2023, A Year of Blessings

There has been much to celebrate already this year. We were fortunate to begin 2023 together on campus, as opposed to some cohorts learning online, which is how the 2022 school year began. The past few years have delivered significant challenges to many communities and ours is no exception. But, in the spirit of courage, one of our Mercy Values, we move into the year ahead with hope and confidence that things can and will continue to improve.

We are recognising 2023 as the Year of Blessings at SAC.

Elizabeth Boylan, Faith and Mission Coordinator, says, “we have chosen to focus on blessings in our lives, which includes but is much more than gratitude. Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness but some of us have more for which to be grateful than others, and you cannot return something you have never received. Sadly, not everyone is a recipient of kindness.”

Henri Nouwen, Catholic priest, writer and theologian, said that “the act of blessing is one that affirms, touches the original goodness in another person, let’s another person know that they are beloved by God.”

When we can see the blessings around us, we can be a blessing to others.

Being a blessing to others is something that everyone at SAC can do. One simple and effective way for students to be a blessing to others is by participating in our new Mercy Matters program, which will be launched for students over the next few weeks.

Mercy Matters is a community service program that aims to encourage students to experience the personal growth and enrichment that flows from making a difference to those in need. Mercy Matters promotes works of Mercy as well as discussion and reflection on this experience.

As Mercy foundress, Catherine McAuley, observed, “The proof of love is deed” and the call to love is at the heart of our Christian faith and Mercy mission. Indeed, it is at the heart of our humanity.

All students from Year 7 to Year 9 will participate in Mercy Matters by immersing themselves in the varied justice and mercy initiatives accessible at SAC.

This program will help students to build connections with other students and staff as they practice the Mercy Values of justice, compassion, hospitality, respect, service and courage. In doing so, we know that our students will be a blessing to others, and we hope that they will feel joy for having done so.

Being a blessing to others, of course, extends beyond the Mercy Matters program at SAC. In this Year of Blessings, we reflect on the knowledge that people’s lives can be hard and present many challenges, and that we don’t always have a lot to be grateful for. It is in these times that the blessings of community and solidarity, which we strive to build at SAC, can sustain us.

We look forward to celebrating many blessings with you in 2023, and we wish you and your family a blessed year ahead.