Mission Report - February 21, 2019
author: Geoff Brodie
A teacher wished to inspire her young students with a vision of their future. Therefore, she set them a homework task. The task was to answer the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The next day all the students submitted their responses. “I look forward to reading them tonight,” the teacher declared. Later that night the teacher encountered an inspiring list: scientist, astronaut, great novelist, opera singer, world wood-chopping champion. However, one response concerned the teacher, so she called that student over the next morning. “The task was to write down want you want to be when you grow up, and you have written ‘happy’. That is not a job. You seemed to have misunderstood the question”. “No” replied the student, “With respect, you seem to have misunderstood life”.
Much is made of how many jobs, occupations, careers or directions in life people can expect in this modern world. That is most likely true, and a school needs to make a worthwhile contribution to the student’s preparation for that reality. Nevertheless, a Catholic education in the Edmund Rice Tradition is the search for the unchanging elements of life that orientate the person to true joy, meaning and value.
A St Patrick’s education seeks to engage with who we truly are. It takes much ‘education and experience’ to truly know and accept this in all the drama of our life, as we take responsibility for the creation of the only version of ourselves that will ever exist. The Gospel of Jesus is not just a passing fad but is the revelation of the eternal love that God has for each one of us. That we are loved and, in turn, called to be loving, is the foundational gift of reality that will never change. Our Touchstones and our Foundational Statements seek to express the Gospel of Jesus in language that is understandable and invitational to our students, families and staff. Both documents seek to unite the eternal with the here-and-now.
I invite you make a habit of visiting the Gospels to encounter Jesus ever anew. I invite you reflect upon the Touchstones to understand what motivates and directs the Edmund Rice community. I invite you explore our Foundational Statements to affirm what is being done for our students. With our faith and trust in Jesus, we pray that we may fully understand the life God has given us.