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Australian Educators Visit SSC

November 12,2014

St. Scholastica’s College hosted the visit of two Australian groups in the month of September.  The first group that arrived last September 23rd were the administrative staff of the Good Samaritan educational institutions in Australia.    Headed by Sr. Meg Kahler and Monica Dutton, the sixteen educators and staff came from the Good Samaritan schools in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Queensland.  It is to be noted that last year, Sr. Meg and Miss Dutton also visited SSC together with a group of 13 students and two staff and had interaction with the outreach community in Sun Valley, Paranaque.  This time, the delegation is from the administrative staff.  They were welcomed by Sr. Celine Saplala, OSB, of the Institutional Social Action Center and Sr. Mary Emmanuel Espera, OSB of the College Outreach Center.  Right at the Information Desk, they were shown the newly installed Ten Hallmarks of Benedictine Education.  Dean Rebecca Marquez of the Student Affairs Office explained the art work of Anna Zelissa Lim Raymundo , our 2014  BFA graduate major in Visual Arts and Design which impressed the visitors.

After this, Dean Marquez and a college student leader, Khamylle Castillo toured the group around the campus and school buildings particularly in the new St. Cecilia’s Building.  Before lunch was served at Café Cyrilla, Sr. Celine, OSB shared on the Education for Justice orientation of SSC, followed by Dean Marquez on the Yakap-Eskwela project and the College Outreach in Marihatag.

The second group from Australia came to SSC on September 30 and was composed of mature-aged students doing Master of Theological Studies, Master in Education, Master in Religious Education, or a Master in Educational Leadership at Australia Catholic University. There were 16 student participants composed of 2 priests (1 diocesan priest and 1 Carmelite priest of Indonesian descent), 1 religious sister (Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart), a retired principal, and the rest work in Catholic schools in various capacities, e.g. pastoral coordinator, director/head of faith and mission, assistant principal for curriculum, religious education, or pastoral care, and Religious Education A number have travelled to Asia and one (Sr. Jenny Christie) had been to the Philippines.  A few have done exposure and immersion experience (even some volunteer work) in Asia and Africa through the Catholic school they work in so the group was not only composed of mature adults with the much-needed sensitivity to other people and contexts but also with an openness and eagerness to learn from the experience.

The Australian students were received by Sr. Celine OSB.  At the Troika Hall they were met by College Student leaders who introduced themselves, their organizations and involvement in Outreach. Sr. Celine gave an orientation on the Education for Justice here in SSC while Dean Rebecca Marquez shared their outreach activities in the college department. After this, the group proceeded to Sr. Kuniberta Hall to observe the Grade School conduct an assembly with an opening prayer linked with the week’s theme on Science and Stewardship of Creation.  More time was spent with the high school unit where they met with Sr. Rosalina OSB, the Principal, with Ms. Norelyn Belaro, the HS Outreach Coordinator and other faculty members and the student leaders active in the Tanggapan ng Kalinga. The students shared their responsibilities in the outreach program of the unit and satisfactorily answered the queries of the Australian visitors.

A few days after their departure from SSC, Judeline Wadhwani, Head of Faith and Mission of Marymede Catholic College in Victoria, Australia emailed Sr. Celine, stating,  “Your hospitality which seems to be a hallmark of your Benedictine charism was deeply moving as was the wonderful ambience you and your sisters have created for the lovely young women in your care, to grow to be disciples of Christ leading with his love and care for all but especially for the disadvantaged. We went away very humbled and very blessed to have been able to experience the morning at St Scholastica’s – a very special place of formation to be Christ-centred and Christ-like.”.

By: Sr. Celine Saplala, OSB
Coordinator, Institutional Social Action Center (ISAC)