The Catholic Imagination – faith formation

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24 May 2024

Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) has launched a series of formation sessions called ‘The Catholic Imagination’. These sessions are an opportunity for principals and leaders to engage in programmatic professional formation that is systematic, collaborative, graduated and ongoing.

On Tuesday 14 May, the first session, ‘Heart speaks to heart: Responding to the 2024 Patrick Oration’, was held.

Dr Nigel ZimmermanThe Patrick Oration is an annual address delivered by Archbishop Peter A Comensoli on the feast of St Patrick. It is an opportunity for the Archbishop to speak to the wider community and to present a pathway forward for the Catholic Church in Melbourne, inviting us to renew our hope for the future.

In response to the 2024 oration, reflections were delivered by:

  • Dr Mary Oski, Director, Learning and Regional Services, MACS
  • Marisa Matthys, Principal, St Mary’s School, Greensborough
  • Rev Mgr Stuart Hall, Dean, St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Dr Oski expressed: ‘The witness of quality teaching in developing relationships with students models and reflects the faith commitment of the teacher, opening up endless possibilities for students to flourish in every dimension of their being, and enrich themselves and the world’.

Responding to Archbishop Peter’s question, ‘Are we the kind of light we need to be so that the people of our city may come and see?’, Mrs Matthys said: ‘As Catholic faith leaders and educators, we live out the gospel by supporting the common good, and being a voice for the marginalised and excluded’.

‘Our Catholic school is also a place in which “home” can be cultivated as the place of safety and welcome, and the place from which we are sent out in mission’, she said.

Feedback from the event reflects a sense of hope for the future of Catholic education.

‘I loved the focus on educators in our schools being called to model the Catholic mission and identity to the young people in our schools, in authentic daily life’, said one attendee.

Another stated that the event ‘had me thinking, engaging, learning and imagining a new way of sharing our Catholic faith’.

Heart speaks to heart: Responding to the 2024 Patrick Oration

Dr Nigel Zimmermann, Director, Catholic Mission and Identity, said the MACS 2030 vision for Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Melbourne is for every student to be inspired and enabled to flourish and enrich the world. ‘The Catholic Imagination series provides further guidance for this work’, he added.

The Catholic Imagination formation sessions continue with:

  • ‘It begins with prayer’ with Cardinal Giorgio Marengo IMC, Apostolic Prefect of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – Thursday 27 June 2024
  • ‘The pilgrim’s process’ with Fr Stephen Wang, Rector of the Venerable English College, Rome – Tuesday 27 August 2024.