Mission Report – September 8, 2016

September 7, 2016

The end of Term 3 is always marked by change and much activity. Next week we shall celebrate the outgoing student leaders and welcome our new leaders; coursework for our Year 12 students is almost finished and the compass turns directly towards preparation for final exams; some parents will be soon leaving us after entrusting the College with the education of two or more their sons; information nights for new and prospective students are upon us; winter’s extra-curricular activities are ending with presentation evenings, well-fed by our talented catering staff, also many new opportunities have commenced; and we all need a well-earned rest.

In and through all this we are also investing time and energy into reminding ourselves what is constant. The College is currently undergoing the Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) School Renewal Process, in which we engage in conversations about what it is to be an authentic Catholic school in the Edmund Rice Tradition. EREA itself is currently reviewing the Touchstones -“ those public statements that declare how the good news of Christ may be lived out in our current culture and society. There is at times a solemn atmosphere to such meetings, in that we are compelled to responsibly reflect on what is essential and unchanging in life -“ what do we really stand for when confronted with the desire to live a truly worthwhile life?

There are two parts in this renewal. Firstly, and possibly easier, is to state clearly and authentically, what our Catholic Tradition has always said is essential: ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.(Matt 22:37). The Beatitudes with their poetic resonance are a most beautiful declaration of the Christian call. Secondly, we must be people who hear and answer the call in the depths of our heart. We must be courageously open to the personal transformation that occurs when we commit to Christ’s vision for life. This act of commitment is one that needs constant renewal in all the change and activity that constitutes our life. In our prayer life we ask Jesus every day for that courage, for we do not commit to a philosophy or social program but friendship with God in and through Christ.

It is when others are attracted to the beauty of a life lived for love, and welcome through another person the good news that proclaims love as the source and summit of life, that we begin to radically and most uniquely transform the world, one person at a time. To be in love is a brand new way of living, it changes all the rules and perfects our best efforts, and this is what Jesus calls us to. In all the change and activity of every day, we are called to transform the world by our love: love for God and for our neighbour.