The formal study of Religious Education is compulsory at Mount Lilydale Mercy College. Students in Years 7 - 10 undertake a program which reflects the Melbourne Archdiocesan Religious Education Framework, Coming to Know, Worship and Love. This program is supplemented by a number of Religious Education units developed locally to address particular areas more comprehensively.
At a VCE level, students have the opportunity to complete a sequence of VCE Religious Education units including Religious Education Units 1 – 4, Texts and Traditions Units 2, 3 & 4 and Philosophy Units 1 & 2.
Year 12 students are not required to undertake formal classroom based Religious Education, rather they complete a retreat at the start of the school year and a series of four Seminar Days on themes including Building Healthy Relationships, Social Justice, Wellness and Reflection, Contemplation and Hope.
Fully Human, Fully Alive
At Mount Lilydale Mercy College, the importance of holistic education is paramount. We believe that education is not simply knowledge rather it should include all domains of learning – cognitive, psychological, emotional, spiritual and physical.
The aim of the Fully Human Fully Alive program is to provide a comprehensive, sequential, cross-disciplinary Year 7 – 10 personal development, health and sexuality education based fundamentally in the Christian understanding of the dignity of the human person (Genesis 1:26). The title of the program reflects the Christian call to personhood – “I have come that you may have life and have it to the full”. It runs across five faculties in the College – Religious Education, Science, Health and Physical Education, English and Pastoral Care.
World Youth Day
In August of 2011 millions of young Catholic people from around the world converged on Madrid, Spain to celebrate World Youth Day. In 2008, Sydney was the venue for World Youth day when Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass for more than 500,000 pilgrims at Randwick racecourse. Six students from across Years 10, 11 & 12 undertook this pilgrimage accompanied by Ms Lucia Tabacchiera.
Hola! It seems like only yesterday that we were on Gran Via in Madrid, soaking up the sunshine and being immersed in the Spanish Culture!
We started the trip on a very long flight to Dublin. Here we were staying for one week, a couple of days of sightseeing and then the most important event the Young Mercy Leaders Formation Programme. The theme for the programme was ‘A journey undertaken in light of a story.’ It was a fitting theme as we reflected on the journey of Catherine McAuley and her story of Mercy. It then enabled the other delegates from around the world to talk about their story of Mercy and for some of us prepare for our journey as a pilgrim to World Youth Day.
The Formation programme had 143 participants from 25 schools. There were delegates from New Zealand, America, United States, Ireland and Australia. From Australia there were 22 students from nine Mercy Schools and five staff members, six students of the 22 were from Mount Lilydale Mercy College and me as one of the staff members. As a group we were immersed in the Mercy story of Catherine McAuley and the sisters who helped her achieve her vision. We also heard from some keynote speakers about Mercy in our lives today, the way in which Mercy connects to our school, our lives, locally and globally. This left the delegates thinking about how do we link with others in Mercy, beyond the local, in a significant way? Along with the breakout sessions of seeing Mercy in the world today, we were truly witness of a journey taken in light of a story. At the end of the Formation Programme the group of Young Mercy Leaders from Victoria committed to the following:
1. Telling the Mercy Story
2. Raising awareness of Mercy Issues
3. Undertaking Action in the area of Mercy and Justice
4. Making and enhancing Mercy connections
5. Greater ongoing communication between Mercy schools in Victoria and overseas.
The Young Mercy Leaders Programme was an event that was truly cherished and loved by the young Mercy students who attended. It was a great preparation session for our pilgrimage onto Spain.
World Youth Day 2011 in Spain, it was hot, there were millions of people in the city, we ate bread rolls every day with Spanish ham and we walked nonstop for kilometres but boy what an amazing experience! We started our journey in Spain at Avila, here we were able to see and celebrate Mass in the convent were St Theresa of Avila lived for thirty years. After Avila it was onto Madrid the capital of Spain. Our accommodation was right in the centre of the city which enabled us to be amongst the atmosphere and crowds of World Youth Day. After the gathering Mass for all Aussie Pilgrims and the arrival of the Pope it was down to business with catechesis in the morning and then activities in the afternoon. Some highlights, the Pope driving past our hotel on the Saturday Morning before the Pilgrim Vigil sleep out; the fire trucks going up and down the roadways to hose the pilgrims down to keep cool. The main highlight or challenge of our pilgrimage was the night of the vigil, wind, rain and snakes were all part of the night. When we heard reports the next morning of Hurricanes and buildings having fallen down, we were glad to see the sunshine again. After mass with the Pope we made our way make to the accommodation for some rest and a shower! The last two days of the pilgrimage was spent in Salamanca. This was a time of retreat and reflection of our experience and how we bring that back to our families, friends and school.
It was an absolute privilege to take these Young Mercy Leaders to Dublin and then lead them in Spain. They were outstanding young ladies and gentleman who made the most of their opportunities and immersed themselves in the atmosphere of World Youth Day.
Campus Director Barak - Wellbeing