To the family and friends of St Edmund’s College,
Last week saw our high school students in Years 7 and 10 experience camp for three days. Year 7 attended the Birrigai Outdoor Centre at Tharwa and Year 10 attended Biloela Bush Camp (near Moss Vale). Students in Year 12 had a three day retreat experience at the Adventist Alpine Village in Jindabyne. (Year 5 will have their camp later in the year). Our year-based, age-appropriate camp and retreat programs targets key developmental stages. It is very important for a boys’ school to offer a staged camp and retreat program, as research tells us that these experiences are integral to the positive development of young males. This becomes more relevant as we move further along our contemporary age and we tend to lose more of our experiences of rites of passage. Our young men are increasingly engaging in dangerous risk-taking behaviours, often feel unseen and lost and are increasing relying on the internet to make their transition during adolescence. A strong camp and retreat program allows our boys the opportunities to see themselves as belonging to part of a tangible community, allows them to share experiences that they would otherwise not experience in their lives and allows them to discern their relationships with each other. The Year 12 retreat broadens this further by asking our young men to discern their place in the world, with their families and with their sense of spirituality. The camp and retreat programs mark a journey of personal and communal growth and allows our students to experience a sense of rites of passage. When we add to this the range of other pastoral and co-curricular experiences offered by the College throughout the year, we end up with a rich program of rituals and experiences which should work to having our young men transition from one stage of awareness to a more enlightened state of self-consciousness and spiritual consciousness so as to achieve their full potential. We received much positive feedback from our camp and retreat program from students and staff. I thank our students for engaging in their various programs in the way they did. The staff feedback from all three programs was that the boys were engaged in a meaningful and genuine manner. I also thank the staff for the giving of their time for the benefit of our young men and for the experience of working to provide them with appropriate rites of passage.
Congratulations to Jonah Anderson (Year 7, Treacy House) for being nominated in the School Sport ACT Excellence Award in the School Sport ACT 12&U Boys Sportsmanship category. On behalf of the St Edmund’s community, I congratulate Jonah on the great privilege of receiving this nomination and wish him every success and best wishes for the Awards Ceremony.
It disappoints me that every now and then I come across reports of some of our students not being able to treat other students in an appropriate and respectful manner. Most of our students understand that must go out of our way to treat others respectfully – whether they be other students, members of staff or members of the public. There is still a small pocket of students who take delight in raising themselves up by tearing others down either verbally, physically or online. I must say very clearly that this type of behaviour has no place at St Edmund’s College, and we will continue to work actively with our students towards gaining an understanding of appropriate and respectful behaviour. Last week’s Gospel (Luke 6:27-38) has Jesus talking to the crowd about relationships and community, and he includes the challenge to “do to others as you would have them do to you”. We know this as The Golden Rule. The Golden Rule is a call to immediate and positive action for the purpose of living in community with others. It helps us live for others and for God. It removes our selfishness, strengthens our values, helps us follow the Commandments, enables us to experience the blessings of the Beatitudes, and empowers us to live the life God wants us to live. We cannot accept in our contemporary times that inappropriate and poor behaviour is just “boys being boys” – this is a very poor excuse and reinforces poor relationships. We will continue to challenge our students on how they treat each other and I would ask all parents of our community to make this an on-going topic of conversation with your sons.
The College Calendar can now be accessed from the College website. To access the calendar, simply go to our website and click on About -> Calendar -> View Full Calendar. This will keep you up to date with College events and activities. This is a quick link to look at the calendar now: https://sec.act.edu.au/calendar
Blue and White Ball
Our annual Blue and White Ball is being held at the Hellenic Club in Phillip on Friday 17 May. This year’s Blue and white Ball will be a key event in the celebration of the College’s 65th anniversary. It would be wonderful to see as many members of our community attend this event and join us in celebrating St Edmund’s College as Canberra’s oldest continuing Catholic school. I invite all current parents and old boys to consider forming tables to enjoy the evening and share the festivities. How special would it be to have a table formed of old boys and their families for each year of graduation from the College’s opening, and for tables of current parents to celebrate and acknowledge their special place in the history and tradition of the College. Tickets include a three course meal, drinks package (beer, wine, soft drink) and music. Tickets can be purchased from this link: https://www.facebook.com/events/259205331616527/
New College Prayer
Grant that we may live each day to the full, inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Let us cast away all worries and concerns into your divine care.
Christus Lux Mea
Give us strength to confront all challenges that we face with hope and faith.
Let our community seek truth in all that we search for.
Christus Lux Mea
Let us stand for others always giving generously without counting the cost.
Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever