Principal’s Message: Week 9, Term 2, 2019

Principal’s Message: Week 9, Term 2, 2019

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

Last week I had the pleasure of launching our new Vision and Mission Statement at our staff meeting.  The vision and mission statements of any organisation provide a focal point that helps to align all members of the organisation’s community with the organisation, ensuring that everyone is working towards a single purpose.  Our new Vision and Mission statement emerged from a working team of the College Board, the College Leadership Team and interested members of staff.  I am confident that these statements provide a very clear, exciting direction for the College and clarify our identity, i.e. who we are as a faith-based, community minded educational organisation with the core business of educating and caring for young men.

Our new Vision and Mission Statement:

St Edmund’s College is a dynamic Catholic all boys school, an inclusive educational community committed to living the message of Jesus Christ. We educate and develop boys into young men according to the values and experiences of a Catholic education in the Edmund Rice tradition.

OUR VISION

Vibrant Spirit.  Strong Character.  Tailored Learning.

Our Vision at St Edmund’s College 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
  • SERVICE through Justice and Solidarity

OUR MISSION

Our 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
  • promoting opportunities for service to the community and to each other

Last Sunday was the feast of Corpus Christi (Latin for “Body of Christ”).  This is a Catholic liturgical solemnity celebrating the real presence of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in the elements of the Eucharist – known as transubstantiation.  The belief in transubstantiation, i.e. the real presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist, is specific to the Catholic Church.  The Gospel reading in last Sunday’s celebration of Corpus Christi was Luke 9: 11-17, the well-known New Testament story where Jesus has finished preaching to the crowd and the apostles are concerned that there is not enough food to feed the crowd as all they had were five loves and two fishes. Whilst there are many theological interpretations of this miraculous act, I prefer the interpretation which focuses on the nature of community.  Like the crowd listening to Jesus, there are times when we become spiritually hungry.  The story tells us that we can turn to the wisdom and love of Christ to nourish our spiritual hunger, but as Christians, turning to Christ is not enough.  In the Gospel story the apostles want to send the crowd away after Jesus has finished preaching, but Jesus does not allow this, Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, ‘Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here’. He replied, ‘You give them something to eat.’”  Jesus will not hear of the crowd being sent away – his first and foremost thought is for this community to remain and eat together.  Also notice in the story it is not Jesus who distributes the food, but rather it is the apostles who do this on Jesus’ instructions. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people.”  I see great meaning in this – whilst Jesus is the source of our spiritual nourishment, we must also turn to each other to make this nourishment real, just as the apostles made it real by distributing the food to the people in the crowd.  Christians can only be whole Christians when they share their faith in community; when they act with and for each other. We distribute the love of Christ to each other; we make this love real in a tangible manner by what we do, by what we say and by how we react to each other.  So just as the apostles fed their fellow brothers and sisters with the food provided by Jesus, we too are expected to feed those around us with the love and compassion modelled for us by Jesus. As a community, we make the love of Jesus abundant and overflowing, just as there was abundant food for the crowd, “They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.” This is what makes us truly Christian.  If we take this a step further, what then makes us truly Catholic is that being nourished by the real body and blood of Christ when we receive the Eucharist, we are then empowered to further our commitment to act with and for those around us, both within and outside of our faith community, just as Jesus does throughout the New Testament.

May we live the body of Christ in our world.
A body of compassion for those who struggle.
A body of justice for the silenced and the marginalised.
A body of respect for the dignity of all.
A body of hope for a kinder world.
Embolden us, eternal God,
To live with Eucharistic hearts
open to the call of the Gospel.
(acknowledgements to Mercy Partners Australia)

 
We have our annual Walkathon coming up very soon after the holiday break (Wednesday 31 July).  Every year we consult with students on what they would like to do with the money raised.  Last year the consensus was that we commence refurbishment of the College hall, and with the money raised by students we were able to paint the Hall and give it a fresh look, so it now has become an appropriate meeting place for the College community.  This year the consensus from students is to raise funds to spend on items for our classrooms.  I would encourage all parents to support their sons in raising as much money as possible so we can continue to make a positive difference in their learning environment.

Student academic reports will be available soon.  I strongly urge all parents to sit down with their son and review this report carefully; take the time to highlight the strengths and weaknesses and have a clear, healthy dialogue with your son about ways in which the strengths can be consolidated and the weaknesses can be developed. Academics reports are a time for invaluable feedback, rich and deep reflection and setting new directions. Hopefully a good process of reflection on the academic report will provide a platform for a new and successful start for second semester.

During the holiday we break we have several students undertaking some interesting exciting experiences.  We have students on a cultural trip to Japan led by Ms. Yuko Lefers and Mr. Oliver Burke; we have students on an immersion experience to the Solomon Islands, visiting our partner school, Mercy Christian School, in Honiara led by Ms. Leigh Southwell, Ms. Rebecca Lee, Ms. MJ McLeod and Mr. Jason Moore, and we have some of our indigenous students travelling to Goodooga with Ms. Ashleigh Kerin and Mr. Adam Buck to participate in the Goodooga Indigenous Games and engage in some service experiences in surrounding schools.  Best wishes to all these students and their teacher-leaders.  I am sure they will represent the College in true Eddies fashion.

As this is the final Vortex message for Term 2, I wish all our students and their families my very best wishes for a safe and happy holiday period and look forward to a refreshed and exciting second semester. Next week our members of staff will be involved in a range of important professional learning experiences to further develop their skills and knowledge in several areas with the aim of this professional learning week being the improved outcomes for our students.

Please note that the College will be closed on Friday 5 July.  There will be no staff on the College site to answer telephone calls or respond to emails.  College Reception will be open as normal from Monday 8 July (vacation hours).

 

Holiday Prayer

Loving God,
as we come to the end of another term,
we turn to you in confidence and place any difficult relationships
into the healing hands of Jesus, your Son.

Enable us to leave behind any pain of the past and any regrets or bitterness,
entrusting the past to your mercy, the present to your love,
and the future to your providence.
Help us appreciate more the need to keep a good balance in our lives.

May the holiday be for us a time of rest and recreation
to help restore us and re-create us in your image and likeness,
as we enjoy more of the love and presence of our families and friends,
on whom we ask your blessing.
Amen.
 
Blessed Edmund Rice, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our Hearts, forever.

 

Christus Lux Mea
Joe Zavone (College Principal)