Mission Report – October 17, 2019

October 17, 2019

My last offering to the Crest started with the following claim: “Spring looks like it may finally be here after a long and cold winter”. For that, I apologise. In the words of a 20th century philosopher, I should have known better.

Two major events deserve acknowledgment. Firstly, the canonisation of John Henry Newman and secondly, our upcoming Thanksgiving Mass for our departing Year 12 students. Of St John Henry Newman, HRH The Prince of Wales offered the following reflection:

“In the age when he lived, Newman stood for the life of the spirit against the forces that would debase human dignity and human destiny. In the age in which he attains sainthood, his example is needed more than ever – for the manner in which, at his best, he could advocate without accusation, could disagree without disrespect and, perhaps most of all could see differences as places of encounter rather than exclusion.Newman engaged not merely with the church, but with the world. While wholeheartedly committed to the Church to which he came through so many intellectual and spiritual trials, he nonetheless initiated open debate between Catholics and other Christians, paving the way for later ecumenical dialogues. On his elevation to the Cardinalate in 1879, he took as his motto Cor ad cor loquitor (‘heart speaks to heart’), and his conversations across confessional, cultural, social and economic divides, were rooted in that intimate friendship with God.
His faith was truly catholic in that it embraced all aspects of life. It is in that same spirit that we, whether we are Catholics or not, can, in the tradition of the Christian Church throughout the ages, embrace the unique perspective, the particular wisdom, and insight, brought to our universal experience by this one individual soul. We can draw inspiration from his writings and his life even as we recognize that, like all human lives, it was inevitably flawed. Newman himself was aware of his failings, such as pride and defensiveness which fell short of his own ideals, but which, ultimately, left him only more grateful for the mercy of God”.

Such a life should be an inspiration for our 2019 Year 12 students as they take the Light of Christ to the world beyond the walls of St Patrick’s College. Let us allow the new Saint to speak in his own words to our students. May the heart of St John Henry Newman speak to the hearts of us all:

God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments. Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about.

Mr Geoff Brodie