Religious Life of the School

At St Rita’s College, teaching people religion (the classroom teaching and learning of religion) and teaching people to be religious (the Religious Life and Catholic ethos of the school community) draw upon the Catholic Christian tradition in ways that are mindful of local contexts and the ecumenical and multi-faith realities of contemporary culture.

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We utilise the distinctiveness and complementarity of these two dimensions of Religious Education in the holistic education and the formation of students.

The religious life of St Rita’s College is rich and varied. Students are encouraged to live out Christian values in the spirit of Nano Nagle, the founder of the Presentation Sisters and St Rita of Cascia.  The religious life of the school encompasses a broad range of liturgy, prayer and actions for justice that express our College Pillars and authentically embrace our College motto, Virtute non Verbis (Actions not Words).

The Religious Life of the School comprises four interrelated components: Religious Identity and Culture, Evangelisation and Faith Formation, Prayer and Worship and Social Action and Justice. Each of these components, while mutually reinforcing, provides a significant focus on a distinctive aspect of the religious life of the school.

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Religious Identity and Culture
The College introduces students to a view of the world founded on the person of Jesus Christ, scripture and the ongoing tradition of the Church. This worldview is embedded in the religious identity and culture of the school: its beliefs, values and practices, quality relationships, the aesthetic, social and physical environments and organisational structures and procedures. The College also draws inspiration and direction from the stories of how our patrons – St Rita of Cascia and the founder of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Venerable Nano Nagle – exemplified the gifts of the Spirit in living out the gospel of Jesus Christ in their place and in their time.

Evangelisation and Faith Formation
St Rita’s College participates in the evangelising mission of the Church and is, like all Catholic schools, a privileged environment in which Christian education is carried out. In this way the College is at once a place of evangelisation, of complete formation, of enculturation, of apprenticeship in a lively dialogue between young people of different religions and social backgrounds (The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium, 1997, n.11). The College both educates and evangelises communities. It invites all members of the school community into a conversation motivated and inspired by the Good News of Jesus Christ and to move towards commitment to, and involvement in, a Christian community. Staff, parents and students are invited to share in a more conscious and deepened way the Christian community’s experience of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Prayer and Worship
Prayer and worship are integral to the life of St Rita’s College as they have the potential to nourish the spiritual growth of all members of the school community. At St Rita’s College, prayer takes place in many different contexts and settings and from Years 7-12 students experience a variety of formal and informal expressions of prayer, appropriate to their age and development.  In celebrating significant feast days or liturgical seasons in the life of the Church, the College community gathers for a prayerful school Assembly. The College community also celebrates prayer rituals to mark the everyday patterns of life, rites of passage and moments of grief and loss, joy and celebration.

Social Action and Justice
The College practises justice within its own community through policies, structures and practices that are consistent with the themes of Catholic social teaching. Respect for the dignity of the human person underlies Catholic social justice themes. An additional, essential element of justice at St Rita’s College is the application of the principles and processes of restorative justice. These are evident when school communities search for solutions that promote, reconcile and rebuild right relationships with God and with one another.

Social action and justice requires two important dispositions: empathy (the capacity to stand in the shoes of another) and solidarity (the capacity to walk with another). St Rita’s College works to build these dispositions in students through programs for service learning and social justice programs. The College plans, implements and reflects upon experiences of social action and justice, drawing on the social sciences, scripture and Catholic social teaching.