Both of them conducted Ash Wednesday services that included the placing of the sign of the cross in ashes on the forehead of each staff member and student. Lenten paraliturgies and Masses on the theme of Lent will take place regularly, and there will be final Holy Week ceremonies before the College recess for Easter.
The College Newsletter of Villanova College at Coorparoo in Brisbane focused on Lent as a time of self-sacrifice, almsgiving and increased involvement in social justice.
As one focus of social justice awareness this Lent, in the person of some Year Nine students the College has joined the program called Food for Life that is being promoted by the Archbishop of Brisbane. These students have pledged to lead a campaign to help all Villanova students understand better why so many people around the world do not have a sustainable source of food. These students were commissioned in this role by the Archbishop at Brisbane’s Cathedral.
Senior school students in the Society of St Vincent de Paul are collecting foodstuffs at Villanova suitable for Easter hampers, (see photo at above right). These will be distributed by volunteers to families in need. The traditional Project Compassion donation boxes have also been distributed to every Villanova family.
The College Newsletter of St Augustine’s College Sydney explained Lent thus:
The word ‘Lent’ means lengthen and refers to the season when daylight hours become longer in the Northern Hemisphere. There Lent heralds the arrival of spring. It celebrates life emerging from darkness. In the Southern Hemisphere, Lent marks the beginning of autumn. It is the season where the trees lose their leaves and begin to plant roots deep in the soil. During Lent, we too, are encouraged to let go of unnecessary layers and look deeply at what sustains us. It is a time to look beyond ‘what I can give up’ but rather to see ‘what I can be’. It requires us to look more deeply into ourselves and our own practices to help us love and serve God, and others, better. .
As its almsgiving focus for Lent the College continues to support the Friendship Cottage at TMMR Orphanage, Philippines that is conducted not far from Manila by the Augustinian Sisters of the Mother of Consolation (see photos below). The College Newsletter explained, “As a part of our ongoing commitment to the TMMR Augustinian Orphanage in the Philippines, we were delighted to be able to forward funds, which were raised by the students through the 2014 Lenten Appeal and Walkathon, to the Augustinian Sisters of Consolation late last year. These funds enabled the Sisters to extend and refurbish Friendship Cottage – a house built by previous St Augustine’s College staff and students.”
The College websites are:
Villanova - www.vnc.qld.edu.au and St Augustine’s – www.saintaug.nsw.edu.au