College Chaplain Reflection – February 4, 2016

February 3, 2016

Welcome back to our ongoing students and families, and an even warmer welcome to our new ones! I pray the year ahead may be a blessed and fruitful one. For any who are new, perhaps a brief word of introduction. I’ve been lucky enough to serve as chaplain here at the College for the last couple of years. As well as having a part with the formal and liturgical events of the College, I also have some involvement with particular units in Religious education classes and more generally try and maintain a regular presence around the school. Oh, and most importantly, I seek always to promote the virtues of the fine game of rugby.

Last year I began to write a series of reflections on our faith as Christians. In the next newsletter I will pick up where we left off. For now though, allow me to be a little backwards looking. Last December, twelve boys from years 9-11 and three staff members joined a wider Ballarat group in attending the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Adelaide. I think it is fair to say it was a terrific success. Through a series of talks and events (as well as the general vibe!), the students were able to learn about the Catholic faith and to be strengthened by being in solidarity with over 3000 other young people. It was truly a joyful experience seeing how every student, each in their own way, gained something profound from the experience.

There are many staff to whom thanks are due, but I do need to make some particular acknowledgements public. Michael Toohey did a great amount of work in the lead up to the event, enthusiastically supported by Geoff Brodie as Director of Mission. Outgoing Deputy Head Jon Franzin was also very generous in leading the trip, as were Emma Carracher and Michael Murphy in assisting him. Damian Kinnersly did a lot of work in providing for the necessary changes to the exam timetables and thanks must go to Headmaster John Crowley for backing the venture. Perhaps most importantly though thank you to the boys themselves. You showed great courage in being ready to come and were exemplary in the way you engaged yourselves with the event. I know many were a little apprehensive about the trip. I think it is fair to say though that you were all happy with the decision you made.

The next festival will be held next December in Sydney. I have every confidence it will be even more successful than the last.