Mission Report – October 18, 2018

October 17, 2018

On Wednesday night, the College conducted its annual information evening for families with sons currently in Grade 5.- Every year, parents that only want the best for their sons come to listen to a range of speakers and take a guided tour of the College. I imagine it is only one night among many where families seek to discern which community co-operates with the values that parents wish to pass onto their sons. It is a privilege to be part of such an evening.

On such a busy night, I have three minutes, in my role as Director of Mission, to offer something meaningful to assist families. Where to start? What to say? What -‘take-home’ message should I try to offer? I offer an outline of this year’s effort.

St Patrick’s College exist on a fact and a question. That fact is that God loves us, completely and perfectly. As God spoke to the prophet Jeremiah, -Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you (Jer 1:5)-. This loving God is the source of everything we are and every gift we enjoy. The question is, how do we choose to respond? For a choice we do have -“ for one of the gifts we have received is a real freedom. This freedom does not diminish the fact and truth of God’s love. In proof of this fact, only a loving creator could love us so much as to give us the freedom to reject his love. In Jesus, we have the perfect response to divine love -“ a love that transforms all the hurt and pain of this world into a renewed creation that accepts the law of love in the depths of the heart.

Blessed Edmund chose to respond to this fact by creating schools that offer an education in the light of this truth. That is why St Patrick’s College exists. It is has been the reason from the start and will always be. But isn’t this also what parents hope for their sons? The love of parents has created a new life and offered their son the gift of family. As their son grows up, the deepest desire of parents is that their son will grow to take responsibility for their lives and make wise and loving use of their freedom. They hope that their son will know all the joy that this wonderful life offers, and find others to share this joy with.-

The hopes of parents and St Patrick’s College thus coincide in the mysterious plans of God. Together we share the divine hope that young men will accept the truth of love, and so make responsible use of their freedom to create a world that overflows with love. Enjoy the supper.- –