Mission Report – September 6, 2018

September 5, 2018

In an era not so long ago it was a polite and friendly compliment to refer to a man as a –gentleman and a scholar-. As with all such idioms, there is no clear origin, however I would like to offer one interpretation.

Firstly, a gentleman is a man who is respectful and courteous to every person they are dealing with. Further back in history it was a reference to a social hierarchy, but that is not what I am referring to here. Rather, it is the recognition of someone who acknowledges the dignity of every person they meet. Secondly, a scholar is someone who thinks critically about society and human culture and is able to suggest solutions to real problems. They are often experts in one particular field and can bring the insights of their learning into the public debate in creative and healing ways.

Therefore, a -gentleman and a scholar- is a man who combines courtesy and great learning with humility and a sense of public service. I think this remains quite the compliment.

In recent times, here at St Patrick’s College we have spoken of the aspiration to raise fine boys to the status of great men. If you have not yet seen the video regarding this, I suggest you click HERE. Perhaps a recovery of the phrase –a gentleman and a scholar– might assist this aspiration.

Over 450 men of our community gathered for our annual Fathers’ Day Mass and breakfast last Friday. Led by Fr Justin Driscoll, we united in prayer and sacrament to give thanks for the gifts of fatherhood and the joy of our families.- A special mention to our catering team for their outstanding efforts.

The family remains the most important -‘school’ in which to learn how to be a great man. Whether as a father, son or brother, it is the invitation to treat others with love and respect and to accept joyfully and courageously the responsibilities of being in a family. There is no more important and significant duty on the path to becoming a great man. As we prayed on Friday morning:

That fathers everywhere will flourish in their vocation to care and serve their families – and that they will be renewed in love.

That the community of St Patrick’s College will take up the Cross to offer a vision of manhood in the world

St Joseph. Pray for us.