What is XRAY?
A lot has changed in the past 2 years, for our community, our country and the rest of the world, but one thing remains inherently true here at Xavier College, and that is... What we stand for! Our school community made, up of our staff, our families and most importantly our students, together we hope to create a reflective, prayerful and accepting environment.
Together, we hope to build a community which is Christ-centred, that practices forgiveness, and is understanding and actively accepting of others. We welcome the possibility that we will be challenged in our beliefs, because we want our students to be critical thinkers with informed consciences.
XRAY is a Xavier initiative, introduced by the Xavier Mission Team which encourages discussion of topics on our faith. To take a closer look at this initiative we spoke with Miss Isabella Plust to explore what XRAY is and how it benefits the Xavier Students.
What is XRAY?
The Australian Bishops named the liturgical year of 2018 to be the national Year of Youth. In response to this call, and following the great success and enthusiasm of over 80 students voluntarily representing the College at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival 2017, the XMT launched the XRAY Youth Group to create an engaging platform for students to explore and celebrate their faith. XRAY stands for Xavier Reaching All Youth is a voluntary student-driven youth group that aims to deepen and enrich our students’ connection to the Catholic Faith. All students from years 7-10 are welcome to join for games, discussion, prayer and to stay connected with friends during this time of online learning. XRAY will be returning in Term 3 via ZOOM.
Why is XRAY important to the students at Xavier College?
XRAY is a place where students are able to gather together, form friendships and share beliefs whilst receiving formation of the Catholic faith. This has been foundational for Xavier College students as what is taught and discussed in the religion classroom is limited to the curriculum. All students are welcome, from a variety of faith backgrounds, religions and year groups to discuss their personal beliefs and to also receive an understanding of what the Catholic Church teaches. This has proven to be a successful experience as students feel welcome, have formed new friendships, strengthened existing ones and are engaged/ able to share in a safe place. Staying connected during online learning.
What is involved in preparing an XRAY Session?
XRAY began with the original Xavier Mission Team: Michael Buhagiar, Tanya Angeli, Michael Faccin and Henanita Fatu under the approval of Mr. Michael Pate. XRAY 2021 has continued through the direction of Miss. Fatu (Harrop), Miss. Plust and the newly appointed FIAT teacher Miss. Wonson. FIAT stands for Faith in Action Teams and is a voluntary role for teachers in the Parramatta diocese; with a goal to strengthen mission and Catholic life/ministry within the school and other diocesan schools. Miss. Isabella Plust is part of the FIAT teacher and FIAT Steering committee who meet regularly with a few diocesan schools from varying denearies and the Parramatta Mission team; Amanda Bentley, Mark Smith and Mark Tuffy.
How was XRAY originated and developed at Xavier?
XRAY began with the original Xavier Mission team however students only gathered once a month after school. There was a need to have a youth group more frequently to remain connected with one another and have consistency. XRAY was run during 2020 during sport time when traveling for sport was canceled due to COVID-19 and health direction. In 2021 XRAY was launched for the first time at the end of year 7's XIL Immersion program. This proved to be quite successful and students of all faiths and backgrounds were eager to join. During the beginning of 2021, we had approximately 40+ students join with 30+ consistently returning each week. XRAY has continued via ONLINE in term 3 due to COVID-19 and has allowed students to remain connected, share friendships and discuss their beliefs.
What are some of the key/interesting discussions you've had this year in XRAY?
Topics for term 3 have been designed based on student interest from completing a google doc in Term 2. So far we have covered the following:
Week 1: Gratitude is the Best attitude
Week 2: Authentic and Inauthentic friendships - how to know the difference?
Week 3: Love Vs. Desire - What is love? (baby don't hurt me)
Week 4: Qualities of Jesus: Human and Divine
Week 5: What is Heaven? Who may enter?
Week 6: What is Hell?
Week 7: Purgatory and the Afterlife
Week 8: Soldiers of God: Hierarchy of Angels - Who/what are angels?
Week 9: RUOKDAY FOCUS - Suffering: What does the bible say about mental health and suffering?
The students are able to engage in a positive way with like minded individuals, when asked why Xray was important, Morissa, a current Xavier Student said: