|Faith and Mission Coordinator|
OLMC students are assisted to grow in relationship with God, develop a relevant and life-affirming spirituality, and recognise a purpose in life and hope for their futures. Such aspirations are realised not just through Religious Education (RE) programs but in experiences that students have in all areas of College life.
Mr Shane Taylor, Faith and Mission Coordinator, oversees all aspects of our vision and programs for Mission, Faith and Religious Education.
Religious Education Curriculum
Religious Education is a compulsory subject at OLMC for Years 7–10 students, with the curriculum structured around five content strands:
- The Scriptures
- The beliefs and practices of the Catholic tradition
- Catholic social and moral teachings
- Justice issues
- Other religions.
The curriculum is taught by teachers who have the necessary accreditation to teach RE and is delivered in accordance with program guidelines issued by the Archdiocese of Melbourne. The RE curriculum endeavours to be:
- Intellectually and morally challenging, in accordance with students’ ages and levels of maturity
- Supportive of students in relating questions and issues of faith to real-life situations and experiences
- Respectful of parents as the prime educators of their daughter’s faith formation.
Students in Year 11 and 12 will continue to study Religious Education and have access to 2 VCE studies – Religion and Society (incorporating an accompanying unit on ‘Ethics’) and Texts and Traditions. The curriculum is developed in accordance with guidelines of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.
As a Catholic school in the Mercy tradition, OLMC’s Religious Education curriculum is also informed and illuminated by the Mercy story and by the College’s mission, vision and values. Teaching and learning give special emphasis to the values of Justice, Compassion, Courage and Joy. A key objective is to ‘empower girls to become women of courage who will creatively participate in realising God’s vision of mercy and justice for all’.
Retreats, Liturgy and Meditation
At all year levels, students at OLMC have daily experience of prayer, both as participants and as facilitators of group/class liturgies. Senior students participate in reflection days or retreat programs and all students participate in Eucharistic liturgies throughout the year.
Over several years the College has been developing and extending its ‘reflective spaces’ in various areas of the campus. These places of quiet contemplation are assisting students as they seek God active and present and encouraging an appreciation for tranquillity and spiritual nourishment.
Social Justice and Outreach
As Mercy people, we are challenged to be God’s face of mercy, especially for those who suffer, as lived by Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy. We continue to listen and respond to the needs of those around us. At OLMC we are privileged to have many opportunities to experience social justice and compassion through involvement in local community-based outreach initiatives such as the Broadmeadows Detention Centre, the St Pius Parish Reading Club and the Exodus Community in Heidelberg.
There is whole-school involvement in Refugee Week, Reconciliation Week, as well as fundraising for Caritas’ Project Compassion.
At OLMC, prayer, social action and fundraising are practical expressions of our concern for local and global social justice issues. As a Catholic school, our fundraising and acts of solidarity are grounded in the life and teachings of Jesus, the values of the Gospel, the principles of Catholic social teaching and the College values of justice, compassion, justice and joy. As a Mercy school, we give particular emphasis to Mercy in action and assign high priority to projects that are sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy here in Australia and overseas.
Faith and Mission Immersion Experiences
Immersions are valuable educational experiences that give expression to the College’s mission, vision and values. We invite our students to explore and respond to the needs of our local and global communities using the lens and charism of Mercy as a way to move into action in contemporary society. The COVID-19 pandemic has suspended many opportunities. However, we will continue to explore and create safe ways for our students to be the face of Mercy for others, as together we work towards the building of God’s kingdom.