Mission Report - May 16, 2019
author: Geoff Brodie
A brief moment to recall recent events would bring to mind the following:
Mothers’ Day Mass
Edmund Rice Day Mass, with the Walkathon and St Pat’s Has Talent
Year 11 Justice Experience
Lap of the Lake
National Boarders’ Week Dinner
Year 10 Homeless Night
This list is far from exhaustive, but it illustrates an important point: in each event there is a gift that is being offered to our students. But it not enough for the College to offer these opportunities - they must be accepted to make present their full meaning and value. It is not worthy of us to be mere observers of the world, for we are called to a life of active participation.
Active participation cooperates with the initial gift with a courage that accepts personal change. This is the courage to be filled with gratitude for both the gift and to the giver, for through such gratitude we may reveal to the world the full splendour of the gift: its beauty, its invitation to life, and even the recognition of a challenge. Through active participation in the initial gift our students create something that they then offer to each other and to the wider community.
For example, during our Mass for Edmund Rice Day there were profound moments of chosen stillness. Our students recognised that something important was taking place and chose a respectful stillness that meant 1400 students created, and offered each other, an encounter radically opposed to the noise and action of their normal routines. As a community, we entered into a different way of being, and offered each other an invitation into the new way of life experienced in the Eucharist.
It is essential to our life as a Catholic School in the Edmund Rice Tradition that we all create, offer and accept these invitations into newness, because renewal, transformation, conversion, is at the very heart of our life as a sacramental community. Jesus transformed the bread and wine into his body and blood; he transformed a few fish and loaves into a bountiful meal for thousands; he transformed notion of strict justice into the conversion of love; and in his Cross and Resurrection he transformed death into life. Only in our personal transformation can we come to know and accept the gift that is our very self.
Every time our students take up one of the myriad of opportunities offered at St Patrick’s College, they engage with and share the love and unity that is our deepest reality – our true self as a gift from God. When their hearts and minds explore these opportunities as gifts ultimately from the Giver of all gifts, and so overflowing with loving gratitude, they participate in the sacramentality of God’s creation and transform the world of human living into the Kingdom of God. This is the joy, power and promise of Easter.