July 23, 2020
by Director of Mission, Mr Geoff Brodie
The process of subject selection for 2021 is well underway. For the senior students this is especially significant as many choices are put before them – choices that seek to give expression to their emerging hopes and dreams. This year parents and students face the challenge of gathering in on-line meetings. Even so, students will attend classes and visit staffrooms seeking the advice and recommendations of their teachers. I pray everyone is graced with wisdom and patience during all of this.
In some sense, it does not matter what subjects a student chooses, and so this should not be a source of undue pressure and anxiety. For every subject is an opportunity for a student to learn what is required of them, to learn they have the capacity to meet those requirements, and finally, the student learns how to freely choose to live their capacity. Every subject offers the gift of such fulfilment.
Students should involve the wisdom of their parents in their discernment. The place of parents in Catholic education is clear –
‘parents are central figures, since they are the natural and irreplaceable agents in the education of their children’. (The Religious Dimension of a Catholic School at 32).
The first and primary educators of children are their parents…the school should try to involve the family as much as possible in the educational aims of the school – both in helping to plan… goals and in helping to achieve them. (The Religious Dimension … at 43)
Students come to know their capacity through the love of their parents. In all the confusion of adolescence and an uncertain future, parents are a source of certainty and hope because they know their children as unconditionally lovable.
For this is education: that the young man comes to know that, no matter the challenge he faces in life, he has the capacity to understand what is needed, the capacity to meet the challenge, and the courage to see it all the way through. So educated, the young man will be prepared for the deeply personal challenges that demand intelligence, generosity, and personal responsibility. Such a man is a source of value and inspiration to his community. He may not know himself in this way as yet, but through their love, the parents already know their son as this man. This is how our loving God knows each of us.
Finally, I ask that you include in your prayers our families where a parent has died. Some of our young men must endure this great loss and do so with courage and dignity. May our loving God grant them consolation in their grief.