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Antonine College Teacher Meets the Pope!

Thursday, July 27, 2023

This year, I had the pleasure to endorce Ms Isabella Athaide for the The Emerging Leaders Program. Isabella is a dedicated teacher and leader in the College. I was thrilled when her application was accepted. This week she commenced the program in Rome.

The Emerging Leaders Program provides opportunity for emerging leaders in Catholic education, health and social services to encounter, engage and embark on a leadership journey underpinned by our Catholic faith. Participants explore how to share their knowledge, understanding and life-changing experiences with and for the benefit of your school community upon their return.

Rome provides a rich learning experience that will enable participants to develop their leadership identity through self-reflection and spiritual discernment, immersed in the rich historical context and surrounds of the Vatican City. Following Rome, the program includes a retreat experience in Assisi, participants will then travel to Lisbon to join the WYD events. They will learn from a range of key thought leaders, including Archbishop Peter A Comensoli.

This week Ms Isabella Athaide met with the Pope along with other participants. She was chosen to ask a question of the Pope. Please see her description below:

- Ms Joanne Bacash

As you can imagine today has been a whirlwind of emotions. We were not aware of this exclusive time we would have with the Holy Father. When lucky enough to be chosen to ask a question to the Pope I knew I had to ask about his encyclical Laudato si which we had just finished studying at year 10 RE. Students amongst my class felt as though as a young person, on an individual level, they couldn’t help to fix the environmental crisis we are facing (that it was a problem too big for them, and needed action from big corporate companies). I asked Pope Francis to provide guidance to our students about how everyone can make a difference to care for our common home. This was filmed by their press at the Vatican and we will be able to get a copy of the footage over the next couple of days, I am so excited to share this with the year 10’s in particular. He was insightful, well spoken, approachable and incredibly inspiring. A very humbling experience…Here are some snaps from what will always be an unforgettable day.

- Ms Isabella Athaide

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