And just like that, our last full week of the 2023 academic year draws to an end. This week has seen the final NCEA examinations take place for our seniors, and our junior students have been involved in a range of different activities, including retreats and camps. Staff have been busy preparing for 2024 and are already looking forward to the many exciting opportunities that the new year will bring to the students of Carmel College.
Next week we will conclude the academic year with the junior prizegiving. Although not all students will be recognised at this prizegiving, each and every student should be very proud of what they have achieved this year. By contributing to our wider community through the completion of service hours, through participation in sport and cultural events and by making the most of learning opportunities in class, our students continue to develop the skills and attributes to be empowered through their Mercy education to challenge and shape their future.
The summer break is nearly here and as we head into the festivities of Christmas, not only is this a pivotal time in our Catholic calendar as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, it is also a time for each of us to stop, reflect and evaluate, to learn from our mistakes and celebrate our successes. One way we can support our young women is by encouraging them to reflect on what has worked well this year and what hasn’t, and look at reasons why. There are opportunities to learn and strategies to develop which can then be put into practice as our students prepare for 2024 and another stepping stone along their personal journey.
I also challenge our students over the Christmas break to find a balance between rest and recuperation, and preparation and self improvement. Yes, our girls need a break, but they also need to ensure that each day they are doing at least 30 minutes of physical activity, at least 30 minutes of reading, and unplugging from devices to enjoy time reconnecting with family and friends.
Loving God, during this holy season of Christmas we ask for your blessing on our all families.
Let Mary’s openness to your wondrous ways be an inspiration to place all trust in you.
Let Joseph’s courage provide hope during times of anxiety and uncertainty.
Let Jesus’ life ignite all families with a spirit of light and love. May the grace that encircled the Holy Family widen to embrace all families. Amen.