From the Assistant Principals
Posted: 27-Nov-2019

Plenary Council 2020

 A Church that is “Inclusive, participatory and synodal”

Synodal: adj. a church that uses a consultative assembly process to decide on church affairs.

In October 2020, the Catholic Church in Australia will gather for the first Plenary Council to be held since the second Vatican Council. Six National Themes for Discernment inspired by the data or the first consultation call us toward the future. As we move into this second stage of preparation for the Plenary Council, we continue to seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit as we consider each of the six themes.

In newsletters we are be exploring something of each of these themes. This week we are considering how God is calling the People of God to be a Christ-centred Church in Australia that is “Inclusive, participatory and synodal.” The fruits of what is discerned during this time will help shape the agenda of the first session of Plenary Council in October 2020

Here are some questions drawn from the snapshot report for this theme.

“Our parish clergy are overworked, stressed

and stretched beyond reasonable limits. Moving

beyond strategies of parish amalgamation and

closure, what other options will we explore? By

that I mean the non-ordained’s role in making

pastoral decisions?       

“How can a more synodal approach to

leadership in the Church at parish and

diocesan levels be exercised as a shared

responsibility, by virtue of Baptism, between

both lay and clergy?

How does the Church law allow for inclusion of

all peoples? Do we need to adapt these laws to a

changing world?

 “How is the Church able to respond to the

diversity of our community to be inclusive of

all – Indigenous/First Nations, environmental

protection, gay rights?  



“Why has the hierarchy failed to publicise the

good works undertaken by our schools,

hospitals, refugee support, etc?

How can we better nourish and support the

spiritual life of adult lay people? ”

How would you respond?

Damascus College staff will be engaged in the discernment at a forthcoming staff meeting.

Written by Mr. Tony Haintz - Assistant Principal Catholic School Culture


Peer Support Training

Last week, under the guidance of SRC Leader Ms. Jayde Tangey and St Martin Assistant House Leader Mrs. Karen Goonan, over 40 Year 10 students completed their peer support training. This two day course is aimed at preparing a group of  students to assist the 2020 Year 7 students into their transition to Damascus College.

At Damascus College we understand that the transition to secondary school can create a mixture of feelings and raise many questions from Year 7 students. We believe there is no better way to ease these emotions and answer those questions than to hear from and meet with Year 10 students who have successfully undertaken the journey Year 7 students are about to commence.

The Peer Support Program is designed to develop physical, social and mental wellbeing. A small group of Year 7 students are paired with two or three Year 10 students who are selected as Peer Support Leaders. They will commence their role in supporting year 7 students at Orientation day next week.

On a regular basis throughout term 1, Peer Support Leaders meet with their group of Year 7 students. The Peer Support Leaders provide activities and facilitate discussions that assist Year 7 students to develop skills that will provide a smooth transition and promote success throughout secondary school. Throughout the program Year 7 students are supported in the areas of responsible social media use, positive and respectful relationships, school engagement and general school concerns that students might have.

The Peer Support Program creates a safer and happier school environment where our Year 7 students are made to feel welcome in our  College from day 1. I thank our Year 10 students for giving up a pupil free day to take up the training and for Karen and Jayde in engaging them in a dynamic and professional training program.

Written by My. Andrew Robertson - Assistant Principal Student Wellbeing

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