St Edmund’s College celebrated our Founder’s Day on the feast of Blessed Edmund Rice, 5 May. On a beautiful sunny day, we commenced the day with a wonderful Mass attended by current staff and students and representatives from our brother and sister Catholic Colleges from across the ACT. The boys then participated in a range of games and activities for the remainder of the day. The day was a wonderful community celebration.
As we do every year, the College acknowledges the significant contribution that staff have made to the St Edmund’s Community through our Service Awards, as well as recognise outstanding service to our community by an old boy, a current student and a current member of staff through the Br Matt McKeon Faith and Service Awards. This year’s recipients are:
Br Matt McKeon Faith and Service Awards
Connor Moloney (student)
Fred Zarb (staff)
Tony LoPilato (old boy)
Staff Service Awards (10 years of service)
Staff Service Awards (15 years of service)
It is appropriate at this time of year that we reflect on the work of Blessed Edmund Rice and how his mission is lived out at the College in 2023. St Edmund’s College is one of over fifty schools across Australia, who are currently governed by Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA). Prior to 2007, these schools were previously owned and run by the Christian Brothers.
Edmund Rice was born in Callan, Ireland in 1762 and lived in Waterford as a young man. Edmund was a successful businessman and married in 1789. Following the tragic death of Edmund’s wife, Edmund deepened his relationship with God and was moved to compassion and to recognise the needs of those around him.
Many people lived in poverty in oppression in Ireland at the time. Edmund found that liberation was at the heart of Jesus’ preaching. Edmund set up a school in 1802 for boys living in poverty and provided other necessities like food, clothing and shelter for them. In addition to basic skills, Edmund educated the boys about God and the Catholic faith. His aim was to free them from their sense of hopelessness.
Other men joined Edmund in the coming years and they were professed as Brothers in 1808. By 1925 Edmund and his thirty Brothers were providing free education to over five thousand boys in twelve towns. The Christian Brothers also expanded beyond Ireland in 1825.
In 1868, Brother Ambrose Treacy and three companions arrived in Australia. Starting with very little, the Brothers eventually opened one hundred and twenty schools in Australia.
EREA continue the mission of the Catholic Church and the charism of Blessed Edmund Rice in their fifty-five schools today. Their EREA Charter guides our Colleges, it assists schools
to offer a liberating education, based on a Gospel spirituality, within an inclusive community committed to justice and solidarity.
All of our schools use the four Touchstones to guide our practices and set the direction of each College. They are the foundation of who we are and what we do, and help us to understand our mission and charism as an Edmund Rice school. The Touchstones are alive and visible in the St Edmund’s community.
Prayer for Blessed Edmund Rice
O God we thank you for the life of Blessed Edmund Rice.
He opened his heart to Christ present in those oppressed by poverty and injustice.
May we follow his example of faith and generosity.
Grant us the courage and compassion of Blessed Edmund
as we seek to live lives of love and service.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Christus Lux Mea