According to Catholic calendar, September is a month dedicated to Our Mother of Sorrows, who has a special place in St Magdalene of Canossa’s heart.  To our Foundress, Our Mother, who exemplified hope and love at the foot of the Cross when Jesus was crucified, is the real foundress of Canossian Daughters of Charity. That’s why our school reopening mass pays tribute to Mother Mary. On September 15, Reverend Father Paul Kam expounded on Mother Mary’s mentality. That her heart-breaking experience has nurtured love and mission to keep the Church in her care, in return, the Church adores and respects her long-suffering example.  Likewise, Mother Teresa, who could not stand seeing the plight of the dying in Calcutta, overtook the mission to give them home and restore their dignity through service. Both women have gone the extra mile for the traumatized out of their empathy for their suffering.

In the sermon, Rev Father Paul invited us to be contemplative and reflective learners. It is hoped that what we see and experience shall ultimately evoke compassion and sensitivity to our family members, neighbours, schoolmates and everyone that comes our way.

In the Mass, we witnessed the commission of Catholic Society executive members, who pledged to serve the school with humility, love and service. Followed their declaration of commitment to be witnesses, teachers and students expressed their readiness to fulfill learning with passion and living with integrity.

 

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” Mother Teresa

The Head Girl Core Team, a student-elect and teacher-confirmed student body, is responsible for giving the school advice on school policies and measures.  This year, Yammy Yung has been appointed the Head Girl of the year.  In her speech, the versatile student leader expressed her gratitude for the recognition.  She put emphasis on the significance of joint effort. The Head Girl encouraged student leaders to take the initiative to implement the school theme, Learning with passion, Living with integrity. She further explicated growth in knowledge, maturity in moral values, development of talent and unleashing of one’s potential. In terms of integrity, Yammy related sound moral decisions with peer support.

On the auspicious occasion, we witnessed the installation of a number of student leaders: The Student Council-elect, Coalesce, the Head Prefect-elect and the deputies, the House Captains and their Deputies, the Head and the Deputies of Guidance Sisters, Career Prefects, Student Librarians, IT Prefects, Green Prefects, Ambassadors of Learning, Community Service Ambassadors, and class prefects.

The Visual Art Team, Art Club and school artists produced a video, which captured the process of making of a academic- year- theme-based backdrop for us. It has its inspiration from The Birth of Venus, a Sandro Botticelli masterpiece. The backdrop involved a multitude of thoughts, imagination, sketches, craftsmanship and labour. It is hoped that the project becomes a reminder for everyone that our College aims at grooming all-round youngsters who work with resilience.

‘Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.’

 

Vincent Van Gogh

To mark the commencement of this school year, Sr Ursula led an opening prayer offering ourselves in the care of God, the Creator and guidance. Sr Agnes, the School Superviser, greeted everyone with a blissful speech on gratitude, vitality of life and hope for another year of learning and growth.

Sr Veronica, the School Principal, introduced the new teachers, welcomed the S1 newcomers and everyone, as well as spoke of the school theme and major concerns. Shared the fundamentals of Catholic core values: life, family, love, truth, justice and Canossian humility, our College aims to achieve Learning with passion Living with integrity. In her welcome note to the audience, Sr Veronica put emphasis on the importance of formation of the heart.  She enunciated that it is important that we live what we proclaim, making an effort to respond to the challenges of the century with Catholic values, Canossian insights and readiness to connect with the world through sharing of our gifts and talents. The Principal added that it is necessary to find a purpose to learn, reflect on one’s learning and develop one’s sense of curiosity and perseverance during the pursuit. In terms of real integrity, Sr Veronica made a point that we have to reflect on events that we have been through and make better choices every now and then.

The Head Girl Core Group introduced thoughts of the designs of our Student Companion.  The designers aimed to invite schoolmates to establish healthy habits, deepen self-understanding and review one’s progress of work through the planner covers and activities. There is a full range of eye-opening landscapes, metaphoric images and thought-provoking ideas in the planner this year.

Followed the ceremony, two German language students introduced a new guest, PASCHi from Germany. It is part of a German-learning project, in which our school’s German language learners visit different classes with PASCHi and teach us some German phrases.

Miss Florence Kwok, the vice-principal, Miss Clara Ho and Mr Mo gave reminders and updates on scholarships, student assistance schemes, clubs and activities, timetable and discipline matters respectively. We sang our school song before the end of the official reopening ceremony.

It is never an easy task to be first-time students in a secondary school. One of the hurdles to leap over is for them to get used to the all-English environment and master new subjects. To ensure a smooth transition and enrich their summer holiday, we have tailor-made a summer bridging course to give our pre-S1 students a glimpse of secondary school life.

Throughout the ten-day programme, students had lessons on various subjects, allowing them to explore topics in Life and Society, Drama, Dance and many more. Not only did they get used to the new teaching style and the use of English in lessons, they also made friends with the new schoolmates. It took immense courage to free themselves out of their comfort zones and demonstrated enthusiasm inside and outside the classroom.

The drama performance surely marked a perfect end to the orientation. The students rewrote the ending of Hansel and Gretel with creativity and performed their own adaptation on stage. Each class showcased their talents in script-writing, props-making, acting and stage management. During the preparation, they learnt how to cooperate and communicate with one another. The experience also empowered them to take an initiative to find their own answers to questions, in addition to giving them a great sense of satisfaction and valuable friendship.

We wish our newcomers the best of luck in the future!

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