Recently on Friday 8 September, the entire staff of Nazareth gathered for the annual Staff Reflection Day – an opportunity for employees from all career disciplines to set aside their usual duties and immerse themselves in the essence of Catholic Social Teaching.
A pupil-free day for students and a closure day for the Early Childhood Centre enables a rare occasion for our staff of over 350 members to come together and reflect on shared values and beliefs. Guided by the Nazareth theme for the year, “Companions on the Journey,” the focus for this year’s Staff Reflection Day was ‘Acts of Service,’ providing a unique opportunity for staff to connect with their faith and engage in acts of compassion for the wider community.
The morning began with each staff member selecting from a range of meaningful acts of service, all centred around social justice and ecological awareness. The aim was not only to make a positive impact on the community but also to nurture the sense of purpose and responsibility that Nazareth strives to instil in each member of its community.
From sorting toiletries for Catherine House to providing assistance at various Food Hubs and cleaning Adelaide’s beaches, the staff wholeheartedly embraced the opportunity to meet different environmental and social needs. One staff member, Cheyenne Lewis, shared her experience of making birthing kits for the Birthing Kit Foundation, saying, “It was a humbling and rewarding experience that filled us with immense gratitude for the care and services we have access to in Australia.”
Following the service activities and a shared lunch, the afternoon session featured prayer and an inspiring talk by the renowned humanitarian Moira Kelly, accompanied by Angel, an extraordinary 11-year-old in her care. Moira, who has dedicated her life to doing good works internationally and across Australia, shared her journey and how her encounter with Mother Teresa at a young age ignited her belief in the power to change the world for the better. Moira has made it her life mission to care for sick and needy children and their families, providing them with comfort, hope, protection, and safety. Read more about Moira’s story.
Angel, who was born in Pakistan with CLOVES Syndrome (a rare condition that affects fewer than 200 individuals worldwide), found support in Moira Kelly’s Creating Hope Foundation. Angel’s story is one of resilience and the triumph of the human spirit as she battles daily pain from the overgrowth of body tissue. Thanks to Moira’s care, Angel gained access to a trial drug with remarkable preliminary results. Read more about Angel’s story.
Moira and Angel captivated the staff with their wisdom and insights, leaving everyone feeling inspired and motivated. Their remarkable stories served as a testament to the power of compassion and service to others, reinforcing the significance and meaning behind being ‘Companions on the Journey.’
“Our call to do all we can to support those in need is central to our fabric as a Catholic Community. Our Staff Formation Day enabled us to participate in some of the simple acts we can do to live up to this call,” expressed Christian Martino, who coordinated the Day as Nazareth’s Assistant Principal Religious Identity and Mission.
“Simultaneously, it allowed us to gain insight into the profound efforts individuals like Moira are making to make this call central to their identity,” he continued.
The Nazareth Staff Reflection Day, with its focus on Acts of Service and featuring the inspirational stories of Moira Kelly and Angel, served as a powerful reminder that even the smallest acts of kindness can create a ripple effect of positive change. Each of us possesses an immense potential to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others and the world as a whole.
As we continue to journey through the rest of this year, may we be filled with renewed purpose, compassion, and a unwavering commitment to serving others.
Acts of Service Undertaken for the Nazareth’s Staff Reflection Day:
ANGLICARE SA Emergency Assistance Program at the Emergency Assistance Hub on Gilbert St
BACKPACKS 4 KIDS SA Assembling backpacks
BIRDBOXES Making Flat pack Bird boxes for Nazareth Gardens
BIRTHING KIT FOUNDATION To pack 200 birth kits
BUSH FOR LIFE Gardening at Hillbank
CALVARY CARE Supporting Brighton Aged Care Service onsite
CAR WASH FOR COMMUNITY Washing cars at Nazareth Campuses
CATHERINE HOUSE Food Provisions
CATHERINE HOUSE Sorting and packing toiletry bags for women
CENTACARE Sing-along concert for/with the clients and morning tea preparation
CLEAN UP AUSTRALIA Clean up Glenelg Beach
CLEAN UP AUSTRALIA Clean up Henley Beach
CLEAN UP AUSTRALIA Clean up River Torrens
HUTT STREET CENTRE Paint/ draw on blank greeting cards, and then write messages of encouragement
JEAN HORAN KINDERGARTEN Assisting at Excursion to the Zoo
NAZ CONNECTS Cooking for people in need in the Nazareth Community
NAZARETH Gardening onsite at Nazareth
OUR LADY OF LA VANG SCHOOL Assisting in the classroom at Our Lady of La Vang
PUDDLE JUMPERS Cleaning, organising, and setting up for serving coffee and tea at Hindmarsh Food Hub