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Principal’s Message: Term 4, Week 8, 2022

“Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Dear families and friends of St Edmund’s College,

I received some very disappointing news last week regarding our attempts to create a safer zone for our students who cross Canberra Avenue of a morning and afternoon.  The e-petition to make Canberra Avenue a 40k school zone has been denied.  The has been an acknowledgement by the by Minister Chris Steel that students from St Clare’s College and St Edmund’s College need to cross Canberra Avenue (either by walking or riding), but no action will be taken to make it a school zone. He also acknowledged that the other streets surrounding the school are a school zone, which is of absolutely no consequence at all to those students crossing Canberra Avenue.  The only glimpse of hope is that Minister Steel finishes the response by stating that there will be a review of the traffic movements in the area (yet another one!) and that there could be consideration of other possible interventions, such as a controlled/signalised pedestrian crossing.  To use a colloquialism, I will not hold my breath waiting for that to happen.  I am disappointed and frustrated that an attempt to create a safer environment for our students to cross has been neglected.  I thank the many hundreds of parents and community members who have supported us in this campaign. I have reprinted Minister Steel’s letter below (the letter is addressed to the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly as it is the Clerk who presents the petition to the Assembly).

Response to petition from Minister Chris Steel:

Mr Tom Duncan Clerk ACT Legislative Assembly

Dear Mr Duncan

Thank you for your letter of 2 August 2022 regarding petition 18-22, requesting the reduction of the speed limit to 40km/h on Canberra Avenue between Barrallier Street, Griffith and Hume Circle (intersection of Canberra Avenue, Wentworth Avenue and Sturt Avenue, Griffith).

The ACT Government acknowledges that St Clare’s College and St Edmund’s College are located adjacent to Canberra Avenue and that some students walking and riding to school cross Canberra Avenue. Several streets surrounding St Clare’s College and St Edmund’s College are already currently designated as school zones, including parts of McMillan Crescent, Blaxland Crescent and Barrallier Streets.

Canberra Avenue is a busy arterial road that transports approximately 20,000 vehicles per day at an average speed of 60km/h. Over the past seven years, a total of 23 crashes were reported on this road section, three of which resulted in injury, and none involved pedestrians.

Given that Canberra Avenue is a main arterial route between Canberra and Queanbeyan, the current reduced speed limit of 60km/h is appropriate. Introducing a 40km/h speed limit on this road section is unlikely to be an effective measure without extensive traffic calming measures, which are incompatible with this road’s arterial function.

However, Transport Canberra and City Services will undertake an internal review of traffic movements in this area to inform consideration of other possible interventions, such as a controlled/signalised pedestrian crossing.

Sincerely
Chris Steel MLA Minister for Transport and City Services

2 November 2022

Student Leaders’ Formation Day

On Tuesday of last week we held our annual Student Leaders Formation Day with our new leaders for 2023.  The formation day focuses on students becoming aware of their own leadership skills and styles, developing these skills and applying these skills to a school setting. The afternoon session saw the Junior School leaders join the senior leaders in looking at how we can animate and strengthen the messages that arise from some of our foundational documents – the Statement of Eddies Pride, the annual Scriptural theme and the four Touchstones. My thanks to the students leaders who engaged in the day with a great positive sense, and to the staff members who worked with our leaders – Mr Michael Monagle, Ms Monica Day and Ms Bridget Cusack.

Year 12 Graduation

Last Friday’s Year 12 Graduation events were a highlight of the year.  For the first time for a few years, we could return to having the graduation events in their full style rather than a restricted event.  The three events (Mass, Assembly and Dinner) ran very smoothly and marked a significant manner in which to celebrate and farewell our Year 12 cohort. We have some unique and special traditions which take place on Graduation Day, such as presenting each Year 12 student with a graduation stole, on which is printed the name of every student in Year 12; and of course, the presentation of the Old Boys tie during the Graduation Dinner.

We also continued the “new” tradition (commenced last year) of students signalling their end of school life by ringing the bell.  This bell was a gift from last year’s Year 12 students, and is rung by students and staff when they commence their time at the College and when they leave the College.

This is how the bell was introduced to the College community last year by the 2021 College Captain, Baden Godfrey, “In Irish mythology, bells symbolise both a beginning and an ending. We, as the Graduating Class of 2021, would like to present the College with this bell, the symbol of which has a strong connection to our Irish heritage as a school and also to connects us in knowing that when something ends, another begins. For us, our time at school is formally coming to an end yet it is the beginning of the next chapter of our lives. After us, members of our community, students and staff, are invited to ring this bell to celebrate the beginning of their time here at the College and also to acknowledge the end of their time here too. So in hearing this bell, we know that even when life changes, we are always connected to the Eddies community. May this gift from the Graduating Class of 2021 ring out with shared memories and of the past, celebrations of the present and hope for the future. 

Go gcoinneoidh Dia iad siúd a chloiseann é i dtearmann a láimhe.  May God hold those who ring it in the palm of His hand.”

Major Year 12 Awards

Congratulations to the following students who were recipients of significant awards at the Graduation Dinner last Friday evening.

  • The Edmund Rice Award is given to a number of students who have in their own unique and individual way contributed to the vibrant spirit and positive culture of the college. They are students who have excelled in representing the College in our community, maintained consistent academic efforts, demonstrated resilience, persistence, leadership and initiative and have lived out the values and ethos of our College founder, Blessed Edmund Rice. Congratulations to Henry Alsworth, Nicholas Coote, Will Grame, Liam Guthrie, Hunter Harlor, Wynn Hickey, Andre Jugovac, Eric Liehne, Tadgh Loadsman, Matthew McGrath, Thomas Percy, Angus Robertson-Taylor, Liam Spence, Justin Thomas, Joshua Wink
  • The College Award for Vocational Studies is presented to a student who has excelled and demonstrated commitment to the field of Vocational Studies. He has achieved certification in various areas and has applied himself greatly to his work in his chosen field. Congratulations to Kye Darmody.
  • The Adam Darmody Award is presented to a student in the area of Creative and Performing Arts. It is given to the student who has been an exemplary role model for younger students and a consistent member of the creative and performing arts co-curricular program through the band program, musicals and performances, and other creative and performing arts programs that the College offers. Congratulations to Daniel Isherwood.
  • The Sportsman of the Year Award is presented to the student who has achieved a record of outstanding performance in their chosen sports or fields. The recipient of this award has participated in and excelled in his contributions to the College Co-Curricular Program in one or more chosen sporting fields during his time at the College. He has also represented the College at ASC level and achieved selection in one or more Australian representative teams. Congratulations to Andrew McFarlane.
  • The Oldfield Cup is presented to a Year 12 student for outstanding commitment to community service. Congratulations to Daniel DeBruin.
  • The Archbishop O’Brien Cup is presented to a member of the graduating Year 12 class for outstanding Christian leadership. Congratulations to Daniel Isherwood.
  • The Denyse Gibbs Award is presented to a Year 12 student who has made a consistent, sustained and conspicuous effort in his senior years of studies. The award recognises personal achievement, integrity of action, the overcoming of adversity and determination to achieve self-set goals. Congratulations to Jacob Traynor.
  • The Byrne Award is the College’s highest accolade presented to one of its students. It is presented to a Year 12 student for the demonstration of personal integrity and initiative within the College and its community. Congratulations to Andrew McFarlane.
  • The Blue and White Award is selected by students in Year 12 and is presented to one of their peers for being an inspirational student to others. The recipient is someone who has displayed honesty, integrity, loyalty and humility throughout their time at the College. The award winner demonstrates resilience and courage in the face of adversity. Congratulations to Andrew McFarlane.

Last Day of School

A reminder that the last day of school for students in Years 4 to 9 is Tuesday 6 December.  We finish the school year by celebrating the achievements of our students in our presentation ceremonies (see important dates below).  Please note that there are no scheduled classes for the high school following the presentation of awards. Students in Years 7, 8 & 9 can leave the school premises after the ceremony (only with parental permission).  Those students who remain at school will be involved in some clean-up activities for the reminder of the afternoon.

A reminder of important dates for the rest of the year

Monday 5 December: Junior School Activity Day

Tuesday 6 December: Junior School Presentation Ceremony (9.15am); Years 7 – 11 Presentation Ceremony (11.00am)

Tuesday 6 December: last day for students in Years 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

Prayer for the First Sunday of Advent

Loving God,
the light I choose to let into my life today is based on my trust in you.
It is a weak flame, but I so much desire that it dispel a bit more darkness today.
This week, I just want to taste the longing I have for you as I go through each day,
carrying out the responsibilities of my life and work,
facing the frustration of some difficult relationships.
Let the Advent candle for this week be my reminder today of my hope in your coming.
Amen.

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.

Joe Zavone
Principal
Christus Lux Mea

Principal’s Message: Term 4, Week 7, 2022

“Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Dear families and friends of St Edmund’s College,

I would like to spend most of this week’s Vortex acknowledging the great achievements experienced by many of our students outside of school. Many of these achievements have already been acknowledged on our social media sites, but as not everyone has access to these, I acknowledge the students in Vortex as well. Please always let me know of any student achievement outside of the College.

Congratulations to the following students …

Monty Green (Year 9, Treacy) has been selected for the Under 16 Victorian Hockey side, which is a Southeast Allstars team consisting of ACT, NSW, Victorian and South Australian players. The tournament will be held in Perth later this month. Monty has also been selected as captain of his team.

Tristan Borghouts (Year 11, Treacy) and Shannon Tardrew (Year 9, Treacy) have been selected to the ACT Giants AFL Academy squads.  Tristan has been selected in the Under 18s squad and Shannon has been selected in the Under 16s squad.

Shannon has also been chosen for the Andrew Johns Cup squad along with Ryan Douglas (Year 9, Clancy).  The Andrew John Cup is the Under 16s NSW regional representative NRL competition.

Brothers Charlie Jamieson (Year 5, Rice) and Jack Jamieson (Year 7, Rice) recently competed in the Australian Schools Under 12 Touch Football Championships in Wagga Wagga, representing the ACT. The team was coached by our Head of Junior School, David Kelly, and went on to earn a bronze medal at the tournament, defeating Western Australia. Charlie is young enough to trial again next year, with the 2023 tournament being held in Darwin.

As part of the St Edmund’s College / Canberra Raiders partnership, Billy Lachlan (Year 10, Mulrooney), Emmett Smith (Year 10, Rice) and BJ Darmody (Year 10, Mulrooney) have been selected to the Canberra Raiders Harold Matthews Cup training squad. The Under 16s tournament will be held early next year, hosted by NSW Rugby League.

Also as part of the St Edmund’s College / Canberra Raiders partnership, Israel Taiatini (Year 11, Rice), Darcy Devoy (Year 11, O’Brien), Abraham Tuli (Year 12, Treacy) and Eucla Veamatahau Davies (Year 11, Mulrooney) have been selected in the Laurie Daley Pre-Christmas squad for Monaro Rugby League. The Under 18s Laurie Daley Cup is NSW’s regional representative NRL competition.

Darcy has also been selected for the “Rest of the World” Oztag team that will compete in the Big 4 International Tag Series, held in March 2023. Darcy was selected while representing the ACT in the recent Junior National Championships.

Rory Forbes (Year 10, Rice) has been selected to represent ACT at the All-Schools Track and Field Championships in Adelaide this December. Rory will compete in 100m, 200m and 90m hurdles.

Reunions

We also congratulate the following old boys who experienced recent reunions: Classes of 1972, 2001 and 2002.  We hope to see more old boy groups celebrate the reunions in 2023, with a warm welcome to all reunion groups to tour the College and relive some special memories.

Facebook Scam

Unfortunately for the last couple of years there has been a scam operating on our Facebook page (and other schools as well) where an organisation will purport to have a live feed of a school event.  In the past this has been involved the Rugby grand finals, the recent White Ribbon Family Walk, the Opening College Mass, etc.  The organisation asks you to log into their website to view the feed, asking for some important personal details. Please note that any live feeds of any school event will be organised and advertised by the College itself, not by an external company.

A reminder of important dates for the rest of the year

  • Tuesday 22 November: 2023 Student Leaders Formation Day & Dinner
  • Tuesday 22 & Wednesday 23 November: examinations for Year 10 students
  • Friday 25 November: last day for Year 10 students
  • Friday 25 November: Year 12 Graduation Mass, Assembly and Dinner
  • Monday 5 December: Junior School Activity Day
  • Tuesday 6 December: Junior School Presentation Ceremony (9.15am); Years 7 – 11 Presentation Ceremony (11.00am)
  • Tuesday 6 December: last day for students in Years 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

Prayer for Christ the King, celebrated on Sunday 20 November.

O Lord Jesus Christ,
true God and true man,
you died for our sins on the cross,
and you rose again from death,
and live and reign forever
as our mediator and gracious King.
Graciously forgive us our sins,
intercede for us poor sinners,
make us righteous
and sanctify and reign in us
with your Holy Spirit
to bring us to eternal life.
Gather now your eternal church
from every land.
Give us good government,
and protect us
from the power of the evil foe;
for you live and reign
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
forever and ever.
Amen.

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.

Joe Zavone
Principal
Christus Lux Mea

 

Principal’s Message: Term 4, Week 6, 2022

“Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Dear families and friends of St Edmund’s College,

Last week was a very significant week for community events here at the College.

Last Wednesday evening we had “SEEN 2022” – the annual TAS Exhibition.  My thanks to Jason Moore (Head of TAS) and his staff for a truly inspiring exhibition. The talent and skills of our students were outstanding (there was a beautiful metal large sculpture in the shape of a pear that I would have bought in a heartbeat!) and the students’ love of working in the TAS area was very apparent.

On Thursday evening we were privileged to have Mat Rogers at the College.  Mat was a professional rugby union and rugby league player at an international level and was at the College to launch his new book, “A Father’s Son: Family, football and forgiveness”.  Mat was fascinating, with his very personal story rising above his rugby league and rugby union experiences.  Mat interacted beautifully with Andrew McFarlane (2022 College Captain) and Deveraux Tapelu (2023 College Captain) who acted as the “interviewers” for the evening. The chat was thoroughly enjoyed by members of the school community and members of the general public who attended the launch.  Thanks to our Community Development Officer Lauren Reid, assisted by Executive Assistant Mikhala Andersen, for the organisation of a very successful book launch.

My thanks to the Heads of House and Monica Day (Assistant Principal Student Wellbeing) for a great House Farewell day last Friday.  Each Year 12 student was farewelled by his tutor in front of parents and students in the house.  The relational quality that our senior students have with their tutors and Heads of House was very strongly demonstrated, and the day served as a fitting end to our Year 12 students’ school experience.

My thanks also to Brenda Galvin (Defence Transition Mentor) and Michael Monagle (Assistant Principal Mission & Identity) for their organisation for our Remembrance Day ceremony.  There is a beauty in the simplicity of this ceremony, with the whole school community coming together at 11.00.  We were also joined by Year 12 parents who at the College for the House Farewell morning tea. I had many Year 12 parents remark on the respectful silence of the whole student body during this time.  Thanks also to Tristan Borghouts (Year 11) and Henry Page (Year 6) for leading the ceremony.

Of course all of these events have a team behind the scenes who ensure that the events run well – so many thanks to the maintenance team, IT team, canteen team and our administration / support staff for their very hard work and support.

As stated above, Year 12 students have now finished their classes, with only their exams and Graduation events left in the next two weeks.  Year 12 students finished well, engaging in the activities of their Farewell Rites of Passage Week.  There is still some silly behaviour from a very small number of students who have an outdated and juvenile sense of entitlement around their “right” to engage in “muck up activities”, but I have been so impressed by the vast majority of our Year 12 students who finished their time respectfully, with maturity and dignity, but still with a sense of enjoyment and fun.

This coming Friday (18 November) we have another important community event. The White Ribbon Day Family Walk involves St Edmund’s College students and their families walking in support of White Ribbon Day.  Participants are meeting at 5:30pm at the Commonwealth Flags and the will walk ‘Bridge to Bridge’, followed by a picnic barbeque at 7pm at our grandstand.  Please see this link for further details.

Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the Walk as I will be representing the College at the 150th Anniversary Gala Dinner of the Sts Peter and Paul’s Old Cathedral in Goulburn.  Sts Peter and Paul’s Old Cathedral in Goulburn served as the mother church for the Diocese of Goulburn until 1973. The Cathedral was officially opened by Archbishop Polding in 1872, and with the completion of its restoration, will be officially blessed and re-opened to the public on 30th November 2022.

World Day of the Poor

Last Sunday (13 November) the Catholic Church acknowledged its annual World Day of the Poor.  I would like to share with you a little of Pope Francis’ message on this day. As usual the Pope’s words are profound and meaningful.  The whole text can be found at this link.  This is very much within the context of our 2023 scriptural theme which you find at the top of my Vortex articles each and every week, “Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

Pope Francis states, “Where the poor are concerned, it is not talk that matters; what matters is rolling up our sleeves and putting our faith into practice through a direct involvement, one that cannot be delegated. At times, however, a kind of laxity can creep in and lead to inconsistent behaviour, including indifference about the poor. It also happens that some Christians, out of excessive attachment to money, remain mired in a poor use of their goods and wealth. These situations reveal a weak faith and feeble, myopic hope.

We know that the issue is not money itself, for money is part of our daily life as individuals and our relationships in society. Rather, what we need to consider is the value that we put on money: it cannot become our absolute and chief purpose in life. Attachment to money prevents us from seeing everyday life with realism; it clouds our gaze and blinds us to the needs of others. Nothing worse could happen to a Christian and to a community than to be dazzled by the idol of wealth, which ends up chaining us to an ephemeral and bankrupt vision of life.

It is not a question, then, of approaching the poor with a “welfare mentality”, as often happens, but of ensuring that no one lacks what is necessary. It is not activism that saves, but sincere and generous concern that makes us approach a poor person as a brother or sister who lends a hand to help me shake off the lethargy into which I have fallen. Consequently, “no one must say that they cannot be close to the poor because their own lifestyle demands more attention to other areas. This is an excuse commonly heard in academic, business or professional, and even ecclesial circles… None of us can think we are exempt from concern for the poor and for social justice” (Evangelii Gaudium, 201). There is an urgent need to find new solutions that can go beyond the approach of those social policies conceived as “a policy for the poor, but never with the poor and never of the poor, much less part of a project that brings people together” (Fratelli Tutti, 169). We need instead to imitate the attitude of the Apostle, who could write to the Corinthians: “I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance” (2 Cor 8:13).”

A reminder of important dates for the rest of the year

  • Friday 18 November: last day for Year 11 students
  • Tuesday 22 November: 2023 Student Leaders Formation Day & Dinner
  • Tuesday 22 & Wednesday 23 November: examinations for Year 10 students
  • Friday 25 November: last day for Year 10 students
  • Friday 25 November: Year 12 Graduation Mass, Assembly and Dinner
  • Monday 5 December: Junior School Activity Day
  • Tuesday 6 December: Junior School Presentation Ceremony (9.15); Years 7 – 11 Presentation Ceremony (11.00)
  • Tuesday 6 December: last day for Year 4 – 9 students

Prayer for World Day of the Poor

God of Justice,
open our ears to hear the cry of the poor
and to seek them where they are.
Let their cries for healing and wholeness move us to real action.
Open our hearts to deepened relationship with those in need
that we may draw near in love and our shared identity as your children.
Open our mouths to advocate for love and care as a human right,
not a privilege of the economically secure.
Let us hear in the cry of the poor the hope of future liberation,
grounded in the love of a good God.
Remind us that what we do to the least ones, we do to you.
Amen

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.

Joe Zavone
Principal
Christus Lux Mea

 

Principal’s Message: Term 4, Week 5, 2022

“Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Dear families and friends of St Edmund’s College,

We enter Week 5 with a great sense of excitement and anticipation, knowing that our Year 12 students are in their final week of classes. A few years ago we commenced an important tradition at St Edmund’s College during this final week for Year 12 – the “Farewell Rites of Passage Week”.  This was initiated to give our leaving students a sense of meaning and purpose in their last week, with a series of structured  farewell activities.  The “Farewell Rites of Passage Week” has always commenced with a breakfast organised by the Old Boys and Friends Association, where Year 12 students are inducted into the Association and are presented with an Old Boys cap.  We always have a farewell lunch with Year 12 students from St Clare’s, signalling the end of that particular relationship with the two cohorts. We have a structured affirmation activity towards the end of the week where Year 12 students bring in a school shirt and have it signed by their peers.  Importantly this is conducted in a liturgical context, signifying the importance of affirmation and friendship.  Also during the week Year 12 students experience their final session with Brent Sanders, who they first met when they were in Year 9.  Brent presents his final session with this group, focusing on the many facets of positive relationships. Brent is one of Australia’s most respected communicators in the field of workplace harassment, bullying and discrimination as well as issues to do with personal safety.

Of course the week always culminates in the House Farewells on Friday, where Year 12 students are farewelled in front of their House groups and parents, with their tutor group teacher farewelling them by saying a few words about each student and presenting them with a small gift.  This is always a highlight of the week as each student is farewelled in a significant and personal manner.

We have packaged all of these activities under the banner of “Farewell Rites of Passage” as each activity covers a different aspect of  development and maturing.  Dr Arne Rubenstein is the CEO and Founder of the Rites of Passage Institute. He has over 30 years’ experience as a medical doctor, counsellor, mentor, speaker and workshop facilitator.  He states that as a society, we have the ability to create contemporary rites of passage where teenage boys are challenged to think about what sort of men they are going to be and what childish behaviour they need to let go of.  He writes that in every Indigenous community around the world, boys have always gone through a coming of age rite of passage ceremony around the time of puberty. These communities did this to acknowledge and celebrate the transition from boy to young man, and recognise and name the unique gifts and talents in each of the young men.  We hope that the “Farewell Rites of Passage Week” we have created here at St Edmund’s goes a little way in helping our Year 12 students adjust to the new life upon which they are about to embark, and leave the school in a positive, respectful and meaningful way.

A reminder of important dates for the rest of the year

  • Monday 14 November: examinations week for Years 11 & 12
  • Friday 18 November: last day for Year 11 students
  • Tuesday 22 & Wednesday 23 November: examinations for Year 10 students
  • Friday 25 November: last day for Year 10 students
  • Friday 25 November: Year 12 Graduation Mass, Assembly and Dinner
  • Monday 5 December: Junior School Activity Day
  • Tuesday 6 December: 9.15: Junior School Presentation Ceremony; 11.00: Years 7 – 11 Presentation Ceremony
  • Tuesday 6 December: last day for Year 4 – 9 students

Prayer for our Year 12 students

Loving God,
We join with heaven as we celebrate and give thanks for every Year 12 student.
Thank you that each one is unique and brimming with potential.
Thank you for leading them in their learning,
for keeping them safe as they studied,
and for watching over them in their final exams.
We pray that they may all feel proud and enjoy sharing their achievements with family and friends.
May this week be a memory that burns bright within them as they look forward to
embarking on life’s great adventure.

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.

Joe Zavone
Principal
Christus Lux Mea

 

Principal’s Message: Term 4, Week 3, 2022

“Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Dear families and friends of St Edmund’s College,

I find it difficult to comprehend how we have ended up almost half way through Term 4!  Our students in Years 4 – 9 have five and a half weeks left of school, and the Year 12 Graduation Mass is now less than one month away.  As we move towards the second half of Term 4, it is sometimes easy for some of our students to lose focus, even though they still have a number of assessment tasks and examinations before them. A partnered approach between teachers and parents with supportive conversations will go a long way in maintaining student focus and attention.

I must offer my thanks and congratulations to students in Years 4, 5, 7 & 10 for their behaviour and attitude during last week’s camps. All feedback from staff clearly indicated that students were well engaged with the activities and contributed greatly to the success of these camps.  My thanks to the many staff members who attended the camps for their significant input of time and effort, ensuring that our camp program is always engaging, relevant and fun.

Gospel – Luke 18:9-14

Last Sunday’s Gospel is one that I often use with students when discussing the nature of prayer and the true nature of Christianity.

Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. “Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity – greedy, dishonest, adulterous – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’ But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14

The parable has two men as its subject, a Pharisee and a tax collector.  The Pharisees were the holy men who kept the law; they passionately pursued purity and wanted nothing more than to live lives that pleased God.  The tax collectors were despised and regarded as sinners as they were Jews who worked for the Romans.  The Jews resented paying taxes to the Romans who ruled over them, so tax collectors were considered traitors by their fellow Jews.

The parable is quite simple, with Jesus challenging those who believe that they are proud and righteous.  The Pharisee in the parable proudly boasts of his religious and moral observance. He is one of the faithful ones. The others are no good.  He uses the word “I” four times in his prayer and only states the good things that he has done.  His prayer is only about him, and he explicitly denigrates those around him. The tax collector, on the other hand, is so ashamed of his sinfulness that he stays at the back of the temple and prays for mercy and forgiveness. His prayer is brief and to the point.  He asks God for forgiveness.  We know enough about Jesus’ other parables to realise that action will still be required of the tax collector.

The Jewish audience of Jesus’ parable will have expected to hear the Pharisee praised, but instead Jesus has God standing up for the despised, the sinner, the one who fails to keep the Law. He shows that God is full of compassion, cares about the suffering of the outcast and sees the grain of honesty and goodness hidden in the human heart. Unlike the Pharisee, the tax collector is humble; he begs for the mercy and pardon that he feels he does not deserve.

All of us in our community must avoid being like the Pharisee – there is absolutely no value in focusing on ourselves and the many good things we do unless we are mindful of the plight of those around us.  The Pharisee is mindful of others around him but only in a derogatory, negative manner. He raises himself up by putting others down.  The tax collector on the other hand has his focus on wanting to be a better person – on asking for forgiveness and (we assume) carrying out his life with action that justifies and reinforces this forgiveness. We learn from this parable that we must not make the mistake of comparing ourselves with others and gaining confidence from what we see in that comparison. We are shown how we should pray; not with pride, comparing ourselves to others, but in humility, needy for God’s forgiveness, mercy and compassion.

Each time we pray at school we end with the exclamation, “Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us. Live Jesus in our hearts, forever”.  We are reminded that if we truly have Jesus in our hearts, then we live a life that is humble and in service to others, as witnessed in the actions and intentions of Blessed Edmund Rice. A humble life does not mean we spend our lives not being happy, or not celebrating achievements, or not having fun, or not pursuing a personal dream or ambition. But it does mean that what we do is always within the context of the bigger picture of those around us.  As our College Prayer states, “Let us stand for others always giving generously without counting the cost”.

Prayer

Loving God,
We pray for the heart position of humility.
Humility in such a way that we do not cheapen our own worth or value within,
but that we understand that we are here for a greater purpose than just our own gain.
We pray that You will highlight to us what it truly means to live a humble life,
and that our own worth will be revealed by Your Light.
It is only then that we may truly live in freedom and right standing,
for we will hold our own value correctly.
Gracious God, we welcome You to mould and secure our hearts in true humility by Your lead.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.

Joe Zavone
Principal
Christus Lux Mea

 

Principal’s Message: Term 4, Week 2, 2022

“Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Dear families and friends of St Edmund’s College,

Whilst the core purpose of a school is its teaching and learning program, I am sure we all agree that a strong activities program outside of the classroom is of enormous benefit to students. An activities program helps students build social, emotional and physical skills and allows for the development of personal and interpersonal qualities.

Last week a number of our students participated in a Duke of Edinburgh Program event near Wee Jasper. Students and staff braved the very wet conditions to participate in a four-day hike.  My thanks to Ms Tanisha Elliott, Mrs Marinda Venter and Mr Nathan Metcalfe for leading our students on the expedition and my thanks to the students involved for immersing themselves in the program with vigour and spirit.  Joining the hike was Nick Odgers (Class of 2021).  I must also congratulate Nick for winning the 16-19 years category in the 2022 Australian Aquathon Championship in Townsville (consisting of a 1km ocean swim and a 5km run).

This week we have Year 10 students attending their Urban Challenge Camp in Sydney for three days, Year 5 students attending their annual camp at Tuross at the beginning of the week and Year 4 students at Tuross at the end of the week.  We also have the popular Father-Son Camp at Tuross on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This is the first year in which we have run the Urban Challenge Camp for Year 10. The Urban Challenge provides the ultimate real-world experience where small teams, each with a teacher and Urban Challenge guide, embark on an unfolding adventure through Sydney and surrounds to complete urban-flavoured activities, clue chases, meal preparation and much more along the way.  Each team member has a functional role that contributes to the running of the team and everyone must work together to take responsibility for the team’s money, transport, timings and meals.  This sounds like a great opportunity and experience for our Year 10 students. I hope all of our students attending camps this week not only enjoy the camps but come back having learnt something about themselves and having grown in some way. (Year 7 students will attend their camp next week, held over from Term 1 due to Covid restrictions at the time).

Students in Years 10, 11 and 12 will join a large number of male staff in endeavouring to grow moustaches for the Movember fundraising event this term.  Movember is an event which raises awareness and raises funds for mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.  Prostate cancer is a situation very close to me as my grandfather died from it many years ago, and it has been a part of my life for about the last ten years.  I have been successful in controlling it for the last few years through medication and surgical procedures, but I know this is certainly not the case for a large number of men.  Movember is a fun event for a very important cause.  Here at St Edmund’s, we start the Movember event early so we can finish it early (in time for the Year 12 graduation events, where our participants can be back to normal for those very important graduation photos!).  I would encourage you to please support our participating students and staff in their Movember activities.

I received an update last week on the issue of the school traffic zone for Canberra Avenue. Currently the matter is still with the Standing Committee on Planning, Transport and City Services. We will update you on the result once we receive a response.

Prayer for World Day of Food 

October 16th is World Food Day proclaimed in 1979 by the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization (F.A.O.) of the United Nations, to heighten public awareness of the world food problem and strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

Lord give us today our daily bread.
Let us remember those who do not have bread for today.
May we willingly share your generous provision,
with all who hunger and lack adequate nutrition
in our own communities and across the globe. 
Lord give us today our daily bread.
Let us stand in solidarity with those who risk their health to provide our food.
May we cry out for justice in the food industry,
for all workers exposed to toxic chemicals and pesticides.
For farmworkers not paid a living wage.
Lord give us today our daily bread.
Let  us remember our bodies are God’s holy temple.
May we not eat too much or eat unwisely,
and destroy our health,
or deplete our planet’s resources.
Lord give us today our daily bread.
Let us remember we are all part of God’s worldwide community.
May we work together to steward the world God has created,
recognising our responsibility as caretakers and neighbours,
and joining in the celebration of God’s good creation.

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.

Joe Zavone
Principal
Christus Lux Mea

 

Principal’s Message: Term 4, Week 1, 2022

“Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Dear families and friends of St Edmund’s College,

Welcome back to all members of our community. May we face this last term of the year with fresh vigour, confidence and determination to achieve, succeed and finish well.

I don’t usually recommend television programs to parents and carers through my Vortex articles (especially commercial television programs), but this week I must make a strong recommendation to our parent community to watch a two-part program called Mirror Mirror which aired on the Ten Network on Monday and Tuesday of this week and can now be viewed on Ten Play. The first ten minutes of this program were very powerful and shocking, demonstrating the ease with which children can be abused and exploited online on sites such as Omegle and WhatsApp. The program also looks into cyber-safety, how the internet impacts young children and what parents need to know about the dangers of the internet.

Mirror Mirror details clearly how the internet is changing the way we view the world, especially as we have the first generation of children who have only known life with mobile internet. Exploring multiple stories across the two episodes, the program takes a look at the ways internet companies are capturing our attention and rewiring our brains and meets the people whose lives have been irreparably affected in one way or another. Quite importantly within our community context, the program explores two significant how young children have such easy access to pornography and the consequences that virtual relationships and pseudo-connections have on today’s young generation.

The first episode of the two-part documentary focuses on the theme of “love”, focusing on various topics such as OnlyFans, social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, virtual relationships, influencers and chatting online. The second episode shifts to the theme of hate, looking at how easy it is for people to fall into the hole of hatred, prejudice and conspiracies. I would urge all parents and c areas to watch this documentary – I would suggest to watch it alone at first, and then select which sections of the program would be suitable to watch with your son, followed by some robust discussion about the issues raised.

I turned 60 last week, and have found myself in discussion with friends and family reminiscing on my childhood. How innocent it seems now to be at school, during the day, then come home and look forward to watching American sitcoms on television – Gilligan’s Island, The Brady Bunch, The Munsters, The Addams Family and so on. Life was simple. The world for young people is now completely different, with a requirement for a sophisticated level of cyber dexterity and cyber maturity.

It really does disturb me and worry me what our young people are being exposed to and how this affects their though patterns and behavioural patterns. Schools alone can come nowhere close to dealing with these issues – it will take a great deal of work from schools, families, communities and governments to ensure that our young people have the skills to rise above the cyber world which envelopes them.

Parents Scam Alert
There is a new scam circulating on mobile devices setting out to trick parents into communicating with a fake number by posing as their child in urgent need of help. Doing the rounds on mobile devices, this scam is one of many of this nature and one that parents need to be alerted of as soon as possible as the element of fear being instilled may cause them to contact scammers or reveal highly sensitive information to them. The recommendation is to remain vigilant. There are many scams happening through text so if you are not sure, don’t respond. If it is something important your family will find a way to call you.

Principal’s Awards
At Wednesday’s Assembly we introduced the Inaugural Principal’s Awards. These awards are presented to students who demonstrate exemplary qualities of leadership and reflect the many fine qualities of the Eddies Statement of Pride.

Principal’s Awards were presented to:
Reeves Dzapata (11 O’Brien) and Darrell Faranando (11 Clancy), who last term stepped in of their own accord to prevent a situation with two younger students from escalating further.

Paul Oscar Brown (11 O’Brien), Daniel Isherwood (12 O’Brien), Lorcan Jennings (11 Rice), Tadhg Loadsman (12 Treacy) and Connor Moloney (11 Treacy) for their leadership and outstanding work in this year’s musical production.

2023 Leaders
Also at Wednesday’s Assembly we presented our 2023 student leaders to the College community. These leaders will be formally inducted into their new roles at next year’s Opening College Mass. I very much look forward to working with these new leaders, and I thank our current leaders for a year of fine service to their community.

Junior School
Stewardship for Inclusive Community – Tyrone Lauvao
Stewardship for Gospel Spirituality – Jonah Ong
Stewardship for Justice and Solidarity – Zachary Apperley
Stewardship for Liberating Education – Matthew Bolton
House Leader Clancy – Michell Gane
House Leader Haydon – Jace Daly
House Leader Mulrooney – William Hancock
House Leader O’Brien – Thomas Walsh
House Leader Rice – Mitchell McCracken
House Leader Treacy – Benjamin Brooker

Senior Students
College Captain (Stewardship for Inclusive Community) – Deveraux Tapelu
College Vice Captain (Stewardship for Justice & Solidarity) – Liuaki Percival
College Vice Captain (Stewardship for Gospel Spirituality) – Damian Jelfs-Smith
College Vice Captain (Stewardship for Liberating Education) – Hamish Chapman
Clancy House Captain – Jack McDermott
Clancy House Vice Captain – Darrell Faranando
Haydon House Captain – Roy Kuchel
Haydon House Vice Captain – Nixion Lemisio
Mulrooney House Captain – Joseph McBride
Mulrooney House Vice Captain – William Bate
O’Brien House Captain – Kelven Ng
O’Brien House Vice Captain – Paul Oscar Brown
Rice House Captain – Callum Hicks
Rice House Vice Captain – Rhys Spence
Treacy House Captain – Tristan Borghouts
Treacy House Vice Captain – Jacob MacDonald

Prayers and Blessings
It has been a difficult few weeks with a number of members of our immediate community and wider community experiencing loss and suffering.

We pray for member of staff Mr Denzil Fox, who last week underwent extensive surgery. Denzil will now commence a long series of treatment and recovery.

We pray for Brayden Woodger in Year 12 whose father Peter passed away last week. We offer our prayers and blessings to his mother Kellie and sister Abbie.

We pray for the families of the two young girls from Stromlo High School, who were killed in a car accident a few days ago. One of the young girls was the aunt of Pharoah Feagai in Year 5.

We pray for the family of Thomas English, a Year 12 student of Marist College Canberra who was killed in a car accident in the holidays. Thomas’ father Dixon English is a member of staff at Marist.

I offer you a Blessing Prayer from Sr. Joyce Rupp. Joyce is a retreat leader, spiritual director and a prolific Catholic spirituality writer. This blessing is from her book, “Out of the Ordinary”.

Blessing Prayer for Another’s Healing
May you desire to be healed.
May what is wounded in your life be restored to good health.
May you be receptive to the ways in which healing needs to happen.
May you take good care of yourself.
May you extend compassion to all that hurts within your body, mind, and spirit.
May you be patient with the time it takes to heal.
May you be aware of the wonders of your body, mind, and spirit and their ability in returning you to good health.
May you be open to receive from those who extend kindness, care, and compassion to you.
May you rest peacefully under the sheltering wings of divine love, trusting in this gracious presence. May you find little moments of beauty and joy to sustain you.
May you keep hope in your heart.
Amen.

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.

Joe Zavone
Principal
Christus Lux Mea

 

Principal’s Message: Term 3, Week 10, 2022

“Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Dear families and friends of St Edmund’s College,

It was an absolute pleasure to be in the audience of our College musical “Little Shop of Horrors” last week. I am very proud of our boys and their performances, especially the boys who held the lead roles.  I must congratulate Daniel Isherwood (Year 12) and Tadgh Loadsman (Year 12) who shared the lead role of Seymour.  Both Daniel and Tadgh gave wonderful performances and beautifully held the show together.  Congratulations also to students in the three other lead roles, Paul Oscar Brown (Year 11) Lorcan Jennings (Year 11) and Connor Moloney (Year 11).  All the lead performances were outstanding and were supported well by the many boys in minor roles (Hamish Chapman, Damian Jelfs-Smith, Lachlan Nicholls, Lachlan Vearing) and in the chorus (Harrison Bond, Matthew Bool, Benjamin Brooker, Owen Clausen, William Clausen, Riley Fakhouri, Brody Grainger, Nicholas Isherwood Cedric Johnson, Andre L’Aimable, Douglas L’Aimable, Harry Raby). Of course, we also had the wonderful support of the students from Merici College and Canberra Girls Grammar. We all know that a good musical production does not only involve what happens on the stage.  My most sincere thanks to all students and teachers who worked behind the scenes in bringing the musical to life (Patrick Barnes, Ethan Dixon, Fletcher Harrison, Brock Heisner, James Hahn, Mackenzie Jones, Jacob MacDonald, Aidyn McKay, Flynn Na Champassak, Charlie Sneddon, Josh Wink, Yuan Yumul, Ms Kylie Rose, Mr Lachlan O’Neill and old boys Alex Pippos and Steve Quilliam).

I must single out the ongoing efforts of Musical Director, Mrs Margaret Thomas and Director, Mr Nigel Palfreman.  Margaret and Nigel were instrumental in allowing students to shine in the production, polishing and refining skills and talents through numerous rehearsals.  The performing arts program is a significant part of St Edmund’s College, and this year’s musical production was instrumental in shining a light on the wonderful talents of both students and staff in our performing arts department.

Last week we launched the current edition of The Pelican, our alumni magazine.  The Pelican is issued twice a year and highlights several of our old boys who share their experiences and stories about the College and life after school.  It is an absolute delight to read these stories and find out what our old boys are up to.  The digital version of The Pelican can be found at this link.  The current edition of The Pelican features the following stories:

  • Ron Harvey, Class of 1954
  • Jim Rice, Class of 1971
  • Matthew Percy, Class of 1991
  • Chris De Britt, Class of 1992
  • Steven Kontowicz, Class of 2002
  • Chris Bucknell, Class of 2012

A reminder that as this week is the final week of Term 3, we commence Term 4 in summer uniform.  This means that students will be wearing shorts, and the puffer jacket, beanie and blazer can be stored away until next year. The uniform shop will be open at the following times in the holidays:

  • Wednesday 5 October 1pm – 5pm
  • Thursday 6 October 8am – 12pm
  • Friday 7 October 8am – 12pm

Congratulations to Andre Jugovac (Year 12, Treacy) for being selected to travel to Argentina in January for three months to train with San Jorge Athletico Football Club. Andre will defer his university studies, so that he can ‘live the dream’ and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that he has worked so hard to achieve. This is a great achievement and exciting opportunity for Andre, and we wish him all the very best with the journey and with his football career.

Congratulations to our Year 9 and 10 World of Money classes for their successful mini–Market Day last week.  Students in these classes have been learning how to start and run a business including marketing and finance. Last week they organised Market Day with a large variety of stalls to put their learning into practice. Although it rained for most of the afternoon, the weather did not dampen their spirits and all of our students were delighted to purchase and experience Vietnamese rolls, tie-dyed shirts, Super Spider drinks, a barbeque lunch, a range of baked goods and so on.

This week we held the second of our Parent / Teacher Meetings for the year.  These meetings are invaluable experiences and allow parents the opportunity to catch up with teachers and receive feedback about progress in subjects, suggestions for growth and improvement and development of skills. The Parent / Teacher Meetings only serve as one means of communication between parents and teachers, with the Parent Portal providing on-going communication.  Of course, we also encourage direct communication between teachers and parents at any time of the year in order to facilitate the best possible learning development for our students.

I wish all our students and families a safe and happy holiday and look forward to seeing everyone back for a great finish to the year in Term 4.

May God’s blessing go with us at all times.
At the end of this school term we pray
that You keep us safe and give us rest,
so we start Term 4 renewed and refreshed,
full of health and good energy,
ready to come and learn again.
Give Your peace and Your joy
to every student and their families.
Fill this school with Your love,
and guide our hearts from above,
full of faith, full of hope, full of joy, and full of love.
Amen

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.

Joe Zavone
Principal
Christus Lux Mea

Principal’s Message: Term 3, Week 9, 2022

“Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Dear families and friends of St Edmund’s College,

Last week was one of those rare occasions where all of us were witnesses to a significant moment in history with the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, and the transition to King Charles III. Regardless of how we feel about the monarchy and its relationship to Australia, most of us could not help but be saddened at this event and look back with astonishment and admiration at the Queen’s life of great service. I would like to share with you this statement from Archbishop Timothy Costelloe Sdb, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

“The death of Queen Elizabeth II, after a long reign marked by extraordinary constancy, fidelity, courage, and service, will bring great sadness to many people in Australia, including members of the Catholic community. As the Queen enters into the great mystery of eternal life with the Lord, we will pray for the repose of her soul and the support and comfort of her family, her nation, and the wider community of the Commonwealth. Queen Elizabeth was never reticent about acknowledging her Christian faith. Her annual Christmas message invariably focused on Jesus Christ as a model of humble and generous service. It was a model she strived to emulate throughout her long life. May she rest in peace.”

Mobile phones

In an article in the Sydney Morning Herald (dated 14 August), journalist Lucy Carroll quotes child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg who says restricting phones in secondary schools is critical to cut distraction, deal with rising cyberbullying and help students catch up academically after months of isolation.

In the article, Finnish education expert Pasi Sahlberg has urged caution, however, in implementing outright restrictions. “I am sceptical about a system-wide ban because it undermines the benefits that technology brings to learning, health, and safety, and more importantly, it reduces the necessity in schools to learn, safe, responsible, and healthy use, living with digital media and technologies.”

At St Edmund’s College, we are aware that parents and carers have given their children mobile phones to protect them from everyday risks involving personal safety and security. Our guidelines aim to educate our young men about how to monitor and manage their phone use, to ensure they are fully engaged in their learning in the classroom and maintaining good social connections during break times.

For students in Years 7-12, mobile phones are allowed before and after school, at recess and lunch. Mobile phones are not permitted to be used or seen during class time or in any meetings or gatherings. At times mobile phones will be used in class for an educational purpose, but this will be at the explicit and direct instruction of the class teacher.

In Junior School, mobile phones are not to be used at all during the school day, including recess and lunch.

Learning how to manage the use of phones is an opportunity for our students to develop self-discipline and self-control. We often use our pastoral / formation sessions and house meetings to explore the consequences of misuse of technologies and help our young people understand that phones can be both a powerful tool and how their misuse can cause harm to themselves and others.

At home, we encourage families to have a charging station where phones and other technologies are docked each evening. This has the benefit of allowing adolescents and young adults the opportunity for uninterrupted sleep, which we know is essential and eliminates the chance of distraction.

Police warning about technology

In recognition of Safeguarding Sunday, which was celebrated last week, I bring to your attention the warning from the Australian Federal Police and police forces across all Australian jurisdictions about a worrying online sextortion trend targeting young Australians.

Investigators are warning that overseas offenders are increasingly preying on Australian children, particularly teenage males, coercing them into producing explicit images and then extorting them for money. Sextortion is a crime that can involve child victims being manipulated by online offenders into sending sexualised images, often through the offender pretending to be another young person. An offender will then threaten to share the content with others unless their demands are met. These demands include more images, sexual favours, and money.

Authorities globally are seeing a significant increase in offshore criminal syndicates targeting teenagers. Investigators hope highlighting the trend will encourage children who have become victims to seek help and report the crime to the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child

Some of the AFP’s tips to keep children safe include having the privacy settings of their social media accounts set to ‘friends only’ or ‘private’ and turning off any location settings that could show where they go to school or where they live. Parents should also encourage children not to share any personal information with ‘friends’ they meet online. There are further details at this link.

Acknowledgements

  • Congratulations to the First XI Football team and their coach old boy Ben Nicoletti (Class of 2020) for their grand final victory last Saturday.
  • Congratulations to Seth Marsden (Year 7, Treacy) for winning his class at the 2022 Victorian State Junior Motocross Titles. The titles are a four-round series held throughout the year.
  • Congratulations to the following basketball teams for their grand final wins last weekend: U14s Div 2, U16s Div 2, U16s Div 3, U19s Div 3, U19s Div 4B, U19s Div 6. Many thanks to the coaches of all our basketball teams and the Head of Basketball, Mr Joel Richardson, for their work this year.
  • The musical, Little Shop of Horrors, had got off to a tremendous start with a great deal of positive feedback and compliments. I will write more about the musical next week as I am seeing it this week.

Prayer for Safeguarding Sunday 

(www.catholic.org.au/safeguarding-Sunday)

Gracious God,
You love and care for all your children,
especially the smallest and most vulnerable.
We entrust to you the lives of children and adults at risk
who have been sexually abused
and whose trust and innocent have been destroyed.

Help us to hear their cries of pain
and to take responsibility for those whose lives have been broken.
Help us to recognise the hurt felt by those wounded by abuse,
and the failure to be heard.

We pray that with the help of your grace,
communities and families will find understanding and support,
so that now and in the future
their wounds may be healed
and they may find lasting peace

Let your grace and love fall gently now upon children and adults at risk,
giving then the inner strength, peace, and resilience
To seek out assistance when required.

We ask this through Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever,

Amen.

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.

Joe Zavone
Principal
Christus Lux Mea

Principal’s Message: Term 3, Week 8, 2022

“Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Dear families and friends of St Edmund’s College,

There was some great spirit in the air last week and especially on the weekend as many of our sporting teams entered their semi-final and grand final games. At the time of writing this article not all details were available regarding the Rugby Union grand finals, but we were all buoyed by the fact that we had 12 of our 16 teams in grand final games.  A special congratulations to our senior teams, the Second and First XV, for their wins on Sunday.  We will have a summary of all weekend Rugby grand final details on our social media platforms over the next few days.

Our First XI Football team is off to their grand final game this coming Saturday, and no doubt we will have several of our basketball teams moving towards their grand final games in the coming days.

Last Friday we held an informal whole school assembly to remind our boys about appropriate behaviour and sportsmanship. I must say that I was very proud of our student spectators on Sunday. They demonstrated a very high level of sportsmanship in terms of their reactions to the opposing teams, and I received extremely positive feedback from several parents and members of the wider Rugby community saying the same thing.

A few years ago Pope Francis wrote that “To give the best of oneself in sports is also a call to aspire to holiness”. He explained that sports can be a great instrument of formation and sanctification, especially for young people.  To be good at a sport takes commitment, something often lacking in a throwaway culture and a culture of instant gratification.  “The Christian life resembles a marathon rather than a short sprint,” the document explains. “Sport helps us in this regard by teaching that it is worth embracing long-term challenges.”  Good sportsmanship acknowledges the skills and talents demonstrated by players from both teams, as well as acknowledging the long-term time and on-going effort of the players ands coaches.  A victory without good sportsmanship is a hollow victory, if a victory at all.  We will always work hard here at St Edmund’s to put the positive culture of sport and the many values and qualities associated with this well and truly above the perception that the final prize is the win and nothing else.

Many thanks to the fathers and father figures who attended our Father’s Day Mass last Friday.  The Blessed Sacrament Chapel was bursting at the seams and we will need to have this event at a larger venue next year.  We are embarking on a program here at the College to partner with our community of fathers to focus on their work in enhancing positive relationships.  Currently we have two Father-Son weekends every year held at Tuross.  This semester’s weekend is booked out and I would encourage anyone interested in this program to talk to Mr David Kelly or Mr Michael Monagle to discuss the nature of the program and the timing for next year.  We are also participating in a program called The Fathering Project, which is an evidence-based organisation that aims to promote positive fathering behaviours and fathers’ engagement with their children. The Fathering Project recognises that fathers, and father figures, play a vital role in children’s lives. The evidence demonstrating fathers’ potential to positively influence their children’s health and mental health, social success and academic achievements is now robust, indisputable, and compelling.  See https://thefatheringproject.org/about-us/ for further information about the program. We will keep you informed of the programs and resources that emerge from our participation in The Fathering Project.

Some great fun and good learning was had by students in Mr O’Rourke’s Year 6 class least week.  I was kindly invited to view their Science projects based on energy, and what I saw was truly a festival of imagination, knowledge and entertainment.  Students developed their own drones, cars, lifting-equipment and even a poker machine!  Thanks to Mr O’Rourke and his students for this wonderful event.

Acknowledgements

  • Congratulations to Tom Wragge (Year 8, Mulrooney) for receiving a sports award from local politician Andrew Leigh (Member for Fenner). Tom was presented with a Local Sporting Champion Award in recognition of his achievements representing the ACT and Baseball Canberra at the 2022 Australian Junior League Championships (Adelaide) and previously at the 2021 Australian Little League Championships (Lismore).
  • Congratulations to Phillip MacNamara (Year 6, Mulrooney) for representing the ACT and St Edmund’s College at the School Sports National Swimming Championships in Brisbane a couple of weeks ago.

Prayer for Fathers

Loving God,
you entrusted your Son Jesus,
the child of Mary,
to the care of Joseph, an earthly father.
Bless all fathers and father figures
as they care for their loved ones.
Give them strength and wisdom,
tenderness and patience;
support them in the work they have to do,
protecting those who look to them,
as we look to you for love and salvation,
through Jesus Christ our rock and defender.
Amen.

Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.

Joe Zavone
Principal
Christus Lux Mea