Acting Principal’s Message

May 8, 2020

By Acting Principal, Mr Stephen Hill

In a typical year, this week is one of great celebration at St Patrick’s, usually marked by Edmund Rice Day celebrations and the Mothers’ Day Mass and Breakfast. How different it has been in 2020!

 We are told that Edmund Rice encountered personal suffering through the death of his beloved wife. In this tragedy he experienced pain, grief and heartache. The joyous, secure and comfortable world he had once known was shaken. In his words, he described feeling as if half of his own soul was gone. He was left feeling alone, dislocated and vulnerable. In the wake of this event Edmund searched for new meaning.

Our joyous, secure and comfortable world has also been shaken and now we too must all search for a new meaning in the ‘new normal’.

Earlier this week we shared the news of the loss of our much-loved colleague Mr Gerard Sullivan, who sadly died last Friday night following a brave battle with cancer. Today, we joined as community with Gerard’s wife, Suzie, and his children, Ella and Lucinda, to recognise and celebrate the life of Gerard. Gerard will be greatly missed by many, staff, students and parents alike, who came to know him as a man of integrity and honour. Vale, Gerard.

As we continued our remote learning journey, students this week were asked to walk to a window in their house and look out upon the world. To look out that window with hope, stretching their sight beyond the horizon, and inviting them to contemplate the following.

  • Out my window are people who lives are love, compassion, justice and sacrifice. Can I name them?
  • What do I choose to do beyond my window? Who do people know when they see my actions?

In the absence the typical Edmund Rice Day activities such as the walkathon and St Pat’s Has Talent, this reflection task continues the narrative of Edmund’s life, echoing the view Edmund had from his window in Waterford that motivated his work to bring hope to the lives of young boys and challenges each of us to be the same.

On Edmund Rice Day we prayed:

Loving God,

When we look through our window with hope we are responding with love – give us the courage to take your light to the world.

 Loving God,

We walk by faith, not by sight. Grant us the light of faith that, as Edmund Rice did, we to may be examples of generosity and endurance.

 Loving God,

Open our hearts to your mercy so that we may be examples of forgiveness, patience and love to all those we meet just as Edmund was to the boys he met on the streets of Waterford.

 Loving God,

You gently call each one of us to choose the right path. May we be the person of Edmund Rice who finds the good and joyful in each day and rejoices in helping others to do the same.

 Unite us in our desire to continue the traditions of Blessed Edmund.    Amen

Finally, I take this opportunity to acknowledge all the mothers in our community ahead of this weekend’s Mother’s Day celebrations.  On behalf of everyone at the College, I thank all the mothers in our community for being such wonderful beacons of light, love, strength and joy.

We hope you all enjoy a wonderful day on Sunday. And boys, do not forget to tell Mum how much you love and care for her!!

Mr Stephen Hill

Acting Principal