Faith Development

At Damascus College our Catholic heritage and traditions are highly valued and we encourage active participation in the life, prayer and ritual of the Catholic Church. Based on the teachings of the Church and the inspiration of Jesus Christ, we endeavour to foster relationships centred around respect, responsibility, honesty, truth and inclusion between all members of the College and broader communities. At the College we endeavour to enrich the lives of our students through our Catholic identity and share with them the story of Catherine McAuley and what it means to be part of the Mercy community.

 

Retreats & Reflection Days

The Retreat and Reflection Day program provides students with an opportunity to reflect on the focus of their life in a setting beyond the confines of the day to day life of the school. These times form an integral part of the experience at Damascus College and present no extra cost to the family. It is expected that all students will take up the important opportunity. Staff members from Damascus College conduct the experiences.

Year 7 Reflection Day: Stations of the Cross

The story of Jesus’ of Nazareth’s death and resurrection, the Easter Event, is the greatest story of Christian faith. The Year 7 reflection days are placed toward the end of first term and focus on the final week of Lent and the Triduum (Three Holy Days) with an emphasis on the Stations of the Cross.

Year 8 Reflection Day: Social Justice

In one of the world’s richest nations, why does poverty continue to exist? Placed in the week of their camp in Term 2, the Year 8 reflection day challenges participants to move beyond stereotypes of why people are poor to consider the root causes of poverty. Students work in groups to build a “wall of poverty” with bricks representing the structural barriers that prevent the poor from realizing their full human potential. They then reflect on ways they can work with the poor to help break down those social structures.

Year 9 Reflection Day:  Gospel

The gospel is the good news, the chief source of our faith in Jesus the Christ, the revelation of God, for us. In the fourth term Year 9 reflection days, the synoptic gospel narrative (Year A Matthew; Year B Mark; Year C Luke) becomes the focus. In the lead up to the day students are required to analyse and appreciate the context, content, structure, purpose and audience of the synoptic gospel of the current liturgical year. On the day an imaginative involvement in the text that makes connections between scripture and life and prayer brings the gospel to life.

Year 10 Retreat, CPDA and the Corporal Works of Mercy

An overnight experience, these retreats are conducted in two groups: one in first semester and the other in second semester. These are a part of the Introduction to the Christian Personal Development Award (CPDA) and introduce the students to the Corporal Works of Mercy.

Year 11 Retreat: Spirituality

An overnight experience, these retreats are planned for third term. All students go out for two days and one night to retreat venues in and around Ballarat. There is a sense of student choice between different styles of retreat: Personally Reflective, Activity Based, Personal Relationships and Social Justice.

Year 12 Retreat: The Beatitudes

A three day retreat experience held at Anglesea in the first week of year 12. Traditionally, the program is based on the small group approach that focuses on the Beatitudes.

Liturgies

Damascus College has a proud tradition of celebrating the liturgy within the daily life of the school. Our liturgies reflect both the faith of our Catholic tradition and the spirituality of our students through a process of collaboration and active participation.

 

Students have the opportunity to assist in the preparation of liturgies for occasions such as the Opening Mass, Year Level Masses, Holy Week & Easter, Anzac Day, Damascus Day Mass, House Days, End of Year Ceremonies and Graduation.