Mission Report – May 26, 2016

May 25, 2016

St Patrick’s College overflows with moments that offer an encounter with our essential character.

  • This Sunday is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. In this celebration we gather around the Eucharistic table to joyfully acknowledge the many gifts that Jesus has given us, and be reminded that we are to respond in turn by being generous with our gifts. The Gospel reading of the feeding of the crowds reminds us of the contagious effects of generosity, for the one act of generosity may overflow to include many until we are all -‘satisfied‘. Recently our Year 12 students gathered as a Eucharistic community with a Year level Mass and Fr James continues each week to join with students and staff in class Masses

-·It is National Reconciliation Week. From the national website we read As Australians, we are all here, woven into this country. As part of our reconciliation journey, there are truths to tell, stories to celebrate, and relationships to grow. Reconciliation is at the heart of our nations’ future.- Under the guidance of Mr Rick Balchin the stories of our Indigenous students are included and celebrated as an essential Touchstone of our College character. Our Boarding Community will gather with Fr Rupert Bowd for Mass this Sunday with a special prayer focus for Reconciliation.

  • It is also Catholic Education Week. In seeking a Catholic education in the Edmund Rice Tradition we strive for a fuller integration of faith and life and a rich engagement of faith with culture. The historical change in Ballarat culture was experienced by College leaders John Brodie and Henry Wines, when they gathered with students from Ballarat’s Catholic School for Mass at Sovereign Hill. Led by Fr Tom Brophy in the St Alipius tent school and accompanied by heavy rain on the canvas roof, cannon fire and passing horses, all assembled experienced the constancy and change of the Catholic community since the days of the gold rushes.

  • There are also the on-line surveys that were so generously completed by our parents, students and staff. This is an opportunity to stop and reflect on what constitutes our ideal Catholic education.

But all these public acts of our character are nothing without love. We can offer to the world these public statements of our Catholic -‘identity’, but without love they are void of life.

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain- nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all- things. (1 Cor 13:1-7)

May all encounters in the name of St Patrick’s College continue to be an encounter of love, for that is the true character, the true source and end, of all we say and do.