Christian faith is a precious gift from God and we strive to nurture the faith of students and staff, especially through our curriculum, through prayer and the Eucharist, and through serving those in need. The first learning area of our curriculum is Religious Education. In this subject, students are encouraged to reflect on how Christian faith impacts on human life and culture. Our Pastoral Care groups pray each morning and the whole school gathers for prayer each Friday. A staff member makes use of stories and teachings from the Gospels to prepare the Friday prayer. The Catholic celebration of Eucharist is traditionally called “Mass”. It is celebrated in the Chapel Tuesday through to Friday at 8.10am. The liturgy is prepared by members of Pastoral Care groups. On special occasions, such as the beginning of the school year and the celebration of the feast of our patron saint, Maximilian Kolbe, the whole school gathers for Mass. Since Christian faith is seen in action, our students are encouraged to serve others, especially those in need. As in every other aspect of school life, our staff provide leadership and support for our students.
Our Christian faith finds expression in many forms of service both within the school and in the community, whether it be older students generously sharing their knowledge and skills with younger students, or fundraising for various charities, such as Lifelink, the Society of St Vincent de Paul, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. KolbeCare, our Year 11 community service program, outreaches to nursing homes, schools catering for students with special needs, community groups catering for the needs of the disabled and organizations set up in the local parishes to provide help to the disabled, the sick and elderly.
Campus Ministry at Kolbe draws its inspiration and orientation from the life and teachings of Jesus. Mary and Joseph raised him to care for others. This was the way of his Jewish faith. His ministry was founded on the command to love God totally. The people of Israel knew this law well. They called it the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). When Jesus was asked how to love God with all one’s heart, soul and strength, he told those who questioned him the story of the good Samaritan whose one concern was to help someone in need without counting the cost to himself. To love God is to be the good Samaritan.
The Church carries out the mission given to it by Jesus when it becomes the good Samaritan. It teaches by word and example that ministry means to think, feel and act like Jesus whose love of God and compassion is reflected in his concern for others. The Bishops of Western Australia place Catholic education in the context of this truth in their Mandate Letter (2009-2011) to the Western Australian community:
Through Catholic schools, we seek to foster a Christian mentality in our society, and to encourage young people to contribute more broadly to the development of the kind of world envisaged by Christ. One of the key tasks of the Catholic school is to form Christian men and women committed to the love, compassion and justice of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (para. 6).
Therefore, in keeping with the Church’s teaching about the purpose of Catholic education, our ministry is not just to those who form our campus and to the families of our students and staff. Our intention is to raise awareness of the needs of society and to seek ways of responding with love, compassion and justice in the spirit of Jesus that can become part of the life of our campus.
Weekday Masses are held in our chapel every week morning (except Monday) at 8.10am
At Kolbe Catholic College, we are committed to providing retreat experiences for every student in ways that reflect their development. We understand retreats to be times away from the normal school curriculum during which the participants reflect on their lives. They are invited to consider how faith in Christ could bring about changes in their lives.
Year 7 students participate in an Introductory Camp held in the first month of their school year. They are inducted into the life of the College and helped by peer support leaders and teachers to get to know their peers.
Students in Years 8, 9 and 10 participate in non-residential retreats, which focus on aspects of their lives that appear to be relevant to the particular Year group. Use is made of retreat teams, like the Disciples of Jesus Youth Mission Team, to facilitate reflection experiences on issues, such as self-esteem, from a Christian perspective.
The gift of Christian faith, which is given by God in Baptism, must be fed and nourished through prayer and worship, as well as through action. Therefore, prayer and liturgy form two important dimensions of College life.
Pastoral Care groups pray each morning. On Friday, the whole school gathers for prayer, which is based on the coming Sunday’s Gospel reading. These prayers reflect the themes of the liturgical cycle. They are prepared by a staff member and are often creative and interactive.
Our students are also taught the importance of formal prayer through the place it is given at the commencement of each school assembly.
The celebration of the Eucharist is the heart of the prayer of the College. In keeping with our focus on the Mass we have kept in mind the teachings of the Bishops of Western Australia communicated through the Mandate:
Jesus is present in liturgical celebrations – especially the Eucharist. Students need to be reminded frequently that it is Jesus himself who acts in his sacraments and liturgies of the Word, including their celebration in the Catholic school (para. 50).
With the support of the priests from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, St Bernadette’s Parish, Mother Teresa Parish Baldivis and St Vincent’s Parish, Mass is celebrated before school every Tuesday to Friday in the College Chapel. The Pastoral Care groups are rostered to prepare each morning Mass and to attend the Mass that they have prepared. Parishioners from the four parishes are invited to attend our morning Masses. On special occasions, such as the beginning of the school year and the celebration of the feast of our patron saint, Maximilian Kolbe, the whole school gathers for Mass.
Christian Service Learning (KolbeCare)
KolbeCare is the name given to the Christian Service Learning program that permeates our community. Its name is drawn from our local parishes community service groups LourdesCare, BernadetteCare and VincentCare and encourages students to be ‘other-centred’ by serving those in need. The story of our College highlights how the generosity of our students, has helped the environment, people in need and other areas of service within the local and wider community, all in the name of Jesus.
The Christian Service Learning program enables students to use and develop their talents in the service of others in the tradition of our patron saint, Maximilian Kolbe. From an early age, he learned to help others as an expression of his Christian faith. His was a life of service, which culminated in his final heroic act of laying down his life for a fellow prisoner in Auschwitz.
Students who participate in KolbeCare have the opportunity to practise actions that reflect love, compassion and justice from a Christian perspective. Reaching out to others through helping and promoting the Kingdom of God, they can discover more about themselves and learn about the important role they can play in our society. Students have the opportunity to reflect on the reasons for undertaking Christian Service Learning by completing a diary detailing their thoughts and actions.
It is hoped that students will be encouraged to participate fully, in the spirit of Jesus and of St Maximilian Kolbe, in the knowledge that they will be helping those who are less fortunate and will thereby reflect God in whose image they have been created.