On 3 July, S1 and S2 put on carefully choreographed Chinese dances with the guidance of S3 experienced dance club members. The audience was fed with colourful shades of movements and captivating costumes. Part of competition was about headwear designs, and video production about behind-the-scene process. This way, students of different talents would be able to play a part in the class-based activity.

In the Open section, many senior forms students collaborated to express their messages through sophisticated physical movements and insightful use of space and stage.

This year, it is our pleasure to have Ms Luk Yan Mei, our alumna, our teacher, accomplished dancer and adjudicator of Hong Kong Schools Dance Festival. The inter-class dance competition aims at far more than expressions of beauty with aesthetic skills. According to Ms Luk, it is essentially an invitation for us to deepen our understanding of Chinese livelihood yet to be unearthed in the vast landscape with people of different religions, customs, languages and trades.

In the prize-giving part, Ms Luk, Sr Veronica, Ms Priscilla Kwok, Miss So Wing See and Miss Janet Wu presented prizes to winning classes and outstanding groups from the open section. Apart from Chinese dances marvelling at beauty of nature, some competing pieces had ecstasy about rainfall, blissful gatherings, fighting for shoes, or struggles for independence as their themes.

The Chinese Language Speech Festival is an eye-opener with idiomatic use of Chinese Language and solid tie to backgrounds of Chinese diplomatic relations in ancient China. The shrewd deployment of rhetoric skills in thawing tension, restoring one’ prowess, playing with one’s pride and fears enriched our understanding of heroic stories set in the Warring States period (476–221 BC). Excerpts from works of Lu Xun, a famous Chinese writer, shed light on absurdity of livelihood and hypocrisy of the landlords and fallacy of an abused servant. Another reading from Lung Ying-tai’s Mu Song, engaged us in the intriguing moments and grief of letting go one’s child and one’s quiet, long-suffering father. The drama of Three Kingdoms gave us an unsettling mood and revealed to us cheats and disguises were not uncommon in ancient times. The S3 took us to the neglected parts of Hong Kong with its videos and selected readings about local places, namely, Kennedy Town and Aberdeen, which have equally lost their uniqueness through the torrents of time. The selected readings depicted the squalid conditions of Hong Kong in the past, the hardships shared by most people, the toughness shared by women and men of little education and the simplicity of finding joy in small things. The S4 Chinese Literature class went exploring the history and development of Pokfulam Village, our neighbourhood, and gave an amusing account about neighbourliness. The Chinese Culture Club took students to Jao Tsung-I Academy. The visit enriched participants’ understanding about Han language, cultural development, calligraphy, use of strokes and brushes in handwriting and Chinese paper cut.

Class 1F enthralled the audience with their voice, pitch, pause and intonation as they told the Greek mythology about Orpheus and Eurydice. One of the winners of S2 storytelling competition told a story about how a girl rescued her stranded mother and drunken father from a raging fire, despite their abusive treatment. Another S2 winner called her coach the person she admired most. Her narrative drew us into her first-person reflection about the impact of a caring, friendly and sensitive coach on the young mind. The beauty of mentorship was made clear with her precision in language and fluency. The winner of S4 inter-class speech contest sustained our attention on relationships with her intriguing account of why she enjoys reading Harry Potter. Class 1F staged their winning piece in this year’s the Hong Kong Schools Speech festival with a poem addressing the rage and grief of the oppressed in the ancient China. Likewise, an S4 student presented an excerpt from the opening of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. The audience would clearly hear the frustrations the demoralised animals felt. Class 2D changed the mood while chanting in unison a Shakespearean piece with their mystic voice and skillful use of intonation.

Rev. Father Joseph Chan of St. Thomas the Apostle Church officiated at this year’s Thanksgiving Mass on 29 June, the Feast Day of two Apostles, St Peter and St Paul.

In his sermon, Rev Father Chan gave a concise account of the resemblance of the two church pillars, one of the Jews and another of the Gentiles. As apostles, both of them were called in person by Christ, disillusioned in the face of illusions about their life goals, struggles through rebellion, betrayal, sufferings, transformations, renewal and ultimately sacrificed their own ambitions and lives for Christ.

St Peter and St Paul’s lives have as much relevance to the S6 graduates as to everyone in the congregation, according to Rev Father Joseph.  Provided that we are willing, learning takes place throughout our life, as youngsters, as children, as siblings, as kin, as adults, as colleagues, as leaders, as parents, as grandparents, to name but a few.

The more reflective we are about how much we have understood Christ, whether we are sensitive enough to hear His calling and whether we are submissive to His biddings, the more true love, joy and peace we shall feel in us.

At the offering, class representatives and teacher led us to pray for the Church, priests, leaders, teachers, S6 graduates and students. To express their gratitude, the representatives from S6 classes presented a stage, backstage team, lighting, actors, microphones and curtains, each of which is symbolic of significant moment of their lives in Sacred Heart, the cradle of their growth.

The S6 graduates received blessings in humility from Rev Father Chan. Sr Veronica, our Principal, gave each one a bracelet with a pendant of Sacred Heart of Jesus, wishing our graduates deepening experience in His love.

After the mass, the S6 classes took turn to present their vote of thanks to the untiring guidance from the school, the teachers since their junior years, the technicians, the janitor, the clerical staff and friends in the junior form schoolmates. Their programmes essentially blended in snapshots of school life that has left an imprint on them.

Rev. Father Philip Chan, celebrant of this year’s Foundress Day Mass, evoked in us a sense of gratitude with his rich allegory: ‘on your birthday, mother, I rejoice!’ In a crisp sermon, Rev Chan reminded us that but for St Magdalena of Canossa, we would not have an opportunity to be educated.  St Magdalena responded in humility to the calling to follow a new path: to let herself be loved by Jesus Crucified, to belong to Him alone, in order to serve exclusively those least cared for.

Such is the spirit of many a Canossian graduate, who continuously commit themselves to living the Christian faith, of witnessing charity, in all walks of life. According to Rev Father Philip, there is no better way to celebrate Foundress Day than living life to the full and contemplating the breadth and depth of love from Jesus Crucified (Isaiah 58: 6-11); (Hebrews 2:5-11). He says that our life of love resembles a babyish step but then the sacrifice will certainly yield more generosity in society. More and more people will follow suit and make the impoverished, the displaced, the disillusioned see and feel their worth and dignity.

In the Eucharistic Celebration, student and teacher representatives took turn to intercede for the church, the world, our city, families, teachers and students at school. We prayed that in His Grace, the leaders, the Church, families, teachers and students would have the afflicted on the mind and commit their entire life to volunteer work

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