Student Spirituality


At St Joseph’s Primary, we acknowledge the innate spirituality of every child. Opportunities to nurture their spiritual growth are planned for and provided through a variety of experiences. These connect children to a faith community, give them a sense of security and belonging and remind them that they are deeply loved.

We strive to guide students toward living responsible and just lives by teaching and modelling the Gospel values of love of others through compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, advocating for justice and service to the poor and marginalised.

At St Joseph’s Primary, we encourage students to develop their whole selves, treat others fairly and respectfully, be responsible for their actions, and follow moral and ethical principles. We strive to activate this through opportunities to celebrate and learn about the Catholic faith through Religious Education classes, daily prayer, retreats and reflection days, liturgies and Mass.

At St Joseph’s Primary, we incorporate programs that build upon and complement the Catholic Schools Office Student Discipleship Continuum from Year 4 - Year 12. The sequential and age-appropriate continuum provides students with intentional faith-filled opportunities where they feel free to discuss and develop their faith.

Students can experience school and Catholic Schools Office programs such as:

Accendere Year 4 Retreat

As students complete the Sacraments of Initiation in Year 4, the purpose of this activity is to invite Year 4 students to a retreat day that focuses on the theme of ‘friendship in Jesus’. Developed by the CSO, this program is provided to schools to implement with their Year 4 cohort. Primary schools often engage the support of the Youth Ministry Officers (YMOs) to assist school staff in delivering the program. 

Exuro Year 5 Retreat

Exuro is a Student Discipleship Retreat Day for Year 5 students held in each of the five regions of the diocese. Year 9 CSYMA student leaders facilitate small group discussions and activities. Formed parish school staff now convene these retreats. 

Incitare Year 6 Retreat

A one-day retreat for Year 6 students using various group processes and student-led discussion. Students will experience faith-nurturing activities and skilling for being faith leaders in their respective schools. It is intended that this cohort of students will build capacity and feel inclined to take up a position in the secondary school Youth Ministry class using the CSYMA program.

Further to the Continuum are:

Schools of Prayer - In nurturing a proper understanding of the role of prayer in the faith life of students, a prayer focus is developed to assist age-appropriate parish school engagement in prayer experiences. The main forms of prayer that have been promoted in Catholic Education are the traditional forms and the Rosary, Awareness Examen, Lectio Divina, and the contemplative prayer of Christian Meditation. At St. Joseph’s, students participate in whole class Christian Meditation after lunch using the mantra ‘Maranatha’, meaning ‘Come Lord Jesus’. 

Music Ministry - Wildfire, the Diocesan Worship team, offers whole school evangelisation to primary and secondary schools under the banner of Proclaim Lismore and the Ten: Ten Experience.

Digital Ministry - Quality communications are available in the Proclaim Lismore Student digital platforms featuring Facebook and Instagram, with a focus on evangelisation of youth, praise and worship, and youth ministry digital networking (YouTube; Vimeo).

Sacramental Preparation - Our school works collaboratively with the parish to support students preparing for their Sacraments.

Our Sacramental Program is Parish based. Information sessions are held leading up to each Sacrament and are an important part of the formation process.

  • BAPTISM: The Sacrament of Baptism is the first step in our initiation into the Christian Community of the Church. For the Baptism of infants, parents are reminded of their responsibility to nurture the child in faith and love. The Sacrament of Baptism is usually conferred in Our Lady of the Rosary Church following the 8.30 am Mass on Sunday, or before Mass at St Patrick’s Church Wardell on Sunday evenings. Parents are asked to contact the Parish Priest as soon as possible to make a booking for the desired date for the Baptism. The necessary steps for preparation will then be provided.
  • CONFIRMATION: The Sacrament of Confirmation is available to children in Year 2.  Confirmation is administered by the Bishop in June each year.
  • FIRST EUCHARIST: The Sacrament of First Eucharist in Year 3. First Eucharist is traditionally received over three weekends in August. Families choose from either the 6.00 pm Mass on Saturday or the 8.30 am on Sunday at Alstonville, or the 5.00 pm Mass at Wardell on Sunday.
  • RECONCILIATION: Reconciliation is celebrated at an appropriate time according to the readiness of the children.  There is a parent information night for parents of children in Year 3. Please phone the Parish Office for information. For more information, please visit the Alstonville Catholic Church Parish website.