Good Samaritan Education Mission Leaders Conference

May 6, 2013

Good Samaritan Education Mission Leaders Conference – March, 2013

In March of this year, mission leaders from the ten Good Samaritan colleges met for two days at the Mt. St. Benedict Centre to further our understanding of liturgy. Our facilitator, Sr. Elizabeth Brennan SGS, urged us to ‘keep it simple’, to use symbols, music, actions and rituals in clear and dramatic ways which encourage our communities to move to a ‘place of revelation’. The conference participants share a constant challenge to provide opportunities for everyone in their schools to encounter God, to make meaning of life experiences and to ‘climb over into a world beyond’.  We are conscious of our students who have limited experience of formal liturgy and we acknowledge that we live in a world that often values only the literal and rational. And yet, we know that the space for ritual, prayer and reflection is vital to our mission as Catholic schools.

So our times of learning, of corporate prayer, of sharing ideas with one another encouraged us to view ourselves within the wider Good Samaritan community and to return to our own schools invigorated, inspired and armed with some good resources. We looked at ways in which we could use traditional rituals and explored ways to promote more connection and contemplation in our school liturgies.

As a newcomer to Good Samaritan Education, I was struck by the friendly collegiality and warm welcome – a sure sign of the Benedictine value of hospitality. The beautiful Mt. St. Benedict Centre is a wonderful place for these meetings and I am grateful to Mission Team leaders Sr. Meg and to Monica for their organisation, welcome and good humour and to Sr. Elizabeth who shared her extensive knowledge and experience so generously.

The days were very practical and yet gave us the gift of space and time to nourish us as leaders in Good Samaritan Education.

Lisa McLean

Mater Christi College, Belgrave