Principal’s Message: Week 4, Term 4, 2018

Principal’s Message: Week 4, Term 4, 2018

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

Last night we held the 2019 Year 7 Information Night, welcoming our students (and their parents) commencing Year 7 next year.  I would like to share with you part of my opening address at the Information Night as the message here applies to all students and parents:

“For your son to have a successful high school experience, there are a couple of things that must take place.  Communication is probably at the top of the list, and by communication I do not mean making demands by email.  That is not communication and we do not operate in that way.  Our view of communication is based on relationships – this gives us a form of communication that is respectful, reciprocal, and relational.  So please get to know the name of your son’s teachers and meet them at the very first opportunity presented to you; get to know your son’s tutor group teacher, as they will be the ones who will be greeting your son every morning from Year 7 until they graduate in Year 12.  Establish a relationship with your son’s Head of House, so that important information is flowing back and forth and together we can work to establish the best possible environment for your son here at the College and at home.  A healthy, positive, constructive pattern of communication is absolutely essential to a happy high school experience for your son and for you as parents.  Why?

The reason why is that we are unashamedly a Catholic school, founded on the actions and teachings of Jesus Christ and we are inspired by those actions and teachings just as Edmund Rice was – Edmund Rice who in the 1820’s established the Christian Brothers to serve the poor and needy of Waterford in Ireland, and whose hard work and legacy eventually saw this College established in 1954. The core of Jesus’ mission was community, inclusion and relationships.  The core of Edmund Rice’s work was community and inclusion and relationships.  It is the Catholic way for us to be in community with each other, it is the Catholic way for our teachers to be in relationship with their students and families.  So I would encourage you from day one next year – or even earlier – look to make those relationships so we can grow to become true partners in the whole education of your son here at St Edmund’s.

What sort of young man do we hope will be leaving the school at the end of Year 12?  Let’s look at this through the lens of our four Touchstones, common to all Edmund Rice schools across Australia: liberating education, inclusive community, justice and solidarity and Gospel spiritualty.

We hope to have young men who understand what it is to be a man at this time, and to be in right and respectful relationships with everyone he comes across.  A young man who includes others because he wants to not because he’s been told he has to; who respects and celebrates diversity of all kinds; who appreciates and promotes peace, justice and solidarity – especially for those who cannot stand up for themselves and who do not have a voice in our community and our world. A young man who understands that education is more than just learning and grades – education is a liberating experience that liberates us from our limitations and restrictions, and allows us to liberate others through our knowledge, wisdom and skills.  And a young man who, although he may not be Catholic, understands the importance of Gospel spiritualty and the values that underpin this, using as his guide the school motto, Christus Lux Mea, Christ Be My Light.  Quite simply, we hope to have young men of good character.  Sounds easy right? Well for some it is, for others it is more challenging, but we will work on this together as partners in this wonderful Eddies community.”

All Saints Day/All Souls Day

As Catholics, we begin November by remembering those who have died. We call the first two days of November All Saints Day and All Souls Day. On All Saints Day and All Souls Day we remember that we are members of the People of God. United with God, we are also united with all Christians who have come before us in the Communion of Saints.

All Saints’ Day on November 1 is marked annually in the Catholic liturgical calendar as a day to remember and venerate saints from around the world and throughout history– not only those known and canonised, but also all unknown as well. It is an opportune time to consider the example saints offer us today and to reflect on how we can imitate their holiness. As Pope Benedict XVI remarked in 2011, All Saints’ Day calls us “to see the Church… as Christ wanted it, that is, as the communion of saints”.  All Saints’ Day is also particularly important to me as my mother’s name is Santa (Italian for saint) and therefore it is her Feast Day as well.

All Souls’ Day follows All Saints’ Day on November 2, when Catholics remember, pray and offer Mass for those who have passed away. It is a day of remembrance. I thank our Head of Religious Education, Ms Carmela Wilson, for opening our Chapel last week and making it available for all members of our community to pause, reflect, pray and remember those close to us.   Ms Wilson has also made available an opportunity to make an intention or a mark of remembrance by writing the name of a loved one in a Memorial Book . This book will remain in the Chapel for the month of November.

May all the Saints pray for us and for all those whose lives we touch.
May God, who loves and holds us all,
let the Spirit guide all our days in the ways of compassion and justice,
May we reflect the heart of God, sure in faith, strong in hope, built on love
and become all that we are called to be.
And may our journey lead us into God’s gentle and almighty Presence, our God whom we will one day see face to face.

Amen.

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

Second-Hand Uniforms

I would like to establish a second-hand uniform facility for parents to have another option for the purchasing of the College uniform (only the new uniform, not the old uniform).  Now that we have some of our Year 6, Year 10 and Year 12 students coming to the end of their time in the new College uniform, I would ask parents to give careful consideration to donate these uniforms back to the College.  I also extend this invitation to parents of students in other years who have grown out of the new College uniform.

If you would like to participate in this program and be of assistance to other parents, I would ask that you please ensure that shirts, trousers, shorts, jumpers, blazers and PE/sports clothing are in good condition and cleaned prior to being donated to the College.  We will store these items and make them available to other parents at a reduced cost.  Please note that the College is not in a position to repair donated items or to have them cleaned.  It is important that items are in good condition and cleaned prior to being donated back to the College.

These items can be left at Reception during the December/January holidays (in our office holiday hours) or left at either Reception or Student Services when school commences in 2019.  Please note that second-hand uniform items are not to be left at the Uniform Shop nor can second-hand items be purchased from the Uniform Shop. We will advise you when the second-hand uniform service is up and running in terms of location and process.

Christus Lux Mea

Joe Zavone (College Principal)