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Faith in an Uncertain World

Staff Blogger Danika Ehlers
Head of Religious Education

In the opening days of March, I, along with many in our community felt a sense of growing fear and anxiety as the realities of a worldwide pandemic became apparent. We looked on, feeling helpless, as our brothers and sisters overseas suffered. As panic grew in the world around us, I found a sense of calm in prayer, both private and communal. In the midst of confusion and anxiety I felt a sense of calm in the gift of faith and I hope this has brought comfort to you and your families also.

Working with young people in the Religious Education classroom and more broadly in a Catholic school allows me the privilege of seeing them grow in faith as their understanding of this develops into young adulthood. 2020 has put this forward in a way that no other year of my teaching career quite has to date. In talking with the young people in our community I have, many times, called on the story of Jesus calming the storm, found in three of the Gospels. There is much that scholars can unpack about signalling and relationships in this story, but the explanation I find most comforting, and share with students often is that God is there for us when we turn to Him in fear, seeking help but we have also been gifted with the hope to weather the storm.

Faith gives us comfort in knowing that we are part of a church with 2000 years of history and tradition that has weathered many storms. I see this faith lived in the ATCommunity, we know that we are a part of a community that supports us and cares for us and about us, reminding us all that even when we are physically distant, we are connected. This was evident in the joyous return of Year 11 and Year 12 students in Week 4 of this term, and again at the start of Week 6 when our whole student body returned. There were socially distanced high fives, COVID-friendly handshake alternatives, Coles mud cakes and party pies and sausage rolls aplenty to celebrate being back together in the same places.

In March, Pope Francis suggested that this is not a time of Judgement, but a call to live differently. As a member of the ATC community, I think that most of the time we do, in fact, live differently. It has been a true joy to see students engaging in acts of service through the ATC Serves@Home initiatives as well as our regular service program. Acts of faith and love are all around us in our daily lives, if we take the time to see them.

Lately, I have had the time to see families spending time together as public health measures have required us all to live a little differently for a time. I am confident that the ATC community will emerge from this time, continuing to be Signs of Faith, shining a light out to the world, being people for others.

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