Principal’s Message: Week 3, Term 2, 2019

Principal’s Message: Week 3, Term 2, 2019

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

Last Friday we celebrated Mother’s Day with a beautiful Mass followed by morning tea.  This was the first time we opened up our Mother’s Day Mass to the whole school (Years 4 – 12).  We received a great number of compliments and positive feedback about this change so will continue this great school-wide celebration of Mother’s Day.  During the Mass I addressed our guests and spoke about the privilege of being in partnership with our parents in the education and raising of their sons.  I provided the brief anecdote that if I had asked the mothers there on the day for their PIN number or passport or mortgage details or expensive jewellery, they would not have given me these items.  Yet they had over their most precious gift to us every day – their sons – and it is indeed a privilege and honour to partner with them in the care of these young men.

My thanks to Mrs Carmela Wilson and Ms Bridget Cusack for the organisation of the Mass, and of course to Father David Lemewu for celebrating Mass for our community.   A lovely morning tea was supplied by our Hospitality team and I thank them for finishing off the morning in such an impressive manner.  Here are just some of the comments we received from our mothers in attendance:

“It was absolutely beautiful, I loved the rose and the poem given to me by my son. At times hard not to get a bit teary. The food cooked by the older boys was fantastic. Such a beautiful morning”.

“It was such a beautiful service and especially Father David’s beautiful singing was very moving. Thank you for organising such a lovely event”.

“Thank you for making it an all school event. I have missed it! My son was busy cooking for the event so couldn’t make it to the mass, but a beautiful friend stepped in and her son presented us with our roses.  I so love this community. Thank you”

Good and Gentle God,
We pray in gratitude for our mothers and for all the women who have joined with you in the wonder of bringing forth new life.
You who became human through a woman, grant to all mothers the courage they need to face the uncertain future that life with children always brings.
Give them the strength to live and to be loved in return, not perfectly, but humanly.
Give them the faithful support of family and friends as they care for the physical and spiritual growth of their children.
Give them joy and delight in their children to sustain them through the trials of motherhood. Most of all, give them the wisdom to turn to you for help when they need it most.
Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our Hearts, forever.

Last Friday evening my wife and I had the pleasure of being invited to see Canberra Girls Grammar School’s production of Wicked.   There were four St Edmund’s students in the cast and by the end of the show I could not have been prouder of their outstanding performances. My thanks and congratulations to the following talented students who represented their College community in an outstanding manner:

Lachlan Brayshaw, Year 11 Mulrooney (Wizard)
Leo Marris, Year 11 Treacy
Joshua Nicholls, Year 10 O’Brien
James Steele, Year 10 Mulrooney

I continue to receive wonderful feedback from members of our community about the respectful behaviour of our students.  I would like to share two recent examples. Last Saturday a grandmother of one of the Vikings players lost a significant amount of money at the Rugby being played on our grounds.  Even though she realised the chances of this being handed in was slim, she still held out some hope.  The money was in fact handed in on Monday morning by Ryan Hoare, Year 11 Mulrooney.  I thank Ryan for his integrity and honesty. The second event involved a St Edmund’s parent who was catching the light rail from Civic to Gungahlin.  This parent was standing as there were no seats available.  A St Edmund’s College student (Year 9 or 10) asked if she wanted to sit down and gestured to her to take his seat. The parent wrote to us saying “This was truly a wonderful reflection on this man and the College and as an Eddie’s mum, I was extremely pleased and proud”.

During the week I received a card from one of our Open Day visitors. “Dear Joe, I was a visitor to your College on Saturday 11 May.  I just want to let you know that I saw some outstanding students in the Hospitality section of the College while I was there.  All students did their tasks extremely well, but some stood out for me.  Rory, Jacob, Josh, Seraphin and Ashley stood out.  I let them know that their efforts were exceptional.  Your College has a warm, welcoming feeling.  Keep up the great work.”  It is heartening to realise that people take their time out from their very busy schedules to acknowledge the great work of our students and the wonderful spirit alive in our Eddies community.

Last Sunday was the fourth Sunday of Easter.  The Gospel reading was quite short (John 10:27-30)
“And Jesus said to his disciples: “My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and nobody can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” The American theologian Elisabeth Johnson provides a thoughtful commentary on the small passage.  She writes that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, tells us that everything depends on belonging to him. “Never does our status before God depend on how we feel, on having the right experience, on being free of doubt, or on what we accomplish. It depends on one thing only: that we are known by the shepherd: ‘My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish’ (John 10:28).  The voice of the Good Shepherd is a voice that liberates rather than oppresses. It does not say, ‘Do this, and then maybe you will be good enough to be one of my sheep.’ It says, ‘You belong to me already. No one can snatch you out of my hand.’”  Sometimes it is not easy to listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd: we get distracted by things around us or we are focused on what we want to say; we lose ourselves in the secular nature of the world around us and become consumed by the materialism surrounding us; we immerse ourselves in pointless online debates and become lost in petty arguments.  As we move towards the end of the Easter season, we need to remind ourselves and clarify to whom should we be listening; to whom should we devote our time and attention and for whom should we slow down?


Christus Lux Mea
Mr Joe Zavone
(College Principal)