Walking in Dominican footsteps

Rose McAllister attended San Clemente High School, Mayfield, from Years 7-10 but it was not until she returned as a teacher that her interest in the charism of the Dominican Order was ignited. 

 Rose is passionate about understanding the Dominican identity.  She is a Dominican Associate and meets monthly with others who share the spirit of Dominic.

The Dominican motto is Veritas truth. Rose describes truth as “unique to individuals and a real sense of respect for, and understanding of, others.  The motto of truth is not one way of thinking or being. Acceptance of truth makes the world a more harmonious place.  Dominic’s truth was to get back to the bare bones of what Jesus was like by treating everyone with respect and dignity no matter who they were.” 

This year marks San Clemente’s centenary. Rose feels that the Dominican Sisters left a strong foundation of truth.  She acknowledges that each generation of the diverse community is different but each carries on the charism of Dominic. Rose is proud that students can recite the Dominican blessing.  

In 2016 Rose participated in a pilgrimage to ‘the lands of Dominic’ Spain, France and Italy. The final unit of her Masters in Theology explored Dominican spirituality and the pilgrimage spurred her to strengthen the Dominican character of San Clemente. 

As Religious Education Co-ordinator, Rose discerns a strong link between curriculum and faith life and she believes that the work of the school’s ministry team is Catholic education in action.  Rose is immersed in the culture of the school, chairing the Student Representative Council and leading initiatives such as Caritas’ Project Compassion and Catholic Mission events. 

Rose initiated “Globally Called”, linking a Lenten justice unit with a HSIE globalisation unit.  Students focused on a project to raise money for Project Compassion as well as researching the underlying issues. The students became Caritas ambassadors and Rose presented the initiative at a Caritas Conference.

Rose chaired the school’s Centenary Committee which invited former students to visit the school to share their memories and to attend a Black and White Ball and an open day, including a celebratory Mass.

Prior to her teaching degree, Rose studied art.  Eight years ago she initiated a biennial community art exhibition, “Veritas” because she believes art and religion are connected; “Both are ways to interpret beliefs and make meaning.” 

Rose sculpted statues of St Dominic for St Columban’s Primary (also celebrating its centenary) and San Clemente.  She commissioned an artistic representation of the pillars of Dominican life: community, service, prayer and study.

Sometimes inspiration for art and prayer and sacramental moments arise when Rose rides pillion with her husband on their motorbike. “Once you get over the fear factor, there’s an opportunity to think, stop and look.”  

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