Between 2 and 8 May, we reserved a week to immerse ourselves in the vision and work of St Magdalena of Canossa, foundress of the Canossian Family of Daughters and Sons of Charity.  The Catholic Society arranged a series of thoughtful workshops and activities on making gifts for mothers and contemplating on the impact of a small act of kindness.

On the eighth, the feast day of St Magdalene, Sr Agnes, the School Supervisor, marked the beginning of the celebration with the theme of the year, Salt of the Earth  Light of the World.  She made it clear that it is a choice to be a changing agent.  She borrowed many examples in our daily life when a small act of kindness would warm a heart.  She cautioned us against leading a complacent life, that many inventors and social reformers were years ahead of their time in realising the importance of an idea.  St Magdalena of Canossa, likewise, was no exception to this. Her initiative to reach out for the stray kids despite her prestigious status and family reputation gave ‘spiritual life’ a different definition from that of similar convents and monasteries of her time.

In the afternoon, we had a mass celebrating the gift bestowed on us through St Magdalena and her charities. Rev. Father Philip Chan, the celebrant of the mass, threw a list of did-you-know questions at the audience. Did you know in which year St Magdalena was born and rest in peace? Did you know in which year she was canonized? Did you know which verses Pope John Paul II choose on October 2, 1988 for her canonization? Some of the answers were on the programme of the mass.

Rev. Father Chan called for our awareness of the spirit of sacrifice and devotion to serve the destitute within our reach.  He appealed to our keeping big hearts even after graduation.  In the end of the sermon, Rev. Father Philip bade us witness Jesus together with peace-loving nature and compassion.

The students responded in the mass with bottles of salt symbolising salt of the Earth and candles symbolising light of the world. We prayed in unison for the devastated in war-torn places and refugee camps, leaders who would restore dignity to their people with compassion and integrity, relief work and selfless workers who devote their lives for the victims, families in which members look after each other, the newly baptized who would pursue a spiritual life, teachers and students who seek the meaning of life and follow Jesus.

On 21 April, we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus at the college hall.  The programme shed light on our calling to be the salt of the Earth and light of the world.

There was a video on the parable of the salt and the light, revealing the truth about being seen as Jesus’ disciples. We were reminded that the true spirit of Easter is all about a renewal of our awareness as true witnesses of Jesus through our small acts of kindness.  It is believed that small steps would bring ultimate change.

To illustrate this, our school invited Mr Copperfield, a magician volunteer who has engaged himself in sharing the gospel with children, youths and the public through magic shows since 2007. The enthusiastic magician aims to establish a volunteer group with strong interest in magic and empower them with the confidence to spread the gospel. The fascinating magician demonstrated a few tricks connected to redemption, hope and renewal.

The programme finished with devotions.  We said prayer and sang Pass it on in response to what we have learnt from Mr Copperfield.

On 3-4 March, Wanderlust, a Student Council and PTA collaborated fun fair, offered our students an opportunity to engage into various types of creative, problem-solving projects. We are delighted to have representatives from PTA, AA and Sr Veronica to officiate at the opening ceremony. The campus was divided into atmosphere, ocean, jungle, desert and Antarctica and galaxy, zones connected to the idea of travelling space.

Similar to the previous year, our S2 classes arranged amusing games on cross-cultural customs and traditions and their innovations, including those of Italian, Belgian, Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian latest developments. Some science-oriented students investigated into the know-how making a robot perform interesting tasks, be it pinching balloons or moving around in a maze. It was an engaging event, drawing the audience’s attention to the possibility of putting simple make-shift electronic parts together and writing programmes that realise the dream of the project groups.

In the auditorium, our drama club produced their original English play, Up to the Ocean, a portrayal of human conditions in a dystopian setting. It features themes of alienation from nature, fears, thirst for the truth and beauty of humanity.

Apart from problem-solving, the fun fair releases space for talents to demonstrate their artistic talents, from hand paints, hip-hop, singing performance, as well as special guest of singing contest.  A series of luck draws throughout the day has added to a festive atmosphere.

At the playground, the S3 social entrepreneurship project groups, SHE Challenge, introduced what social enterprising is and the uniqueness of their own products. The SHE Challenge is a meaningful project that allows students to be an agent of social change and raise funds and public awareness for local NGOs.

The Parent-Teacher Association, Alumnae Association, Student Council, various clubs and teams, uniform groups, teacher advisers, PTA and AA volunteers, janitor staff have collaborated and worked round-the-clock to make things happen. We are equally grateful for the school photographers who captured this special occasion for us. A big thank you for your commitments!

This year’s Global Awareness Week, organised by the Ambassador of Learning and Gifted Education Team, lasted from 6 February to 10 February. It was an activity-packed week of awareness-raising games, photo-shooting event, music broadcast, dodgeball competition and global village. Our overseas guests also joined us in the classrooms. Through the class time, students were able to have close contact with guests who speak another language. It was a lot of fun listening to ethnic stories and core values, gender roles, simple greetings used in India, Germany, Australia, Somalia, Singapore, Japan, the States and more.

At lunch, the game booth in the playground allowed students to identify faces, customs, signs and important festivals associated with an ethnic group. Our guests put on hilarious faces in front of their own photo booths, inviting students to share a snapshot with them. Some students listened to Singaporean, Korean, and American songs broadcast from World Radio. The nerve-wracking dodgeball competition on Thursday between our school team and guest team attracted a big audience. Everyone was absorbed in the event.  On the last day the playground was turned into a global village with colourful snacks such as, Malaysian chips and red bean cakes. It was a special day in which some Korean students spent a day with our S5 classmates to have a taste of local school life.

There is no doubt that ethnic stories, ethnic food, ethnic costumes, pop music and ball games offer a natural opportunity for strangers to break the ice and mix.  The Global Awareness Week fosters an interest in new faces and facilitate communication through personal experiences. Each ethnic group is unique in its own way, thus deserves much respect and learning from each other.

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