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Influence of St Francis on show at Lockleys

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The influence of its namesake saint was evident everywhere when St Francis School at Lockleys welcomed members of the Diocesan Visitation Team.

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During the ‘long day’ on September 18, Year 7 students took the opportunity to escort members of the team – administrator delegate Fr Philip Marshall, Chancellor Heather Carey and Jill Gallio, Tim Grauel and Teresa Lynch from the Office for Renewing Parishes – on a tour of their much-loved school.

Mrs Carey noted there was a “very visible” dedication to the charism of St Francis of Assisi and number six of the eight gospel characteristics of a renewing parish, ‘God’s care for all the creatures of the Earth’.

“St Francis of Assisi is the environmental saint and he preached the need to respect all of creation,” she said.

“At St Francis School it is clear students are taught the value of caring for the environment. St Francis’ inspirational words are inscribed on external walls, and student murals reflect their ecological awareness.”

As ‘tour guides’ Laila Aldridge, Brodie Dalglish and Samuel Gariboli told Mrs Carey they were very proud of their school and its efforts to care for the environment.

They spoke of the school’s Seedling, Scarecrow and E Waste groups, ‘nude food’ week and how students were educated to use the appropriate bins for recycling. The school garden, complete with a guardian scarecrow, is also a focal point for students of all ages.

“There are several natural spaces in the yard where students can sit and be peaceful, including in a little boat, so the ecological journey is shared,” Mrs Carey added.

“The frog pond and the wetland area provide beautiful, serene spaces and students can sit on the rocks at the edge, or stand on the bridge and find a place to be calm and to reflect and meditate.

“The science room has wonderful aquariums including many species of frogs, turtles, yabbies, fish and stick insects. The students also care for a section of the River Torrens close to the school.”

During the visitation students from St Francis also attended the adjacent St Raphael’s Home for the Aged, where the connection between young and old was further strengthened through the planting of seeds in pots.

Other activities undertaken by the Diocesan team during the day included a visit to the Little Tadpoles playgroup, meeting with representatives of the Italian and Maltese communities and chatting with volunteers from the St Vincent de Paul Society.

A ‘Community Conversation’ with parish priest Fr Tony Densley as MC enabled parishioners to have an open discussion on various topics with members of the team.

Fr Marshall celebrated Mass at Christ the King Church on both weekends of the visitation, also meeting with parishioners afterwards for an informal chat.

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