Mercy College attracts star power for RE Week
West Coast Eagles player, Jonathon Giles, pictured with Mercy College staff members, talked to students about the importance of faith in his life. Photo: Supplied
A bishop, an AFL footballer, an academic and a hip-hop musician have helped students at Mercy College in Koondoola celebrate the school’s inaugural Religious Education Week.
Held from 20 to 24 June, the aim of the week was to highlight Religious Education as the first and key learning area in Catholic schools, according to co-ordinator, Salvatore De Luca.
“The focus of the week was one of celebrating the Religious Education learning area, as a Kindergarten to Year 12 school, and that focus definitely prevailed,” he said.
“The Student Representative Council, led by the Liturgy Councillors, took a very active role in the week and led the large student contingent who ran activities.
“It’s been an absolutely amazing week. There has been a wonderful buzz around the campus.”
The Religious Education Week featured liturgical celebrations, activities and games, and a variety of guest speakers who engaged with students.
Archdiocese of Perth Auxiliary Bishop, Don Sproxton, spends time with Mercy College Principal Julie Hornby during the school’s inaugural Religious Education Week. Photo: Supplied
Archdiocese of Perth Auxiliary Bishop, Don Sproxton, visited the school, as did West Coast Eagles player, Jonathon Giles, who gave an engaging presentation about the importance of faith in his life.
University of Notre Dame Senior Lecturer, Angela McCarthy, hosted a theological Q&A session, while Fablice Manirakiza, from Melbourne hip-hop group FLYBZ, and Tony Caravella, from the Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal, participated in a lively panel discussion on social justice.
The school also held Skype video conferences with Father Rob Galea of World Youth Day and The X Factor fame.
Another highlight was the opportunity for seminarians from Redemptoris Mater Seminary and St Charles’ Seminary to visit and interact with classes throughout the week, including – to the delight of staff and students – former Mercy College student (now seminarian at St Charles’ Seminary), Dominic Sandon.
Mr De Luca said the college gymnasium was packed out for a special soccer game between Mercy College Soccer Academy students and the visiting priests and seminarians, during which both sides were kept on their toes.
Mercy College students engaged with the #GIG (God is good) hashtag during the school’s inaugural Religious Education Week, held from 20 to 24 June. Photo: Supplied
“The students were taken aback, even though they won the game, that the priests and seminarians had a very high skill level and could play, which certainly removed the misconception that priests simply say Mass and administer the Sacraments,” he said.
Each lunchtime commenced with grace being said over the PA system by primary school students, which gave way to lunchtime activities such as a staff gala musical performance.
Mr De Luca said he had hoped to engage as many students as possible through the Religious Education Week.
“Religion offers so much and is so diverse and multi-faceted, so the week mirrored that with a wide variety of activities, from the celebration of Mass and the Sacraments to guest speakers to sport to music to art,” he said.
“The emphasis was on there being something for everyone.”