Principal’s Message: Term 4, Week 8, 2021

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

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

As we enter the all-important season of Advent next week, the Gospel reading from last Sunday reminds us of the nature of the Kingdom of God.  Last Sunday was the Feast of Christ the King – The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.

Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?’ Pilate replied, ‘I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?’ Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.’ Pilate asked him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.’ (John 18:33-37)

People who are not familiar with the New Testament will hear the phrase, “Christ the King” and will automatically think of concepts of authority, power, status, privilege, wealth and all the other connotations of the word “king”.  People who are familiar with the New Testament know very well that this is furthest from the truth.  Christ is King, but he is a king whose power is very firmly founded in the first and greatest commandment of love, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind”. Jesus’ rule is further founded in the concept of loving your neighbour as you would love yourself.  There is an authority to the kingship of Jesus – the authority of love.  This is a king who acknowledges the poor in spirit, the meek and those who mourn.  This is a king who celebrates those who thirst for righteousness, those who are pure of heart and those who seek peace. This is a king who blesses those who are persecuted for righteousness.

God’s kingdom is a place of humility, charity, and love, where the transformation of the inner person leads to a virtuous life. In the last sentence of the Gospel passage, Jesus says to Pilate that those who belong to the truth listen to his voice. A truthful life and a genuine life is indeed one grounded in the words of Jesus.  It is this life of truth and authenticity that we endeavour to promote every single day here at St Edmund’s College.  As a Catholic school grounded in the spirit and tradition of Edmund Rice, our vision is to develop boys into young men of strong character, by building a spirit of growth through Liberating Education; hope through Gospel Spirituality; belonging through Inclusive Community and service through Justice and SolidarityOur mission is to provide a quality Catholic education in the Edmund Rice tradition by promoting the highest levels of personal achievement in education bringing the light of Christ to every student; recognising, nurturing and celebrating the God given qualities of every member of our community and promoting opportunities for service to the community and to each other. This is our vision and mission.  As we near the end of the year we hope that we have moved our students along this path, making the Kingdom of God a little stronger and clearer for all in our community.

On Tuesday of this week we held our Student Leadership Formation Day for our senior and junior school leaders.  The final activity of the day was for the various groups of leaders to formulate their own vision and mission statements for their particular groups.  I will share these student-led vision and mission statements with you in the next few weeks or early next year. As mentioned before, next year we have leaders in both the senior school and junior school who have stewardship for the four EREA Touchstones – Gospel Spirituality, Liberating Education, Justice and Solidarity and Inclusive Community.  I am genuinely excited to see how the Touchstones are animated throughout the year with the good work of our new student leaders.

Uniform Shop
Accompanying this Vortex is a flyer for Uniform Shop opening hours in 2022. I would ask all parents to familiarise themselves with these details so you can plan well for your uniform fitting and purchase for next year.

Uniform Optional Items (next winter)
We have received the sample of the College puffer jacket.  All students, parents and staff on the consulting group have been unanimous in their approval of the sample, so it looks like we will go ahead with the puffer jacket for next winter.  The puffer jacket is an optional item of uniform (not compulsory) and is intended to be worn over the College blazer and jumper during winter.

The sample of the new beanie was not met with the same enthusiasm (I must say I was disappointed when it arrived), so we are still working on a better design for this. The beanie is also an optional item of winter uniform.

Important Dates
I would ask all parents to please keep in mind the following important dates as we draw closer to the end of the year:

·   Year 12 Graduation Mass, Assembly & DinnerFriday 26 November
·   Last day for Year 10 studentsFriday 26 November
·   Last day for Year 4 – Year 9 studentsTuesday 7 December
·   Junior School & High School Presentation Ceremonies

(subject to change due to social distancing restrictions)

Tuesday 7 December
·   Reception closedThursday 23 December to Friday 10 January

Lord Jesus Christ,
You are a King who cares deeply for his people.
May we search out those in need,
so that Love and Justice will reign
as the Kingdom of God is brought forth within us.
We ask our prayer in your name and in the power of the Holy Spirit,

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

Joe Zavone
Christus Lux Mea