Principal’s Message: Term 2, Week 2, 2021

“If we walk in the light, as he is the light, we have fellowship with one another.” 1 John 1:7

To the family and friends of St Edmund’s College,

Last Sunday was Good Shepherd Sunday, celebrated in each year of the liturgical cycle on the fourth Sunday of Easter.  The Gospel is always taken from the tenth chapter of John where Jesus speaks of himself as the “good shepherd”.  This year there was a special alignment of dates with Good Shepherd Sunday falling on ANZAC Day.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”

Jesus emphasises the self-sacrificing element in his own life: “The good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep.” He contrasts the good shepherd who owns the sheep to someone who is simply hired to look after them. The hired man thinks primarily of his own welfare and, if he sees a wolf coming, he takes off, leaving the sheep to be attacked and scattered in fear and terror. Jesus, on the other hand, will not be like a hired person: “I lay down my life for my sheep.”   The good shepherd knows his sheep and they know him. There is a mutual bond of love and intimacy. That love is compared to the deep mutual relationship that exists between Jesus and his Father. “My own know me just as the Father knows me.”  The good shepherd deeply desires that many other sheep should come to identify themselves with him. “There are other sheep I have that are not of this fold, and these I have to lead as well.” The ultimate goal is that “there will be only one flock, and one shepherd”, that the whole world will be united together with its God and Lord. This is the meaning of the Kingdom which is at the heart of the Gospel message. (Adapted from livingspace.sacredspace.ie)

We find a very strong parallel with the messages emerging from Good Shepherd Sunday with the messages emerging from ANZAC Day.  We are all aware that ANZAC Day is not a day where we celebrate war.  Rather, it is a day where we stop to remember those who have fallen and given up their lives for us, and to remember those who continue to serve us in extraordinary ways. In the same way that Jesus knows his sheep and was willing to lay down his life for them, so too these Australians who have fallen knew too well what they were fighting for – that special Australian way of life and the Australian sense of peace and freedom. They too “knew their sheep” and could identify very closely with their fellow Australians, with those “back home”, and in doing so were prepared to fight and serve to preserve this, not just in Australia, but in those countries around the world that have the same sense of peace and freedom. They laid down their lives in order for us to take up ours.  We honour these actions and remember the fallen on ANZAC Day, and we honour those proper who continue to serve us, having the same spirit and direction in wanting to preserve that which is right ands just.

I am very proud of our young men who represented the College at the Queanbeyan ANZAC Day Commemorations last Sunday.  Our Vice Captain Eden Mordike gave an address at the ceremony, with one member of the public stating he was captivated by Eden’s address.  Our other students assisted in distributing booklets, flags, water bottles, and represented the College in a fine manner, standing for those who have fallen, who have served and are serving.  Our students also met up College Old Boy, Mick McManus, Committee Member of the Queanbeyan RSL sub branch.  If you have not had a chance to view our special ANZAC Day commemoration on Facebook, I would urge you to do so.  I thank Mrs Danielle Ridgway and Mr Nigel Palfreman for compiling this touching tribute.

We had a special ANZAC Day Assembly at the College today (Wednesday 28 May) where our two special guests addressed the College community.  My very special thanks to two members of our parent body for giving of their time and sharing their thoughts and wisdom.  Thanks to Lieutenant Colonel Gerrie Page (currently Staff Officer Grade One Postings at the Directorate of Officer Career Management, Career Management – Army) and Master Sergeant Blake Gamez (currently the Senior Logistics expert, Transportation Officer and Flight Chief in the 337th Air Support Flight, U.S. Embassy, Canberra).  We also had a number of students present their thoughts on ANZAC Day, through a video presentation and a presentation of some original poetry.

Student Spotlight
Congratulations to Nicholas Odgers (Year 12, Treacy) on achieving the Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award. Nicolas was awarded this at our last College Assembly buy our Duke of Edinburgh Awards leader, Ms Tanisha Elliott. We are in great admiration of Nicholas’ initiative, perseverance and skill in achieving his Silver award, and we look forward to Nicholas’ great work in working towards his Gold Award.

Congratulations to the following students for being selected to the ACTJRU Brumbies Training Squad for the Southern States Championships 2021:
U13s: Danny Celeski (Year 8, Mulrooney), Israel Gautusa (Year 7, Rice), Jesse James (Year 8, Treacy), Cooper Knowles (Year 8, O’Brien), Sonny Lauvao (Year 7, Mulrooney), James Martens (Year 7, Haydon), Chase Ranieri (Year 7, O’Brien), AJ Sanft (Year 7, Treacy), Ben Sisley (Year 7, Mulrooney).
U15s: Bronson Brown (Year 9, O’Brien), Braydan Darmody (Year 9, Murlrooney), Rory Forbes (Year 9, Rice), Billy Lachlan (Year 9, Mulrooney), Mackai Reedy (Year 9, Clancy).

Open Day, Saturday 1 May
Our Open Day will be held on Saturday 1 May from 11.00 – 2.00.  This is a wonderful opportunity for families interested in enrolling their son to see the College first hand – to view the facilities, meet with teachers and students, engage in subject displays and learn more about our great College.  If you are aware of any families interested in enrolling their son in any year for 2022, please let them know about this event. Further information about Open Day can be found here:   https://www.eventbrite.com/e/145800704833

Consent Education – Seminar for Parents and Carers, Tuesday 4 May
A reminder that on Tuesday 4 May we have Brent Sanders presenting a free seminar to parents and carers.   For the past 22 years Brent Sanders has been presenting gender-specific seminars on violence against women to male and female students in secondary schools and at universities throughout Australia. Following a distinguished career in the Police Force, he started his own business presenting seminars and lectures on workplace harassment, conflict resolution and offender psychology.  Brent speaks frankly and openly to create an atmosphere where students feel comfortable exploring questions on intimate topics such as the range of definitions surrounding sexual assault. Using age-appropriate language, Brent outlines the legal parameters of consensual sex, as well as the consequences of bad choices.

Brent regularly visits St Edmund’s College to present age-specific seminars to students in Year 9 (in conjunction with students from St Clare’s College), Year 11 and Year 12.  We have arranged for Brent to present a seminar to parents and carers.  This will reinforce the partnership between parents and carers and the College in the education and growth of the young men who attend St Edmund’s by allowing all of us to present a strong and confident voice in sensitive and vital issues.

We have arranged for Brent Sanders to present a free seminar to our parents and carers on consent education. This is an important part of our overall program on consent education for our students, and provides an invaluable opportunity for parents and carers to join with the College in becoming powerful partners in this sensitive and important area.  The seminar will be held on Tuesday 4 May.  Please click on this link to register for the free seminar: https://sec.act.edu.au/brent-sanders-seminar-2021

This will be the first in a program of seminars for parents and carers.

 Prayer for the Fourth Week of Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday)
Loving Shepherd,
You love us and watch over us always, in our joys and in our pain.
Help us not to be deceived by the world around us.
Thank you for the great gift of your love and protection
and for our faith in you, which shapes our lives.
May our hearts be open to an awareness
of your great love
and may we carry that love to those
we pass each day who need it the most.

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

Joe Zavone
Christus Lux Mea