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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Warm congratulations to Year 9 student, Matthew Perissinotto on winning an ICAS medal for English. ICAS, the International Competition and Assessment for Schools, is conducted through the University of New South Wales. Matthew participated in a multiple choice reading and comprehension test and his results place him among the top students throughout Australia. We look forward to presenting Matthew with his medal later this week and celebrating his achievement as an Ambrose Treacy College student.

Farewell to Staff

As the year draws to a close, we wish the following staff who are departing ATC, the very best of health and happiness and thank them for their contribution to the lives of the boys, parents and colleagues:
Lauren Arnell, Paul Brown, Susan Creese, Angela Cullity, Sally Flynn, Paul Grealy, James Kiernan, Sue Kirkpatrick, Mel Mons Wolff, Ashleigh O’Connell, Tim O’Rourke, Ashleigh Ramsay and Elise Smith. Staff taking leave for 2021 are: Sara Condon, Kristy Freer, Carmen Gendle, Lisa Hogan, Patrick Howell and Rebecca Smout.

A tradition at ATC is that departing staff are farewelled at a Christmas lunch during the pupil free week. This lunch is made possible by the generous donations contributed by families to say thank you to staff for the efforts of the year. I take this opportunity to sincerely thank all parents who have contributed for this much appreciated act of kindness. Further, I thank the Parents and Friends Association for their organisation and facilitation of this occasion which is valued by all staff.


I deeply love the days before Christmas, the preparations, the anticipation, and the excitement of little ones. A special time is when we put up our tree and decorations together as a family. We always get a real pine tree that fills our house with a fantastic smell and is a wonderful place of evening contemplation and relaxation on the nights before Christmas.

Christmas is a signpost in our lives. In my mind’s eye, I can go straight to Christmas 1975, Christmas 1989, Christmas 2000 and so on. Each has a particular memory.

A sad thought for me at Christmas is that my Mum is not with us anymore and that I didn’t have a final Christmas with her the year she passed away. We had a wonderful family Christmas in France with my wife and three daughters, brother and sister in law and their son, but Mum was at home with my Dad and brother. Since then, while I am happy at Christmas, I am always a little melancholy and reflective as well and I am sure many people can relate to that.

Father Richard Rohr, the American Franciscan Friar, posits that the ‘Christ’ is everything that is embedded in and makes up the universe and our reality of birth, death and resurrection as lived by Jesus. It is quite a lot to take in. One of the things that Fr Rohr says is that ‘Christ’ is not Jesus’s last name! That always makes me laugh but it also challenges me to think more deeply and critically about my own personal claim to Christianity. In simple terms, do I recognise that the Christ is all around me, in nature, relationships between us and in me and in you as depicted in his notion of the Cosmic Christ that makes up our experience of reality? More importantly, as a Christian, I am called to live my life in such a way that models this reality for others.

2020 has been a profoundly different year. I marked the living of half a century this year and I can tell you, its been a new experience for me! But when I stop; truly stop and am still and silent, reflective, and prayerful, I can begin – just begin – to fathom what Fr Rohr is talking about and teaching. As we have encountered this challenging year, we await the arrival of the Christ-child and the universal truth of re-birth, renewal, compassion, and optimism that is present to us in all years and throughout all years.

This Christmas will not magically reset our world, but I pray that it may be an especially meaningful time where the birth of a baby can reset our hearts and minds for the journey ahead. I hope that we can continue to make this journey safely with one another as the ATCommunity, family and dear friends.

We pray for all those in the world, our nation, our community and families who are struggling this Christmas; whether it be through the loss of a loved one, the challenges of the economy, the fear of the unknown or their mental, emotional or physical health. We pray for faith, hope and healing.

Thank you to the wonderful community of Ambrose Treacy College for your care of one another, trust in our College and love for your boy. It is a privilege to have your family be a part of ours. This Christmas, Christmas 2020, will be one to remember and I will certainly raise a glass in thanksgiving to the ATCommunity by my Christmas tree as my family awaits the arrival of the Christ-child. Best wishes to all ATC boys and families, for a safe, joyous and happy Christmas.

God bless.

Chris Ryan

Thursday 26 November | Year 4 Milk Bottle Regatta
Thursday 26 November | Year 6 End of Year Celebration Liturgy
Thursday 26 November | Year 9 Transition Day
Friday 27 November | Year 6 Rite of Passage Tunnel
Friday 27 November | Last Day of Term 4 students finish at 12pm