Mission Report – May 25, 2017

May 24, 2017

Our reality as a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice Tradition requires constant care and nurturing. The -‘life and health’ of our community is not measured by some set key performance indicators applied to a functional machine. Our reality is grounded in all the relationships of all the people that choose to be part of our community. And, as is true for all relationships, this requires patience, courage, endurance and love. This is all further grounded on the fundamental reality of Christianity: it is a loving relationship with God in Jesus and through the Holy Spirit:

We have come to believe in God’s love: in these words the Christian can express the fundamental decision of his or her life. Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person (Jesus), which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction. (Benedict XVI in Deus Caritas Est at 1)

At our recent Assembly of the community we decisively claimed for ourselves the horizon of a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice Tradition. Before the Executive Director of Edmund Rice Education Australia, Dr Wayne Tinsey, we celebrated all the relationships that constitute the daily life of St Patrick’s College Ballarat. But it was not without critique. College Captain, Mitch Tuddenham, was challenged -‘from the floor’ by Year 12 student Tiernan Somers. What follows is the recorded text of their exchange.

Mitch:- – – – – – – – – – St Patrick’s College is a place of learning and growth. Since 1893, that is 124 years, young men have searched for truth and goodness. They have left these walls to change the world, in small ways and in dramatic ways. We are invited to take our place in that heritage.-

Tiernan:- – – – – – Mitch, Jesus said: -I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.- What do you have to say in response to this bold claim?

Mitch:- – – – – – – – – – As a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice Tradition we have our Touchstone of Gospel Spirituality. We are all invited to walk the Way of Jesus, and united in his Truth and Life make compassion and justice a living reality in our community.- –

Tiernan:- – – – – – – Mitch, Jesus said in the Synagogue:

-The Spirit of the Lord is on me,

because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners

and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.-

Is this alive in our community?

Mitch:- – – – – – – – – – – – As a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice Tradition we have our Touchstone of Liberating Education. Our hearts and minds, through quality teaching, learning and critical reflection, are liberated from fear, pride and jealousy. In this way each one of us is hope-filled to build a better world for all.- –

Tiernan:- – – – – – – – Mitch, Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan. He taught us that anyone in need is our neighbour.-

How are we called to recognise the dignity of every person?

Mitch:- – – – – – – – – – – – As a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice Tradition we have our Touchstone of Inclusive Community.

St Patrick’s College strives to be accepting and welcoming, fostering right relationships, and always committed to the common good.- –

Tiernan:- – – – – – – Mitch, Jesus declared in the Sermon on the Mount: -Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God-.-

Is this alive in our community?

Mitch:- – – – – – – – – – – As a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice Tradition we have our Touchstone of Justice and Solidarity. We are committed to justice and peace for all. We are grounded in Jesus’ spirituality of action, prayer and reflection. Your quote is from the Beatitudes. Let us all now stand in the light and hear once again these words of Jesus.- – – –

Josh Duggan (Vice-captain):- – – When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him.2Then he began to speak, and taught them,- saying:

-Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of- heaven.

-Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be- comforted.

-Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the- earth.

-Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be- filled.

-Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive- mercy.

-Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see- God.

-Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of- God.

-Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of- heaven.

-Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before- you.- –