Monday 26 February 2024

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Advent Liturgy 2023

Repent and rejoice!  We have entered the new liturgical year!  The new Church year begins with Advent.  It is a period of preparation before Christmas.  The word Advent comes from Latin origin and means “coming”.  It reminds us of the first coming of Jesus, His birth more than two thousand years ago.  It also emphasizes the anticipation of the second coming of Jesus on Judgment Day.


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Advent wreath has become a sign of hope and longing for the true light of the world.  The circular shape symbolizes “the fullness of time”.  The evergreen leaves signify the eternity of God and eternal life.  The four candles represent the four weeks in Advent.  The colours of the typically-used violet and rose candles symbolize penance and joy respectively.  The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizing the increasing light from Jesus will gradually push out the spiritual darkness of our life.  The lighting of the fifth candle on Christmas Eve signifies the victory and glory of God.

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Father, for the sake of the suffering humanity, fill all our hearts with an eager longing for Your Peace and Joy. Amen.


Listening to Learn

Today, I would like to talk about our monthly theme “Listening to Learn”.  Let me start my sharing with a story. 


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Once upon a time, there was a king who was eating cakes and honey with his chief advisor on a balcony.  As they ate, a drop of honey landed on the balcony railing. The chief advisor asked if he should call a servant to clean it up but the king replied, “It’s not a big problem.  Someone will come and clean it later.”  They continued eating and chatting as the drop of honey began to slowly drip down and landed on the busy street below.  The chief advisor once again brought this to the King’s attention and told him that the honey had fallen into the street and was now attracting flies.  He asked again if he should call for a servant.  Just like the previous time, the king replied, “It’s just a little drop of honey.  Don’t worry about this trivial matter.”  Soon after that, a lizard came out from the bushes near the palace’s garden and began to catch the flies with its tongue.  Seeing that, a stray cat nearby pounced on the lizard.  At that time, a man was walking with his dog in the street.  His fierce dog, annoyed by the noise from the cat, started to attack it.  A passer-by shocked at the scene started hitting the dog with a rod to protect the cat.  The master of the dog was angry and started arguing with the passer-by.  Soon after that, the people in the street attempted to stop the commotion by taking sides.  This resulted in groups of people fighting each other and this led to a huge riot among them.  The battle grew bigger and shortly afterwards, there was fire on both sides of the street.  The raging fire spread rapidly to the palace, which was engulfed in flames in no time.  The king finally realised that it was the drop of honey that caused all this and told himself that he should have got it cleaned from the start.  Now, all his kingdom was lost because of a tiny drop of honey.

Source of the original story:

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My dear girls, what does this story teach us?  If the king received the chief advisor’s advice at the beginning, there would be no disaster.  It teaches us that we should have the right mindset and act accordingly whenever a situation arises.  If we do not, people around us may suffer just like the example in the story.  Listening to others and taking their suggestions into consideration are essential qualities that everyone should possess.  Only when we listen to others, be it our parents, teachers, friends or other people, do we learn something from them.  Girls, when you listen to others, remember to incorporate an important quality of HFCC graduates and that is being humble and receptive to others’ advice. This and many other qualities are listed on page 11 of your Student Handbook, under the ‘Profile of HFCC Graduates’.

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I hope that you adopt some of the good qualities as mentioned above as you embrace your different roles at HFCC and beyond.  Now, let’s pray to God to make us active and patient listeners, allowing us to look at life from different perspectives.

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Principal’s Address in Opening Ceremony

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Good morning, teachers and students.  It is great to see you back at Holy Family.  I would like to extend a warm welcome to new school members.  Praise be the Lord for the blessing of our school reopening ceremony. 


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Last year, we were honored to witness our school’s 50th Anniversary, which marked a major milestone in our school’s history.  Under God’s guidance, our school indeed had much to celebrate and be proud of our progress over the past 50 years.  In this rapidly changing world and new era of technology, we are at a historical juncture to act and define the future of our school for the next 50 years. Like always, we plan ahead with a purpose defined by our yearly theme and our theme for this academic year is “Humbling Ourselves   Appreciating Others”.  Though we received immense positive feedback for our achievements from our guests during the Open Days, we need to remind ourselves to be humble and continue to look forward for any possibility of further enhancement.


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When you are asked to be humble, whom do you think of?  To me, I think of our Foundress, St. Magdalene of Canossa, who was humble and charitable.  From her words of wisdom, “Humility is the foundation and support of all virtues”, we can tell that her prayers and daily contemplation of the greatest love of Jesus Christ as well as the Mother of Sorrows prompted her to be humble.  Our Foundress realised that God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble and thus, she embraced this quality of humility and followed in the footsteps of Jesus Christ who humbly followed God's plan for His life.



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Indeed, humility is self-respect which keeps us from thinking too highly or too meanly of ourselves.  It makes us modest by reminding us how far we have come short of what we can be.  I believe that you can exercise humility, as demonstrated by one of our alumnae, Renee Wan.  Renee graduated from our school six years ago and is now a trainee solicitor at a law firm.  In 2012, Renee had the privilege to meet with the three Chinese astronauts who went into space in that year.  After interviewing them, she wrote about her learning experiences and these are displayed in our IT Innovation Lab on the 3/F.  Have you been there and read about her experiences?  Let me briefly tell you about her story.


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In 2012, the delegation of the space missions including the three Chinese astronauts visited Hong Kong. Renee, who was in Secondary 2 at that time, was honoured to represent our school to interview the three astronauts.  She appreciated the perseverance, commitment and diligence of the three astronauts who shared their stories of how they had faced their setbacks, experienced hardships and embraced challenges in their missions.  Inspired by the astronauts, Renee devoted her time whole-heartedly to her studies and pursued her dream of being a solicitor.  When Renee visited our school during the 50th Anniversary Celebration, she humbly thanked us for giving her the invaluable experience of meeting with the Chinese astronauts who inspired her to work towards her goals and for the numerous learning opportunities she was provided here.  Her enlightening words for Holy Familians are as follows: “Life is a space mission full of challenges.  When faced with unexpected incidents, we must hold on and overcome difficulties with resilience.”  Even after achieving so much in her life, Renee has shown her appreciation to people whom she has learned from at different stages in her life.


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Apart from excelling in her academic studies, Renee participated in different learning experiences, which transformed her weaknesses into strengths and allowed her to realise her potential.  Like Renee, you are encouraged to do the same.  In other words, take the initiative to widen your horizons by reading extensively as well as taking part in other learning experiences.  Starting from the end of September, different teams at school will take turns to open their special rooms and hold lunchtime activities for you to expand your knowledge.  Here is the schedule:

  • On Monday, our IT Innovation Lab on the 3/F will be open.
  • On Tuesday, the Chinese Language Centre on the 2/F will open its doors for you.
  • On Wednesday, you can visit the PSHE Learning Community on the 3/F.
  • As for Thursdays, you are welcome to pay a visit to the STEAM Room which is on the 5th (We will use the word “STEAM” as introduced by the Education Bureau for our STEAM education.  STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.)
  • Last but not least, the English Language Centre on the G/F will occasionally hold activities for you on Fridays so that you can learn English in a fun way.

Meanwhile, the Self-access Learning Community (SALC) on the 4/F will be open from Monday to Wednesday starting from October.  Besides, there will be activities and extra classes arranged by different teachers or student leaders throughout the school year.  


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Later on, some members of our Head Girl Core Group will be invited to share their views on the yearly theme with you.  This will be followed by another sharing, also by three members of the same group on STEAM education.  They recently participated in an external competition titled “VR for Good Challenge”, organized by HKEdCity, the Hong Kong Association for Computer Education (HKACE) and the International Coding Education (ICE).  The theme of the competition was Mental Health.  Our students successfully created a VR game with Cospaces, which helped raise awareness of some of the mental health issues faced by teenagers and ways to help them tackle stress and emotional problems.  Our students’ hard work in making this VR Game paid off and not only did they win the Championship, they also received the Best Presentation Award for their meticulous effort.  Their devotion and involvement in this extended learning activity is highly commendable.  I hope their sharing can shed some light on your participation in other learning experiences and your attitudes.



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I would like to end today’s sharing with a quote from the bible. According to the First Epistle of Peter, Chapter 5 Verse 6, it reads, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, so that in due time He may exalt you.”  We are reminded to be humble in the presence of God's mighty power, and He will honor us when the time right comes.  May we constantly remind ourselves of this verse and continue to keep praying and expressing our humbleness to our Lord and all the people around us.  I wish you all a blessed, healthy and fruitful new academic year.  Thank you and may God bless you all.