing. Get a quote on 1300 734 350.

    Holy Hour for Vocations: 6 February

    Youth aged 18 to 35 are invited to join the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth for their Holy Hour for Vocations on Thursday 6 February at 7pm at the Holy Spirit Convent, Plumpton. A meal will be served afterwards. To RSVP, please contact Sr Paula on 0449 656 406 or

     Christian Meditation: 16 February

    You are invited to a Christian Meditation Introduction and Renewal Day at St Benedict's Monastery, 121 Arcadia Rd, Arcadia on Sunday 16 February from 10.30am to 3pm, with registration from 10am. Contact Br Terry on 0438 282 318 for possible accommodation in monastery guest house. For other enquiries, please contact either Ann Bergman on or Ann Lomas on or 9653 2637.

    Shaping the Future of the Catholic Church Symposium: 4 March

    The Implementation Advisory Group (established by ACBC and Catholic Religious Australia) are hosting a symposium on ‘Shaping the Future of the Catholic Church’ with three international experts on Wednesday 4 March from 1pm to 5pm. The experts will address numerous topics including the Ecclesiology of Vatican II; Theology and the Sexual Abuse Crisis; and Participative Engagement and Structures in a Missionary and Synodal Church. RSVP, tickets and event details can be found at

    Gift of Ageing 6-Day Retreat: 6 – 12 March

    St Mary’s Towers Retreat Centre, Douglas Park, NSW, is hosting a six day retreat on the ‘Gift of Ageing: Awakening to God’s Surprising Gifts’ from 6 to 12 March. Sr Kerin Caldwell sgs will lead participants in themes such as less doing and more being and how am I coping with change. $750 for 6 days or $250 for weekend of 6 to 8 March. To RSVP, please contact (02) 4630 0233, email or visit

    Mindfulness and the Presence of God Retreat: 13 – 15 March

    St Mary’s Towers Retreat Centre, Douglas Park, NSW, is hosting a weekend retreat on ‘Mindfulness and the Presence of God’ on 13 to 15 March. Presenters Michelle Vass and Lou Nulley will discuss being mindful in the Christian Tradition, mindfulness practices and mindfulness meditation. Registration is $250. To RSVP, please contact (02) 4630 0233, email or visit

    Paul’s Letter to the Galatians Retreat: 20 – 26 March

    St Mary’s Towers Retreat Centre, Douglas Park, NSW, is hosting a six-day retreat on St Paul’s Letter to the Galatians from 20 to 26 March. Fr Michael Fallon msc will lead retreatants through Paul’s life and what Jesus meant to Paul. A weekend option is available for 20 to 22 March. To RSVP, please contact (02) 4630 0233, email or visit

    Men’s Prayer Weekend Retreat: 27 – 29 March

    St Mary’s Towers Retreat Centre, Douglas Park, NSW, is hosting a men’s prayer weekend from 27 to 29 March. Paul White and Fr Thang Nguyen msc will reflect on scripture and modern writers regarding the interaction between trust and discernment in times of transition in our lives. To RSVP, please contact (02) 4630 0233, email or visit

    A Weekend of Poetry and Religion: 17 – 19 April

    Fr Dom Carrigan CSsR invites retreatants to bring their religious poems to share with others, in the spirit of Les Murray’s poem ‘Poetry and Religion’. St Clement’s Retreat Centre, Kalangan Rd, Galong, NSW, from 17 to 19 April. Ensuite room $300, room with shared facilities $260. For enquiries and bookings, please contact

    Worldwide Marriage Encounter Marriage Enrichment Weekend: 17 – 19 April

    The Worldwide Marriage Encounter are hosting a Marriage Enrichment Weekend from 17 to 19 April at the Mt Carmel Retreat Centre, Varroville, NSW. Take the time to step back from everyday distractions and rediscover your relationship. Book online at or contact Adrian and Janet on 0490 774 419 or

    For more events please go to:

    The SkoolBag app is the easiest way keep up with school events, last minute notices, newsletters and all school communications.

    New format of our Newsletter can be translated to 100+ languages

    With our Google Translation integration, you can access our newsletter in ANY language. Simply scroll to the bottom of the newsletter to give it a try.