Within Catholic ministry there are three approaches to charity and service:
Within the Religious Education program and the social action program at Mt Maria College we aim to provide students with the formation and opportunity to be involved in action at developmentally appropriate times.
The College Caritas group coordinates all the service and justice action projects for the college, with a senior group and a junior group:
Caritas – the Catholic overseas aid and development organisation
MAPS – Marist Asia Pacific Solidarity
Vinnies – St Vincent de Paul
Students can volunteer to be involved in working at the Ozanam House hostel for the homeless, at Rosies, Mates BBQ with the homeless, Street Retreat, Respite Care, Good Shepherd Trading Circle and other outreach programs including the option to be involved in Immersions.
Staff and students also have opportunities to work with other schools and organisations throughout the year in Catholic faith, spiritual formation and social action.
Retreats and reflection days are an integral part of the faith life of the Mt Maria College community. The programme for our students begins in Year 7, and continues at each year level through to Year 12.
Year 7 reflection day – forming Community
Year 8 reflection day – forming Community
Year 9 reflection day – who am I becoming? (male students – becoming a bloke, female students – beyond the mascara)
Year 10 reflection day – how do we relate to one another?
Year 11 reflection day – Following Jesus – the call to serve one another
Year 12 retreats – Living simply – (house groups over two days throughout the year)
A Chance to Share retreat
Eucharist is at the centre of our lives. It is far more than the ritual or the sacrament.
Living Eucharistically describes the process that underpins the spiritual life and our engagement in mission: gathered, blessed, broken and shared.
When we gather to celebrate this gift of Jesus we are in communion with all people, especially poor people, and with all creation.
Nurtured, we feel impelled to go out as the “body of Christ” to celebrate and continue to build God’s Kingdom.
(Marist Spirituality document Water from the Rock)
The Religion Programme that extends beyond the classroom has a central role in giving tone to the whole educational experience the College is able to provide. The qualities that should be characteristic of the whole school community find their roots in the aims and objectives of this programme. If we can genuinely claim to offer an alternative education experience we have to make it clear that the fundamental reason for all our work is the stand we have taken for Jesus and the Gospel Message.
The College community gathers for reflection and prayer each week in Year Level and College Assemblies. Daily prayer is encouraged in Homeroom groups and the opportunity to join in quiet prayer with staff and students before the school day begins is offered regularly.
There is also a day of reflection or retreat for each year level. This challenges the students to bring Christian values into all aspects of both their personal and College life.
On a number of special occasions the College community gathers for liturgical celebrations:
Champagnat Day – feast day of the Marcellin Champagnat, founder of the Marist Brothers – our college feast day – whole school community celebration
Year 7 Mass, Year 8 Mass, Year 9 Mass, Year 10 Mass, Year 11 and 12 Mass
Graduation Mass – whole school community celebration
Opening of school year
Feast of the Assumption
At the beginning of classes
At the beginning of the school day
RE classes organise and lead the college in prayer at each assembly
The name Mt Maria reminds us that Mary is a special patron of the College and devotion to and the example of Mary is brought into many of our celebrations.
Education in Religion at the College is more than the planned lessons that occupy our core programmes. It includes the whole moral thrust and growth in community which the College espouses. It is nourished by the celebration of Eucharist and various opportunities for prayer and reflection within the College, and, most importantly, it is inspired by the daily attempts of teachers to act with justice, respond with care, and minister to the needs of students.
© Brisbane Catholic Education, Mt Maria College, Mitchelton (2023)