February 21, 2020
by Director of Mission, Mr Geoff Brodie
Dear families and friends of St Patrick’s College,
This is not the Crest article I had in mind at the start of the week. On Sunday we celebrated Mass with the Boarding Community and welcomed our new Chaplain, Fr Eladio Lizada. Fr Eladio offered us inspired words that invited us to always be sincere, respectful and to speak from the heart. Mr Silcock, Head of Boarding, was moved after the Mass to claim this invitation as the defining characteristics of the Boarding Community. On Monday we were looking forward to the Swimming Carnival on Wednesday and Boatrace on Sunday. As I write Mr John Crowley has joined the St Kevin’s College community in Toorak and Mr Stephen Hill is our acting Principal. This is not the place to contemplate how we got to this situation, however important that challenge remains. Let our first response include support for Mr Hill.
But after such a week, we are called to respond fully, carefully and seriously, for this is required to remind us of the many good things we do and to encourage us in realising a hope-filled future. May we all pray for our community, because prayer opens us to the grace of God, “knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Romans 5:4-5).
As with all challenges, we understand and respond within our own horizon. But this is not the end of the story. According to our Catholic faith, friendship with Jesus expands our horizons so that we may meet any challenge life presents. Friendship with Jesus grants us the capacity to recognise and respond to the needs of our neighbour and to find the ways of co-operating for the common good. Friendship with Jesus is to share the values that recognise the dignity of every person. Finally, it is only through friendship with Jesus that our horizon includes the capacity to love without limit, and love’s gift is that we are never alone. In times of challenge we should never forget this. Because our hearts deepest desire is for friendship it is also the greatest gift that we may offer one another.
When we accept the love of God that has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit our horizons are expanded through friendship with Jesus, and we become co-creators in the Kingdom of God. This is the gift, joy and fulfillment of our faith in God. A confronting challenge is the call to take this seriously.