INTO THE WILDERNESS
Advent 2020 is especially poignant as we yearn both for an end to this harrowing year and for the coming of the Good News with the joy and hope Christmas brings. Mark’s Gospel, which is the Gospel for the Church’s Year B, is known for being blunt and somewhat abrupt. This Sunday’s very beginning (Mk 1:1-8) challenges our comfort and certainty. No Christmas nativity stories in Mark! Just straight into John the Baptist, the wild man living rough in the bush, urging us to get ourselves prepared for the coming of Jesus. That is precisely what Advent is about: penitential preparation and hopeful expectation.
We can feel the excitement pulsing! Christmas is just a few weeks away. School is ending, trees and lights and reindeers are dusted off, holiday plans are firmed up. For some Australians, that is all there is. Christians too are involved in present buying, family arrangements and holiday plans, but for us, Jesus is the “reason for the season.” We eagerly anticipate the reliving of God’s incarnation as that little baby over 2000 years ago. As preparation we heed John’s call and go with him a little into the wilderness, taking time out away from the hustle and bustle, the tinsel and glitz, where God can work on our hearts and we can reflect on what really matters.
In the wilderness, even if it is only five minutes of wilderness at the beginning or end or in the midst of our busy day, we can find the core simplicity of John the Baptist. We make our inner preparations for the Lord and we wait quietly, prayerfully, expectantly with John for the coming of the Lord.
Deacon Mark Kelly
2020 CHRISTMAS MASS TIMES
Christmas Eve Vigil Masses (Thursday 24th December)
5.30pm St Ignatius, Neerim South
6.00pm St Ita’s, Drouin
7.00pm Marist-Sion, Warragul
8.00pm St Ita’s, Drouin
9.00pm Marist-Sion Warragul
Christmas Day Masses (Friday 25th December)
8.30am St Ita’s, Drouin
9.00am St Joseph’s, Warragul
9.00am St Ignatius, Neerim South
10.30am St Ita’s, Drouin
11.00am St Joseph’s, Warragul
You must book to come to Christmas Masses subject to Covid-19 arrangements.
Go to https://www.trybooking.com/BNEHG
This will bring up the list of Masses.
Click on book now button and follow the prompts
Click on the Mass you wish to attend (please only choose one Mass)
Then click on the number of tickets required.
(Please note Children over 12 months need to have a ticket booked)
Then fill in your details.
Click on purchase ticket. TICKETS ARE FREE.
Make sure that you have completed the purchase of your ticket by checking your email confirmation. If you do not get an email confirming your ticket please contact the parish office.
(You don’t need to print or bring your ticket.)
Trybookings for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses will open from Monday 21st December.
If you have any issues please call Prue at the Parish office p: 5623 1642.
BOOKING FOR SUNDAY MASSES
While there is now no need to book in for weekday masses, it is still required to book in for Sunday masses.
To make this easier we are now offering on-line bookings.
For those who cannot do this it will still be possible to phone the parish and book in.
Go to https://www.trybooking.com/BMZOK
This will bring up the list of Masses.
Click on book now button and follow the prompts.
Click on the Mass you wish to attend (please only choose one Mass).
Then click on the number of tickets required. (Please note Children over 12 months need to have a ticket booked).
Then fill in your details.
Click on purchase ticket. TICKETS ARE FREE.
Make sure that you have completed the purchase of your ticket by checking your email confirmation. If you do not get an email confirming your ticket please contact the office. (You don’t need to print or bring your ticket.)
Warragul and Drouin Masses are strictly limited to 80 people and Neerim South 50 people.
You must book to come to Sunday Masses. Please do not just turn up, you must book.
If you need help, or have any questions please call Prue at the Parish Office on phone: 5623 1642 between 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday.
Understanding the Current Restrictions during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Dear parents and carers,
Last week the State Government announced the easing of Covid-19 restrictions to allow up to 150 people to attend indoor events at school and up to 300 people to attend school outdoor events. What the media outlets did not make clear was that in order to have 150 people in an indoor space requires St Ita’s to have a hall at least 3-4 times the size of the one we currently have.
I have had several parents contact me last week to let me know that whilst they understand the current Covid-19 restrictions, they are disappointed that they cannot be a part of their child’s Graduation on site.
The Department of Education and our employer DOSCEL have made it very clear that we need to make sure we are following the current Covid-19 restrictions and that we are providing a Covid-safe space to all in our learning community.
The weekly changes to Covid-19 restrictions have been extremely challenging in terms of planning end of year school events and functions. In relation to Grade 6 Graduation, we had to lock the format in 4 weeks ago and create a Covid-19 plan and risk assessments for all activities that we wanted to participate in during the day. Prior to this, we were in a situation where there would be no graduation at all.
GRADUATION ON SITE
What the Graduation onsite will look like for our Grade 6 students on Thursday 10th December;
- Presentation of Bible, Photo and Family Tree Leaf
- Grade 6 student performance with Jenny Adrichem
- Principal’s Graduation Speech
- Presentation of Student Awards
- Photo opportunity with our Graduation banner
- Morning Tea for Students
- Bus to Neerim South pool, hot chip lunch
- Return to school for normal pick up.
In line with the current Covid-19 expectations, we are now able to allow one parent from each family to attend the formal part of the Graduation Ceremony to be held in our school hall between 9.15am and 11.00am on Thursday 10th December. Each parent attending will need to sign in at the hall and wear a mask during the ceremony.
There will be a permission slip sent home this week for Graduation.
2021 FOUNDATION - PARENT SESSION
Due to changes with Covid-19 restrictions at school, I am pleased to announce that we are now able to invite one parent from each of our new 2021 Foundation families to come on site for an official meet and greet on Tuesday 8th December at 10.15am.
All new foundation students can be dropped off at the Drouin Rec Reserve for their final transition day between 9.15am-9.30am on Tuesday 8th December. Teachers will come and collect the new foundation students.
One parent from each family (no siblings please) will be able to return to St Ita's at 10.15am to meet in the Multi-Purpose Hall with School Principal, Andrew Osler and Teaching and Learning Leader, Rosie Van Den Broek for an official meet and greet.
Parents returning for the meet and greet at school can park at the Drouin Rec Reserve from 10.15am. Our School Captains will escort parents down to the school hall where they will be required to wear a mask whilst on site and be required to sign in via a Covid-19 register.
Once parents have finished the meet and greet session, they will be taken back to the Drouin Rec Reserve gate to meet and collect their child at 10.45am.
We have a number of our grade 6 students making their Confirmation this year. It has been a very different journey for them due to COVID 19. They have participated in Zoom information sessions and zoom workshops. These have been supplemented by their Confirmation unit of work in class.
To celebrate the ceremony there was only 4 people per family permitted in attendance.
A special 'thanks' needs to go to Therese Meggetto for all her hard work in ensuring we could go ahead with this very special Sacrament. Please keep these students and their families in your prayers.
Maddi Carbonneau, Remi Elton, Cody Welch, Harry Gargan, Harper Saddington, Jess Atherton, Jesse Jagoe, Jett Driscoll, Maisy Hickmott, Georgia Davidson and Lexie Pinnuck.
LAST DAY OF TERM
The last day of term 4 for all students will be on Wednesday 16th December at the normal finish time of 3.20pm. Buses will run at the normal time of 3.30pm.
TERM 1, 2021
Term 1 will commence for all students on Friday 29th January, 2021 at 8.50am. Next year we won't be conducting the student assessment days on the first two days of school therefore the first day of school for all students will be Friday.
School buses in the Drouin network will operate as of Friday 29th January.
Thursday 28th January is a school closure day for students and will be a RE planning day as well as a Teaching and Learning Planning day.
FAMILIES LEAVING THE ST ITA'S COMMUNITY IN 2020
If there are any families contemplating a move from St Ita’s in the 2020 school year it is important that we are informed of your intentions so places can be offered to families who are currently on waiting lists. Please contact our school Principal if you are considering a move on p: 5623 7222 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHRISTMAS IN A SHOE BOX - please order by Friday
The St Ita's & St Vinnies Drouin Christmas in a shoe box gift exchange inconjunction with Toyworld Warragul closes this Friday 4th December.
Please don't forget to return your green form to the school office, as we have a list of all the different age groups that St Vinnies require gifts for, for children in need in our local area this Christmas. This way we can provide you with an age group to donate a gift for so all these children receive an age-appropriate gift.
Please visit Toyworld Warragul in the next week, advise you are from St Ita's and are choosing a gift or are donating money to our wondeful local St Vinnies for those in need this Christmas. Please leave your gift with Toyworld Warragul as they are storing and delivering to St Vinnies to assist in keeping everyone COVID safe.
BOOK CLUB orders now closed for Term 4
Book Club orders are now closed for delivery to school this term.
The last day for school canteen lunch orders will be on Friday 11th December.
The school canteen will be closed as of Monday 14th December.
School finishes Wednesday 16th December.
2020 school fees are now due & payable. All school fees must be paid in full by the end of December. Please contact the school office this week should you need to discuss your 2020 school fee payment.
If any families would like to set up a weekly, fortnightly or monthly direct debit schedule for next year, please complete the Direct Debit Form below and return to the school office prior to 07 December 2020 for payments commencing in January or by Monday 1st February 2021 for payments commencing February 2021. Please calculate the total fees payable by the number of weeks/payments required. For any assistance please contact the school Admin office via email on: email@example.com
For any families that have recently received a Government means-tested health care concession card, please forward a copy of your card to the office to check your eligibility, as a fee concession may apply. The card must be in the name of the parent/fee payer for a fee concession to apply.
If your current Health Care card is due to expire this year and your card is re-issued, please send a copy of your new card details to the office as soon as possible for the concession to be checked and applied for next year's fees, if not already done so.
For any families impacted financially by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and/or have concerns about your financial situation regarding school fees, please contact Mr Andrew Osler on 5623 7222 during the hours of 9am-3pm Monday to Friday, or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org so that he can explore confidential financial support arrangements with you.
by Mrs Cath McKenna
There is no more borrowing from the school library this term. We ask that all books be returned promptly so we can begin stocktake.
Please make use of the local library instead and the fabulous online resources available to us all. Please check out the links below.
The students know how to locate books in our library, which transfers to any library in the world that use the Dewey Decimal System. Visiting a library and looking up books could be a great outing!
We have had a great term in the library !