Catholic Education Week 2020 - Bishop’s Inservice Days
The annual Bishop’s Inservice Days (BIDs) are held during Catholic Education Week. There are approximately 1,700 staff that participate in these events which are delivered in three different locations across the Diocese – far west, mid-west and in Toowoomba.
The days provide the opportunity for the Bishop to engage with the staff of Catholic schools reminding everyone that while they are part of a Catholic school and community, they are also part of a local Church and the Diocese of Toowoomba led by Bishop Robert McGuckin.
This year, whilst Toowoomba Catholic Schools staff were unable to gather together in the usual large groups with colleagues from across the Diocese they still participated in a day of spiritual formation at their local site or in smaller gatherings.
Keynote addresses from Bishop Robert and Dr Patrick Coughlan, Executive Director: Catholic Schools, were delivered by video, with their audiences reflecting on the key points they identified. The days also included opportunities to share experiences and thoughts, participate in reflection and prayer around a chosen theme.
School leadership teams then selected a topic from materials developed by the TCSO Formation and Identity Directorate to inspire and engage their school community. The five topics focussed on Catholic Identity and were
- Made in The Image of God
- Seeing God in all Things
- Faith Seeking Understanding
- Living Within the Catholic Story
- Community Made for each other.
For the smaller schools of Charleville, Quilpie and Cunnamulla, a gathering on the riverbank in Cunnamulla, enabled them to focus on their stories and build community.
St Mary’s College, Toowoomba gathered at the James Byrne Centre with Brother Graham Neist fms as their guest speaker. Brother Graham explored several themes, including the truest image of being Catholic. He also delved into Christology, theology, and ecclesiology.
St Thomas More’s Primary school was excited to share BID with their broader school community. This year the school launched a staff Social Justice Committee in response to an overwhelming call for further social justice activities by the school community. At the start of the year, they explored what social justice meant for each of them and worked on creating their own definition. From there they explored how they could drive change and awareness of social justice in the community. BID provided an opportunity to explore the idea of social justice through song, story, digital technology, individual reflection, group work and prayer and what it might mean to students in their year level group.
Despite the changes for BID 2020, the days allowed all participants to network and dialogue around the key teachings of the Catholic Church and their importance in the contemporary world.