Director of Mission

Director of Mission

Athena Costopoulos


Finding the Sacred in the Ordinary – Everything Is Connected

As we slowly resume ‘normality’ let us reflect on the year so far. Severe weather events, bushfires and a worldwide pandemic have devastated the planet.  Nightly, we take in the jagged graphs that represent the faceless loss of lives and jobs. We yearn for hugs from friends, and although laughter and chatter has returned to our campus, many of our friends are still not able to be here. Through our grief and uncertainty, we find new and innovative ways to connect. We revel in the activities that we once took for granted. Grocery shopping is now an outing! We walk The Strand, soaking in the sun, smiles and hellos from strangers. Family time is all the time. Life has slowed down. We find the sacred in the ordinary.

Last week we acknowledged the anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical On Care For Our Common Home. The theme of Laudato Si Week this year was “everything is connected” – a sentiment that has touched us all during this difficult time. During the week, staff and students renewed their commitment to caring for the planet, as we grow through the crisis of the current moment by praying, reflecting, and preparing together for a better world to come tomorrow.

As we ready ourselves for Pentecost, we again contemplate our connectedness to all humanity. Whilst the apostles huddled together, afraid and mourning the loss of Jesus, they received a great gift from the Holy Spirit. As they shared the Good News, they were able to be understood by all nationalities. We have also been given that gift. Our common language is love. Let us continue to demonstrate that love for all through our words and actions.

National Reconciliation Week May 27- June 3

The 2020 National Reconciliation Week marks twenty years of shaping Australia’s journey towards a more just, equitable and reconciled nation.  During this week the College highlighted a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff who shared with us what National Reconciliation Week means to them. St Patrick’s College Townsville staff, students and families are committed to reconciliation today and always.


Prayer For Reconciliation

Holy Father, God of Love, You are the creator of this land and of all good things.

We acknowledge the pain and shame of our history and the suffering of our peoples –

especially the grief of those who were taken as children from their homes and families,

taken from all they knew and loved.

We ask your forgiveness.

We thank you for the survival of Indigenous cultures.

Our hope is in you because you gave your son Jesus to reconcile the world to you.

We pray for your strength and grace to forgive,

accept and love one another as you love,

forgive and accept us.

Give us the courage to acknowledge the realities of our history so that we may build a better future for our nation.

Teach us to respect all cultures.

Teach us to care for our land and waters.

Help us to share justly the resources of this land.

Help us to bring about spiritual and social change to improve the quality of life for all groups in our communities,

especially the disadvantaged.

Help young people to find true dignity and self-esteem in the ways of your Spirit.

May your power and love be the foundations on which we build our families,

our communities and our nation.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Adapted from a Prayer prepared by Wontulp Bi-Buya Indigenous Theology Working Group 13th March, 1997, Brisbane QLD