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Mission Week 2023

Mission Week 30th January - 3rd February 2023

As a school community we have just celebrated our Mission Week.  This was a special time for us to reflect on God’s calling to each of us and what we mean when we say in our school mission statement: "Thornleigh Salesian College is a community rooted in faith in Jesus". 

Our week commenced with launch assemblies for the whole school in the chapel, mapping out the whole programme, and to explore the theme, 'Growing together in Christ's love.' Messages shared at the assemblies by Fr Gerry and Fr Saju, focused on rooting ourselves on Christ, reflecting on the Parable of the Sower. The focal point of the week was the willow tree sculpture which was created by our students.

Throughout the week we were delighted to welcome visitors who were able to share their special work and calling us to be rooted in Christ. The week unfolded with various programmes planned for the week, which this year incorporated the celebration of the feast of St John Bosco. CAFOD started off the week with sessions for Year 7 and 8, exploring key themes of Catholic Social Teaching. Whysup gave inputs during the week to other students and helped us to root ourselves strongly on the ground, as Don Bosco said, “walk with your feet on earth, but your heart set on heaven”.

31st January is a special day in the life of the Thornleigh community for the past 98 years. It is the feast of St John Bosco, our patron. The day had numerous activities, and the atmosphere around the school felt just like a day in the “oratory” (a place of fun and learning with activities) of Don Bosco. Sixth formers had a wellbeing day, while Year 11 enjoyed an outing to Trafford Centre! In the meantime, Years 7 to 10 spent the whole day with many fun-filled activities, and also spent time in prayer during form time. Highlights were the Big Sing, circus skills, silent disco, team games, art, a quiz and so much more! The younger students were heard asking at the end of the day, "when is the next Don Bosco day?!"

Our week culminated in a special celebration assembly on the continued theme of Growing together in Christ’s love. The whole school gathered in the sports hall to mark the end of the Mission Week. The service featured drama, dance, music, messages, and moments of prayer. A specially-created drama focused on how we can be a community rooted in Christ, and can appreciate life from a renewed perspective. Dancers invited to us keep on focusing on the “tree” which is rooted, growing and producing many fruits. Our newly-ordained deacon, Brother Steven, shared a short message, inspired by the Parable of the Mustard Seed, of how we grow from a tiny seed to a mighty tree and reminded all of us, “we are loved by God, as we are ''.

The keynote speakers were the Mizen family - Margaret and Barry Mizen shared with us their inspirational story of how their family responded to the tragic killing of their son, Jimmy, in 2008. They made us realise that compassion, service, and gratitude grows and get rooted only when we welcome forgiveness into all aspects of our lives. The life and reality of pain and loss touched our young people to be people who are forgiving, compassionate, at the service of others.

The whole assembly came to the finale with a special moment of stillness and silence – Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction. The silence, the reverence and respect were a powerful expression of a community which is rooted in faith. The period of silence concluded with benediction from Deacon Steven and the whole assembly broke into joyful singing and praise.

Mission Week has given our whole school community the chance to renew our committment to being a community rooted in faith, compassion and forgiveness, which reaches out in service and gratitude. With Don Bosco as our inspiration and guide, may we continue to grow together in Christ's love, to be the community we are called to be!

See some photos of the Mission Week activities: