Headmaster’s Message – March 9, 2017

March 9, 2017

Dear Parents, Carers, Friends and Students of St Patrick’s College,

Recently I have had the great privilege of driving down to St Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church in South Melbourne with some senior students to assist with the operations of the soup van which provides food and support to people in St Kilda.

The soup van is run by the Capuchin Friars who –serve food to the poor and marginalised on the streets. Working together they create a place of welcome, conversation and human comfort for the people who participate. The friars and volunteers experience first hand the gospel truth that there is more joy in giving than in receiving (cf. Acts 20:35).-

I was incredibly humbled to witness the way our students interact so gently with those seeking assistance. – The care displayed, together with the incredible sense of welcome they show, has moved me to write this reflection.

In a world where we often measure success in ways that don’t matter, there is an important message here for all of us. As a school in the Edmund Rice tradition, our Charter calls each of us to be people who actively become involved in creating a better world for all people, especially those who are marginalised. This forms part of our Touchstone of Justice and Solidarity.

This call is one which requires a spirituality of action on the part of an individual who seeks to answer it. Opportunities to serve others in need require, by their very nature, a sacrifice from us. We need to put aside our own wants and, at times, selfishness in order to be fully present for others. For these young men, the offering of their time in the midst of Year 12 reflects this strong commitment to helping others, even when they in turn are experiencing their own pressure around study. Here, in this place and at this time, the call of our Charter is being accepted fully by these students. How appropriate to highlight their work throughout this season of Lent, where we remain focused on renewing our relationship with God through personal reflection and action.

It is important that the example set to us in the work of these senior students is one that permeates through the entire community of St Patrick’s College. We pray that we continue to be a community who seek to walk in solidarity with all people in a spirit of hope and joy – one that reflects our desire to be faith-filled people, inspired always by the Gospel of Jesus.

Have a great long weekend.

Mr John Crowley