Two years ago, the staff of St Benedict’s visited Mary MacKillop Place in North Sydney for a Faith Formation Day.
As a Josephite school this special venue helped to connect the school with their faith heritage. Whilst at Mary MacKillop Place, staff heard of the history of the Sisters of St Joseph and the beautiful story behind their formation.
During the first session, we learnt of the charisms of the Josephite sisters, and our Principal Mark Hornby-Howell jotted down some of the charisms that reflected what the school community of St Benedict’s try to live out on a daily basis. It was at this time that St Benedict’s Charism Project was born.
On our return to school, staff discussed how we would like to physically represent these charisms around the school grounds as a reminder of our connection to Mary MacKillop and the Sisters of St Joseph.
After lengthy discussions with our then Parish Priest, Father Peter Rees, and the Parish Pastoral Council, it was decided to name our school chapel ‘St Mary of the Cross Chapel’.
Outside the chapel we created the Charism Garden. In this garden we planted the Mackillop rose and placed stepping stones with the words love, courage, compassion, empowerment, honesty, action and faith on them.
These same words are also displayed on the wall of the school hall as a visual reminder of the MacKillop charisms that we at St Benedict’s attempt to follow.
It has been a project that has taken many hours of discussion, thought and prayer but, we are very happy with the final project and how it reflects the faith life of our school.