Social Justice - Easter Reflection

An Easter Reflection


The Response to the Cry of the Earth is a call to protect our common home for the wellbeing of all, as we equitably address the climate crisis, biodiversity loss, and ecological sustainability.   


Ecological Spirituality springs from a profound ecological conversion and helps us to “discover God in all things”, both in the beauty of creation and in the sighs of the sick and the groans of the afflicted, aware that the life of  the spirit is not dissociated from worldly realities. 


In response to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, Pope Francis, in Laudato Si, calls every human being to work towards “integral ecology”, recognising that “everything is connected”. Through the centuries, though, this connectedness has been broken. Relationships have been fragmented. 

Unless we begin to align ourselves with nature, 
nature will be endangered 
and our own lives with it, our own souls with it… 
We are here as part of creation,
not controllers of it and not consumers of it
We are here to find our proper place in it
to grow with all of it.
Joan Chittister 

The word "Easter" comes from Old English, meaning simply the "East." The sun which rises in the East, bringing light, warmth, and hope, is a symbol for the Christian of the rising Christ, who is the true Light of the world. Easter is an opportunity to reconsider our relationship to this planet, and a good time to reflect on the truly transformational work that lies ahead. Easter is also an inspirational homage to the possibility that we can live in harmony with our environment.

In 1950, Renowned German theologian and theological peritus at the Second Vatican Council, Jesuit Fr. Karl Rahner, adeptly explained the joyful mystery of Easter, which is, as he put it, "the most human message of Christianity." In his article, “A Faith That Loves the Earth”, Rahner explains that it is not only Easter but all of Holy Week that has significance for more than just humanity alone. There is ecological significance of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday, followed by Christ's death on Good Friday having environmental significance. 

“When we say 'amen' to 'the body of Christ,' may we also say 'amen' to our interconnectedness with and interdependence on the rest of creation.” 
Fr. Karl Rahner, (1950) “A Faith That Loves the Earth” Geist und Leben Journal

I first heard of Fr. Rahner in an article published in the National Catholic Reporter, on March 22nd 2024, by Daniel P. Horan, in which Horan efficiently explains Rahner’s philosophical view of the joyful mystery of Easter. Rhaner explains that Easter calls us forward "as a loving faith that allows us to be brought along on this unimaginable journey of all earthly reality headed toward its own glory, a journey that started with the resurrection of Christ."
Daniel P. Horan, (2024) “An Ecological Approach to Holy Week” National Catholic Reporter

Eco-action & Prayer 

We invite you to take a moment over the coming holy days, to read the article by Horan in full, An Ecological Approach to Holy Week, by Daniel P. Horan, before stepping outside, and entering into nature for an ecological encounter: An Ecological Encounter: Easter 2024   

Other significant Ecological and Social Justice Events this week:

Friday 30th March 2024 - 🌏 International Day of Zero Waste
The International Day of Zero Waste, observed annually on 30 March, highlights both the importance of bolstering waste management globally and the need to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns. Every year, humanity generates between 2.1 billion and 2.3 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste. What actions will you take towards zero waste? 

Sunday 7th April 2024 - 🌏  United Nations World Health Day 
My health, my right
Around the world, the right to health of millions is increasingly coming under threat. This year’s theme was chosen to champion the right of everyone, everywhere to have access to quality health services, education, and information, as well as safe drinking water, clean air, good nutrition, quality housing, decent working and environmental conditions, and freedom from discrimination.

To find out more visit: World Health Organisation - World Health Day 2-24: My health, my right

Article submitted by Sarah Page.

CEW Mass and Dinner: 3 May

We are looking forward to our Catholic Education Week Mass and Dinner on 3 May and wish to keep you up to date on this event. There are a large number of 30 year service recipients this year and we have a maximum capacity at the Damascus Event Centre of 200. Unfortunately, we need to carefully manage the invitations so that we can ensure we manage the seating arrangements.

Initial invitations have been sent out to the following groups:

  • Recognition of 30 years of service to Catholic Education recipients and two guests
  • Nominees for the Spirit of Catholic Education Award
  • Principals of the above two categories
  • DOBCEL Board Directors

As the first round of RSVPs close, numbers attending will be reviewed and further invitations will be sent to the following groups (dependent on available seating):

  • Parish Priests
  • DOBCEL guests
  • CEB staff

It is a sign that as an organisation we are growing, with the number of recipients exceeding numbers over the last few years.

We ask for your patience as we work through the guest list for this important Diocesan event.

CEB Staff Meeting: 10 & 11 April

Please find attached below the agenda for the CEB Staff meeting.

As mentioned in CEB Staff Newsletter #7 - 8 March 2024, you are asked to do a bit of ‘homework’ prior to attending on 11 April. Please refer to the list below and listen to at least one podcast and read at least two articles prior to the staff meeting as both Pasi Sahlberg and Dave Runge will be making reference to some of these resources throughout the day. Upon arrival on 11 April, you will note A3 sheets with table listings. This will ensure that table discussion will cover all areas of our staff.

Announcement of Retirement - Murray Macdonald

For those not already aware, Murray Macdonald (Education Consultant – Northern Zone) has advised that he will retire at the end of Term 2.

Murray has had an outstanding career in Catholic education spanning 44 years as a teacher, principal, and Education Consultant, across three dioceses - Ballarat, Lismore, and Sandhurst.

While more will be said later, Murray has left every school community he has been involved with a better place for him being there.

His dedicated service, not to mention his razor-sharp wit, will be greatly missed.  

We look forward to formally acknowledging Murray’s career later in the year.

The Education Consultant – Northern Zone position will be advertised on the DOBCEL website early next week.

Principal Announcement

Mr Vince Muscatello has advised that he will not be seeking renewal of his contract as Principal at St Paul's Primary School, Mildura beyond the 2024 school year. Vince commenced as Principal at St Paul's in 2013, after eight years as Deputy Principal at Sacred Heart Primary School, Mildura.

Catholic Education Ballarat will now commence the recruitment campaign for a new Principal with an anticipated commencement date of January 2025.

We thank Vince for his contribution to the St Paul's community and Catholic education in the Diocese of Ballarat. We wish him the very best in his future endeavours.

Maintenance Works - Next Wednesday

Reminder that there will be some construction maintenance works occurring in various areas of the Gillies Street office next Wednesday 3 April between 8am and 4pm (first week of the school holidays).

Most of the works should only be minor in nature but there may be some noise and disruption on this day. It is requested that staff please be mindful of these works if working on this day.

Should you have any queries please contact either Ashley Wiseman or Penelope Irish.

Article submitted by Ash Wiseman.

Matched Giving Day

Update regarding the old boys Jim and Brendan on bikes!

This Sunday, 24 March Jimmy's Licorice Allsorts have a matched giving day. Each donation made on this day will be matched by Southern Design RV, so in effect, due to this generous sponsorship, every donation will be doubled!! For further information see here.

Some people have asked about donating. The links for Jim and Brendan are:

Many thanks from the two old boys who will soon be on their bikes!!!

Article submitted by Jim Waight.

Holy Thursday

Next Thursday 28 March is Holy Thursday. This day commemorates Jesus celebrating the Last Supper with his friends.

Staff are invited to come together for prayer and contemplation at 10.30am in the Ballarat office. This will most likely be in the prayer/reflection space or The Conference Room, according to numbers in attendance.

People are invited to bring hot cross buns to share for morning tea following the prayer gathering. 

The prayer itself will be on the SIMON homepage on that day so we as a Catholic Education Ballarat community will be able to access it and use it either individually or as communities across the Diocese.  

Article submitted by Jim Waight.

57 Squat Challenge: National Breast Cancer Foundation

Following on from last year’s Mother’s Day Classic where CEB staff member Kerrie Zammit and a friend raised over $1000 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, this year they have signed up for the 57 Squat Challenge! 

Having both experienced a loved one battle this insidious disease, they are eager to help raise funds for all those women and men, their families and friends, who have been touched by this disease. 

If you are able, and would like to support by making a donation, please use this link here

CEB Flu Vaccination Clinic

Wednesday 1 May, 2024

As part of our commitment to supporting employee health and wellbeing, a Flu Vaccination Clinic will run at the CEB Office located on Gillies Street, Wendouree. This initiative aims to provide staff with easy access to flu vaccinations to help protect against seasonal influenza.


  • Where: CEB Office, Gillies Street, Wendouree
  • When: Wednesday May 1, 2024
  • Time: 9:30am to 11:30am


In order to confirm bookings, please complete click here indicating your preferred time for attending the Flu Vaccination Clinic. Every effort will be made to ensure you get your preferred timeslot and confirmation of your appointment time will be sent by Monday 29 April, 2024.

Unfortunately, in 2024 flu vaccinations are unavailable until early April, with vaccination clinics not commencing until after mid-April; meaning we are unable to coordinate a vaccination clinic with the upcoming CEB Staff Meeting (11 & 12 April), as we have done in previous years.

For staff located in other offices, or who are unable to attend the Ballarat clinic, you have the option of sourcing your own vaccination (via a pharmacy or local vaccination clinic) and will be reimbursed (up to the total of $25).

Log into the FlexiPurchase portal to submit an expense claim for your reimbursement.

We encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity.

Please note: The flu vaccination clinic will only run if we have more than 20 employees attending.

Article submitted by Tania Lund.

Red Earth - Lake Mungo Womens Immersions

Spend five special days on the Traditional Lands of the Barkandji and Mutthi Mutthi People!

  • August 2024, experience life with female Traditional Custodians on Country
  • Stay in privately held, remote Homelands which are inaccessible outside of this setting
  • Make meaningful, authentic connections with Indigenous Australians living on their own land
  • Learn about language, land, history and culture from welcoming hosts so willing to share
  • Be supported in a sacred space of sharing with an open heart

Spend two days at the Culpra Milli Outstation and be welcomed by the Pearce Family, the Traditional custodians of this Land. Listen to truth-telling and dreaming stories that have been passed down through many generations. Share meals and time around the fire connecting over this unique experience, yarning into the evening. Try your hand at weaving, an ancient technique that still exists to this day. Walk on Country down the Milli (Murray River), discovering more about the rich history of this Land.

Visit the breathtaking Lake Mungo National Park on a Discovery Ranger Guided Walk, where you will be shown evidence of ancient life and Australia’s oldest living civilisation. Learn about the women who continue to honour, protect and preserve this Land. Take in the beauty as the sun rises over this striking Country. Gather around the fire and listen to talks on Aboriginal lore and Women’s Business. Pause and reflect on the experiences you’ve shared as the songs of the cockatoos sound out your final evening.

Please see the attached brochure for further details.

Harmony Week

This week, from 18 March to 24 March, Australians unite as we celebrate Harmony Week 2024, with March 21st marking the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Harmony Week is the celebration that recognises our diversity and brings together Australians from all different backgrounds. It’s about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone.​ This week I would like to share with you a reflection from Manny Bautista’s book, Living Laudato Si’: The Ecological Challenge of Pope Francis

We are invited to wear a touch of orange this week to show your support of Harmony Week, or you can attend/host a Harmony Week event. Here are a couple of local Harmony Week events; 

“A Taste of Shanghai!” TONIGHT at 6:30pm at the Arch View Cafe. For more information and to purchase tickets please visit here.

The Palm Sunday Walk for Refugees, Sunday 24 March 2:00pm to 3:30pm, McDonald Bandstand, Lake Wendouree Foreshore.


The Response to the Cry of the Poor is a call to promote eco-justice, aware that we are called to defend human life from conception to death, and all forms of life on Earth. 

Reading from Laudato Si’

“Saint John Paul II stated that the special love of the Creator for each human being ‘confers upon him or her an infinite dignity.’ Those who are committed to defending human dignity can find the Christian faith the deepest reason for this commitment…. The Creator can say to each one of us; ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you’ (Jer 1:5). We were conceived in the heart of God, and for this reason ‘each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.’” (LS n. 65)


…Psalm 8 provides a description of human dignity. (vv. 5-7). Caught in the magnificence of the heavens, with its moon and stars, the Psalmist asks “What are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?” (v. 4) Our exalted dignity as human enjoys God’s loving attention and care. The Psalmist is awe-struck with the way God lavishly treated humanity. God bestows on us intelligence, self-reflective consciousness and free will… With these gifts, we share in God's creative power. We have such an exalted dignity because of these gifts. Psalm 8 also established the connection between human dignity and the mundane to have dominion and rule over all creation (v. 7). The mundane is to be understood as the work of caring, protecting, preserving and healing creation (LS n. 67). Our God-given gifts and dignity are at the service of this work. They are meant for our good and the good of all creation; they are not intended for the despoliation and destruction of the natural world and the abuse of our fellow humans. On this basis, the violence against creation and the neglect of the poor and suffering peoples of the world run counter to our exalted human dignity and gifts.


A truly exalted human dignity summons us to be true to the mundane of responsible caring. Individually and uniquely, we are gifted with the creative power of God. Let us use it to carry on with our vocation. Let our dignity and honour cause the flourishing of the natural world. Let them cause the improvement of human and ecological conditions. Let whatever we ‘touch’ be seen as the goodness of God. Learn our vocation in the Earth community. At home, at school, at work, in the local and church community, find ways to live out our vacation.

Praise to you, Lord,
God of all creation. 
For through your goodness, 
you gifted us with dignity
and the creative power to care.
Let us discover our talents and skills
and help us develop them for good use.
May we use our freedom wisely
so that we can become
your effective co-worker
in the Earth-human community.

Other significant Ecological Events this week:

Friday 22nd March 2024- World Water Day
2024 theme: Water for Prosperity and Peace

World Water Day is an annual United Nations observance day held on 22 March that highlights the importance of freshwater. The day is used to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. For more information visit here.

Saturday 23rd March 2024 - Earth Hour

Earth Hour has grown to become much more than switching your lights off, but that iconic switch-off moment is still an important part of Earth Hour. Millions of participants around the world will switch off their lights at 8:30 pm local time on Saturday 23rd March to demonstrate their support of the environment.

Here are some ways you can participate in Earth Hour 2024:

  • 💡Switch off your lights for one hour from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on March 23.
  • 💡Unplug electrical appliances and devices that are not in use.
  • 💡Use energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs.
  • 💡Reduce your use of plastic products.
  • 💡Recycle and compost waste.
  • 💡Support sustainable businesses.
  • 💡Get involved in environmental advocacy.

By taking these simple steps, we can all make a difference in protecting our planet.
You can register your participation in Earth Hours 2024 via this link.

Article submitted by Sarah Page.

Lost and Found

Updated Details!

A Stanley Insulated Food Jar has been handed in at the Gillies Street office.

It was left in the Horsham Office by a visiting CEB staff member. It was the week of February 22, when this term’s Leadership Gathering was held in Horsham.

If you believe this belongs to you, please collect it from the lost and found drawer located at reception.

Maintenance Works - Gillies Street Office

Please note that there will be some construction maintenance works occurring in various areas of the Gillies Street office on Wednesday 3 April between 8am and 4pm (first week of the school holidays).

Most of the works should only be minor in nature but there may be some noise and disruption on this day.

It is requested that staff please be mindful of these works if working on this day.

Should you have any queries please contact either Ashley Wiseman or Penelope Irish.

Article submitted by Ash Wiseman.

Office closure 2024-25

CEB Reconciliation Action Plan

All interested CEB colleagues are invited to the next meeting of the RAP Working Group which will be held in the Training Room (and online) on March 26 between 9.30am and 11.00am.  

In the second half of 2023, the group gained a shared understanding of the purpose of a RAP and began to articulate why this was important for CEB. Our discussions then moved to how this might be lived out in our context.  

At the upcoming meeting the group will be asked to consider an early draft of the document based on contributions from our November work. Attendees are invited to look over this draft prior to the meeting. 

As always, any participation or engagement with this process is welcome. Participants are able to attend part of the session or catch up with the minutes which will be published in a future staff newsletter.  

Please contact Joe Ewing, Jeanette Morris or Helen Christensen for further information.

Article submitted by Joe Ewing.

Two old men riding from the Murray to the Sea for cancer research.

On the weekend of 6-7 April, Jim Waight and Brendan Chalmers are riding from the Murray to the Sea in the 2024 Murray 2 Moyne Cycling Relay. Joining them on this adventure is Paul McDowell, who many would know is the principal of St. Patrick’s Primary School, Gordon. The ride departs Echuca and in just over 24 hours, after 520km, the team will arrive in tip top shape at Port Fairy!

The purpose of the ride is to raise funds for research at the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute Ballarat. The team's motto is “Fighting Cancer on Two Wheels”.

The Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute is Australia's one and only regionally based cancer research facility. Each year, The Jimmy’s Licorice Allsorts commits to supporting one PhD research student at the Institute. Our goal this year is to contribute $50,000 to this work. By doing this, the team is not only supporting cancer research, but has the firm intention of promoting science and research outside of the capital cities. Giving opportunities to regional, rural and remote students - allowing regional Victoria to attract and retain the best scientists and further promoting research and development in the country. 

If you can assist us we would be most grateful. Next Friday, 22nd March there is a major fundraiser “A Taste of Shanghai” This is also an event to celebrate Harmony Week and to raise funds for cancer research.

To find out more and to get tickets see the Facebook event or click here.

Some people have also asked how they can make a donation or help? To make a donation to Jim and Brendan’s personal fundraising pages go to:

A cost free way that you might like to help, is to share this story far and wide through your own networks and liking and sharing our social media pages, details below.

Lost and Found - Gillies St Office

Wednesday 13 March, a Stanley Insulated Food Jar was handed in at the Gillies Street office after being located in a pool car.

If you believe this belongs to you, please collect it from the lost and found drawer located at reception.

Learning Diversity Team recognised as early champions for Inclusive Education!

The CEB Learning Diversity Team is thrilled to share some exciting news with our Catholic Education Ballarat community! In the foreword of the eagerly anticipated Second Edition of "Inclusive Education for the 21st Century," our efforts have been recognized as early champions for Inclusive Education.

This acknowledgment is a testament to our unwavering commitment for all students to access education on the same basis as their peers.

Many of you may recall the invaluable insights shared during Kate de Bruin's visit in 2020, where she engaged with Learning Diversity Leaders and shortly after, Principals. This recognition reaffirms our longstanding dedication to ensuring every individual feels valued, respected, and empowered within our educational community.

We extend our gratitude to our 2020 CEB EO:LD Team (Susan Rampling, Monique Ryan, Kate Sadler, Jacqui Righetti, Lesley Price and Lisa Templar) and celebrate all Learning Diversity Leaders who work tirelessly to strive for excellence in Inclusive Education including our current EO:LD Team (Nicole Jenkins, Maria Richards, Jacqui Pierce, Monique Ryan, Kate Sadler and Lisa Templar)!

Book available here!


Click image to read

Catholic Identity and Mission Update

Social Justice - Recognise that We Have Harmed Creation

“…we must examine our lives and acknowledge the ways in which we have harmed God’s creation through our actions and our failure to act” (LS 218). 

The Adoption of Sustainable Lifestyles is grounded in the idea of sufficiency, and promoting sobriety in the use of resources and energy. 

Ecological Economics acknowledges that the economy is a sub-system of human society, which itself is embedded within the biosphere–our common home. 

Ecological Education is about rethinking and redesigning curricular and institutional reform in the spirit of integral ecology in order to foster ecological awareness and transformative action.

Be aware of your environmental footprint -

An environmental footprint/ecological footprint takes into account the entirety of supply and demand of goods and services for the planet

Each and every one of us has an effect on the environment, be that positive or negative, based on the lifestyle choices we make, for example the amount of natural resources that we consume and the amount of harmful gases that we produce. Calculating our environmental footprint is a fundamental way to measure, monitor and improve the impact we have on the planet. 

Watch this short TED-Ed video, What is the Tragedy of the Common, to better understand the concept that optimising for the self in the short term, isn’t optimal for anyone in the long term. 

Understanding our environmental footprint is key to making informed decisions on reducing carbon footprint. Here are some ways that you can do it:  

  • Calculate your carbon footprint and identify carbon-intensive activities. You can use online calculators such as this one to help you calculate your carbon footprint.
  • Conduct a water and/or electricity audit in your household
  • Reflect on your travel habits
  • Evaluate where you can cut down on waste
  • Reflect on ways you and your community can transition over time away from fossil fuel use to renewables - especially when a fossil fuel item is due to be replaced by an electric one (e.g., scooter, stove, gas heater / hot water system, vehicle).  
  • Read scientific reports, such as a Living Planet Report, IPCC Reports on Climate Change to stay informed

Article submitted by Sarah Page.

ECSI Catholic Dialogue School Newsletter

It’s the gift that keeps on giving – ECSI! Prof. Didier Pollefeyt and the KU Leuven Team are delighted to announce the first publication of their Catholic Dialogue School Newsletter! This Newsletter is loaded with resources, Professional Devt Materials, videos, Tips of the Month and more!

The Newsletter is for everyone. It is not restricted to Religious Education - Catholic Identity is part of all our work. Subscribe here. Any enquiries please contact Gina Bernasconi.

Lent Has Something to Say

What is your response to the images below? What do you see? What could they be about? In what ways could they speak to each other, be in dialogue with each other? There’s more to read here if you’re interested.

Articles submitted by Gina Bernasconi.