2021 - 2022 Principal's Message

 

Developing God-given Talents in Extended Learning


Today, I am going to talk about our monthly theme :Developing God-given Talents in Extended Learning;. Everyone is talented in some way or the other but making good use of our talents is what sets us apart from others.

     

Here at HFCC, many students are making the most of their talents. Let me illustrate this with two examples. Some S4 and S5 students of the Chinese Speech and Debate Team participated in the 37th Sing Tao Inter-School Debating Competition and got remarkable results. Gigi Wu of S4B and Marisa Ip of S5A were awarded the Best Interactive Debaters in the second and third preliminary stages of the competitions. The encouragement of their teacher advisor, Ms Kary Chan, also attributed to their success. Another example is, six S3 students got the First Prize in the 5th Chinese History Inter-School Elite Quiz Competition last Friday. They were Miki Wong of S3B, Jennie Ng and Natalie Poon of S3C, Joey Chung, Sally Ho and Themis Kong of S3D. Thanks to their teacher advisor, Mr Frankie Yiu, for his guidance. These are indeed what God wants us to do. We need to develop our God-given talents for the goodness of all mankind. In the Bible, God says, :We all have different gifts, each of which came because of the grace God gave us.; (Romans 12:6 NCV).



To echo this teaching, let me share a story with you about two brothers who wanted to be rich. One day, they left their village and arrived at a railway station. While they were deciding where to go, they met people coming from Beijing and Shanghai. The people from Beijing said .Beijing is heaven. People there are rich and kind as they will give poor people food to eat and you don・t need to work there・. By contrast, the people from Shanghai said .Shanghai is the city of dreams. There are a lot of opportunities waiting for you if you try・. After hearing this, the two brothers made up their mind. The elder brother bought a ticket and went to Beijing while the younger one went to Shanghai. What happened to these two brothers? Well, after 3 years, the two brothers returned to their village. The big brother was happy as he did not need to do anything and the kind people in Beijing gave him enough food to live on. The younger brother, on the other hand, had his own business in Shanghai because of his skills in planting and gardening. The younger brother obviously discovered his potential and worked hard to achieve his goal. My dear girls, I would like you to learn from the younger brother・s attitude. He proactively developed his inner strength and developed his God-given talents. This is what God wants us to work on. Only God knows what we are capable of and what we need, so strive hard, make good use of your talents and aim for your dreams.



Dear Holy Familians, the summer holidays are approaching and you are encouraged to spend the holidays on extended learning. I believe that no matter what kind of extended learning you engage in, you can acquire knowledge and develop your skills. Build on your inner strengths as well as your determination. I hope you all can treasure the summer holidays by exploring your boundaries and expanding your horizons. Now, let・s pray to God to help us make good use of our time to develop the talents He has gifted us with.




Embarking on the Journey of Lifelong Learning


Today, I am going to talk about our monthly theme :Embarking on the Journey of Lifelong Learning;. In today・s sharing, I would like to encourage all of you to explore and see more of the world while you are young. Be open and try new things to increase your chances of succeeding in today・s ever-changing world.



Four years ago, in one of the morning assemblies, I spoke about the theme related to :Exploring Innovative Development in Technology;. Perhaps our current S5 students remember what I said at that time. I explained that there was a need for our young generation in Hong Kong to develop their creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial skills in order to showcase their competitiveness in the future, especially when opportunities arise for Hong Kong to contribute to major initiatives for national developments, like the :One Belt One Road; initiative. As you can see, the world around us is changing faster than ever before. Nowadays, our teenagers are encouraged to explore the :Greater Bay Area; initiative which aims at promoting closer cooperation and coordination between eleven cities of the Pearl River Delta among which, Hong Kong, Macao, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou shall serve as core engines. This :Greater Bay Area; initiative has the potential to extend its reach beyond the Pearl River Delta region. In the long term, it should be able to act as a catalyst for China・s broader Belt and Road Initiative.

     

To maintain the competitiveness of our society, I believe that professional talents with different capabilities and at different levels are required to meet the demands of the economic, scientific and technological developments in the 21st century. Thus, to enhance your skills, you are advised to cultivate innovative thinking, explore more technological advancement and be an effective lifelong learner equipped with knowledge, generic skills as well as values and attitudes. All these essential skills are necessary for you to face challenges in the contemporary world. To equip yourself with knowledge, try to take out some time to learn and read qualitatively every day. The busiest and the most successful people in the world find at least an hour to learn something every day. For instance, Warren Buffett spent five to six hours per day reading five different types of newspapers and 500 pages of corporate reports while Bill Gates read 50 books per year.



My dear girls, whether it is pursuing your personal interests and dreams or chasing professional ambitions, lifelong learning can help you achieve all this. Let・s be committed to engage in a new learning initiative. Now, let・s pray to God to grant us perseverance and guide us to embark on the journey of lifelong learning.




Embracing the Wonders of Life


Today, I would like to talk about our monthly theme :Embracing the Wonders of Life;. When thinking about this theme, the one person that came to my mind was our Foundress, St. Magdalene of Canossa. In the first week of May, we celebrated the Foundress Day and learned about how our Foundress responded to her true calling to make Jesus known and loved through her service to the poor. She has inspired us to serve others and to be sensitive to the needs of those around us. She showed us that loving others is a decision that must be taken wholeheartedly, and in doing so, one requires a lot of patience and sacrifice.


Our Foundress had deep insights of the mission of the Canossian institute when it was established on 8 May 1808. The spirit of the Canossian Sisters requires detachment from everything and everybody, and the readiness to go to any part of the world in their service to God. In relation to this, our Foundress had a desire to be turned into dust, so that she could be carried by the wind to reach different parts of the world to spread God・s love. Back then, 200 years ago, air travel was a luxury that very few could dream of. Yet, our Foundress was willing to go to any extent to embark on this journey just to bring Jesus・s love to others, especially the needy. To the Canossian Sisters, the well-being of the poor was their only aim. It is through them that we are reminded of the Canossian Institute・s motto: :Charity in Humility and Humility in Charity;. These two virtues of charity and humility best sum up the life of our Foundress, St. Magdalene of Canossa and that of our Canossian Sisters. I would like to call upon you all to learn from them and follow in their footsteps to spread kindness by expressing unconditional love towards humanity.




Dear girls, the world in which we live is constantly putting pressure on us in many different ways. However, despite the darkness that may surround us each day, we can and will find true joy in living a God-centered life. When we live with God at the center, we have a gospel centered worldview and learn to be contented with everything we have. We learn to find our passion amid difficult times. For me, I believe that my passion in life is following His will to serve the school, my family and society. He has awakened in my heart the desire to pursue my calling and fulfil the duties He has bestowed upon me. My dear girls, you have been facing numerous obstacles in your life and I can tell you that it is not over. There will be ups and downs at different stages of life. However, with God・s blessings, you will have the strength to overcome all the barriers provided that you put your trust in Him. According to the Psalm, chapter 28, verse 7, it reads :The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him and he helps me.; Like our Foundress and Canossian Sisters, we need to develop a positive attitude towards life and put God at the center of our lives. Now, let・s pray to God to grant us the determination in all our undertakings and to show us the way to embrace the wonders of life.




Learning from Experience


Today, I would like to talk about our monthly theme :Learning from Experience;. Did you watch the Winter Olympics last month? Well, I did and I thoroughly enjoyed watching some exciting events including freestyle skiing, ski jumping and snowboarding. I felt very proud of the many young athletes who showcased their talents in sports.


One such Chinese teenage sensations was Su Yiming, who received his first Olympic gold medal in the men・s snowboard big air event three days before turning 18. On receiving his medal, he said :I don・t believe I・m a genius, but I surely believe that my diligence has contributed to my success.; This is especially true in Su Yiming・s case since his knowledge from his past learning experiences was directly related to his current success. Without diligence, he might not have reached his goals.



Just like Su Yiming, many of our brightest students study hard and put tremendous efforts in their work in the hope of passing with flying colors. Learning does involve lots of practice but one of the most effective ways to learn is by reflecting on one・s own experience. Experience includes lots of trials and errors. As we work on a task, we may encounter obstacles and sometimes we make mistakes. To overcome these hurdles, we have to find various approaches that may or may not work. Throughout our learning process, we abandon methods that do not yield results and adopt those that work for us. This then becomes a valuable part of the learning process. Learning is never smooth sailing, and we should learn not to fear making mistakes, but instead learn from them.

     

By reflecting on your mistakes, learning becomes very productive. In fact, at our school, after every assessment, you are asked by your teachers to reflect on your learning process. For example, you have to do evaluation after every assessment, whether it・s a composition or a test. When you do so, try to reflect on why you gave the wrong answers or made mistakes, and then avoid them next time. Let・s say, if you feel that you were not hardworking enough before the assessment, then you have to start your revision earlier with good time management. If you find that you are weak in vocabulary, then you have to develop a habit of reading to expand your word power, checking up the meanings of new words, jotting them down in a notebook and trying to make use of them in your writing. If you find that you do not master some topics in Mathematics, you have to work on solving mathematical problems related to those topics daily as well as refer to some other references so that you can excel in them. If you are weak in listening to English, you can get into the habit of watching the news with English subtitles so that you can train your ears to listening to spoken texts. Everyone has his / her own way of learning and this can vary across individuals. By reflecting on your own experience, you can find some effective ways of learning which will enable you to strive for excellence.

     


My dear girls, I earnestly call upon you to open your hearts to reflect on your past learning experience so as to get ready, prepared and organized in the second term. Remember what our Foundress says, :The human heart is in the hands of God who arranges everything with tenderness and for our own good.; Let us put our trust in God and pray to Him for guiding us to develop a positive learning attitude and granting us the determination to achieve our dreams.




Advent Liturgy


     

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 on the anticipation of the second coming of Jesus on the Judgment Day.


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.




Building Good Work Habits




Today, I would like to talk about our monthly theme :Building Good Work Habits;. Why do we need good work habits? According to research, up to 40% of our daily lives is shaped by our habits. If we consistently maintain good work habits, we are much more likely to be happier, healthier, more productive and more creative. Today, I would like to introduce a very essential work habit that I believe you all are familiar with V making an after-school timetable.


Here at school, you all follow a timetable, which ensures a fair of distribution of time allocated to different subjects. However, you also need to follow one after school, as it not only gives you an effective strategy to manage your time but also allows you to strike a balance between your studies and other activities. These could include developing your hobbies, exercising, eating, sleeping, hanging out with your family and friends as well as devoting your time to God. By making a timetable, you can be better prepared to achieve your goals as it enables you to visualize what you have got in your schedule for the day and across the week.



As a student, how can you make an effective timetable? Here, I would like to share with you three tips on how this can be achieved.

  1. Set and prioritize your goals.
  2. By setting your goals, you will have a clear focus of what you want to achieve and once that is done, prioritize them according to their importance. For instance, if you are taking a new subject like .Economics・ and may not be very familiar with its concepts, you may need to allocate more time to this subject.



  3. Be consistent with your work habits and follow your schedule.
  4. The most effective way to create a study routine is to schedule in your revision at the same time every day. For instance, after completing your assignments, you could set aside 45 minutes of studying with a 15-minute break. Don・t overload yourself. You will do better overall if you give yourself regular breaks from work. By following a schedule, you will soon get into the habit of building a consistent study routine.


  5. List deadlines and commitment.
  6. Before you begin filling out your timetable, it is essential that you write out a list of deadlines and important events you have coming up. This will enable you to schedule your revision at the most effective time and help you maintain other commitments. For example, if you have a Mathematics quiz coming up in two weeks and need to attend a family gathering at around the same time, you need to plan your schedule accordingly. You can allocate some time to work on 10 questions each day. With an organised work schedule, you can do both your revision and take out time for other activities. This will also reduce your stress and prevent last-minute panic.

 

You can make your timetable on a piece of paper or in digital format, such as a spreadsheet or an app on your phone. After making your timetable, do keep it in a place that you will see or access every day. It might take some time for you to really get used to using your timetable but keep at it. Once it is a part of your routine, you can then build good work habits. Not only will you enjoy your work, but you will also be a step closer to success.

So in the second month of the school year, I earnestly call upon each and every one of you here to exercise your self-discipline and being organized in achieving your goals. Now, let・s pray to God to grant us the determination in scheduling our work and developing good work habits.



Conducting Evaluation and Setting New Targets


Today, I would like to talk about our monthly theme :Conducting Evaluation and Setting New Targets;.



Every year, we stress the importance of setting goals at the beginning of the school year. This year, while working on the monthly theme of September, I decided to add the words :Conducting Evaluation;. Can you guess the reason for this? Well, as you all know, no one is perfect and we have to constantly reflect on ourselves to make progress so that our life becomes more meaningful. So when should we start conducting evaluation and setting new targets? The answer is :NOW;. To make changes in our life, it is important that we act now before it is too late. This same thought can be applied to our yearly theme :Treasuring our Life Lifting Up our Mind;. If we put things off until a later time, we may not get another chance and will end up regretting our decision. For example, should we start doing our assignments now or wait until the last minute? Should we start doing revision now or wait until the day before the First Test? Should we start exercising regularly now or put it off until we can spare some time for it? Don・t put aside your work as we do not know what tomorrow holds for us. Instead, work on your targets, evaluation and assignments starting from now. You can make use of your Students・ Handbook to guide you to do so.

 



In this new academic year, the Holy Spirit will come to you whenever you take the time to follow God・s way. There may be things that are difficult to stop, to start, to keep or to give up, but if there is a will for good deeds, God will always make the way for you. But the key to make things happen is to start them NOW. In the Bible, when Jesus asked Peter to follow him, his immediate response to God・s calling was .NOW・.

 



My dear girls, in this school year, I appeal to you to take a more proactive step in your learning and personal growth. Now is the time for renewal, to stop your wrong doings and to start your new commitments of self-enhancement for the goodness of your school, family and friends. Do also remember to live up to God・s love and spirit by following His will. Now, let us pray to the Lord to strengthen our faith in Him and to guide us in setting our targets.




Living in Gratitude    Thanksgiving in Blossom


Our Educational Theme for 2021-2024 is :Living in Gratitude, Thanksgiving in Blossom; with the main focus on :Gratitude;. Why is this quality so important? Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what we receive, enabling us to recognise and acknowledge all the things in our lives. In our busy lives, gratitude may not be something we are aware of consciously; however, if we remember and express it, gratitude can bring us immense happiness. Not only does it help us deal with adversity in a positive way, it also allows us to relish good experiences and strengthens our relationships with others. Apart from benefitting our psychological health, gratitude has a positive impact on our physical health.

There has been much research on the effects of gratitude and one such study was carried out by two psychologists in United States. In this study, they asked all participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics. One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them, and the third group wrote about events that had affected them with no emphasis on them being positive or negative. After 10 weeks, the first group who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.



In the first year of the coming three years, we will learn to show gratitude by treasuring our life. In the second year, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary and exhibit gratefulness while in the third year, we will learn to express gratitude by humbling ourselves.



For this year, our theme is :Treasuring our Life, Lifting Up our Mind;. We have to thank God for giving us a chance to live in this beautiful world and thank our parents for giving birth to us. Life is limited and every moment in our life is precious. In your prayer book on p.20, prayer No. 18, For Good Use of Time, there is a sentence that echoes this thought. The sentence is :Every hour that passes is an hour less in my life span, an hour closer to meeting You face to face;. Whenever I read this sentence, I am reminded that life is short and I have to make the most of it. We are reminded to develop a positive attitude towards life.



Let us learn to be thankful for the difficult times which can train us to be more persevering and allow us to turn every adversity into an opportunity. There are many ways to do so. For example, if you get wrong answers in a test or exam, you could learn from them to prevent making the same mistakes again. Instead of giving up or escaping the reality, you can consider this as an opportunity to enhance your understanding of what you have been taught.



Later on, our Head Girl Core Group will be invited to share their views on the yearly theme with you. Followed by that, there will be another sharing by a group of students. Last year, eight senior students from our School・s Media Team joined the Movement to Prevent Stroke Video Contest organised by the Division of Neurology of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The purpose of this contest was to encourage people to exercise regularly to prevent stroke and this was done through a creative workout video. I would like to invite them to convey a positive message about a healthy lifestyle and how it can lift up our mind. Regular exercise is associated with greater emotional wellbeing and makes one feel happier!



Dear Holy Familians, to live a fruitful life, a grateful heart is important. If we have a grateful heart, we can be aware of the good things that happen to us, and never take them for granted. I would like to end today・s sharing with a quote from the bible. According to 1 Thessalonians, Chapter 5:16-18, it reads, :Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.; Let・s remind ourselves of this verse, focus on appreciation and always express gratitude so as to demonstrate to our dear Lord that we are doing His will. Thank you and may God bless you all.




2021 - 2022 Principal's Message
2020 - 2021 Principal's Message
2019 - 2020 Principal's Message