Celebration of Feast Day of Blessed Edmund Rice
Dear St Edmund’s College Family and Friends,
The opportunity to come together as a community is a powerful experience and especially so for our Eddies’ young men. It helps them to understand our community values and invites them to share in the expression of our community heart. Today we did just that when we filled the St Mary’s Church for our Feast Day Mass in honour of Blessed Edmund Rice.
Yesterday we spoke to the boys about the importance of Blessed Edmund Rice Feast Day and why a Eucharistic Celebration is an appropriate way to give thanks for his life. Like a family enjoying a meal around a table, we too came to the table of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, to share the bread of life. We mentioned to the students that in Mass we could each contribute, in a simple but meaningful way, to the community experience. We explained that throughout the Mass we are invited at various key times to respond in prayer by saying ‘Amen’. The word itself is an ancient Hebrew word that was spoken at the time of Jesus. When we say ‘Amen’ we are saying ‘I agree’ or ‘that is true for me’.
Today at Mass there was a clear and strong ‘Amen’ uttered by the Eddies’ young men at each of those special prayerful moments. I could not help but feel the palpable presence of God with us throughout our celebratory service as the boys respectfully and solemnly shared in the community experience. At one point during Mass, a representative student from each of the forty-eight Homerooms placed a pre-painted square canvas, that each Homeroom had painted earlier this week, on a backboard, to form part of a larger mosaic. The picture below tells the story of our community heart.
Blessed Edmund Rice was inspired by Jesus to educate the very poor and marginalised in Waterford, Ireland. What started in very humble beginnings in the early nineteenth century has since flourished into a movement that has reached out in mission to many parts of the globe. This year we celebrate 150 years since the arrival in Melbourne of Brother Patrick Ambrose Treacy along with his three Christian Brothers’ companions who, shortly after their arrival established the first Australian Christian Brothers’ school in Melbourne. Over the ensuing years, over 120 schools were established in every state and territory in Australia, which included our very own in Ipswich in 1892.
In 2007 Edmund Rice Education Australia was formed as the new governing body for all Christian Brothers’ schools in Australia. Today over 35,000 students in Australia are educated in the tradition of Blessed Edmund Rice in over fifty EREA schools that operate within this new structure. Edmund Rice’s legacy lives on in each of these school communities and is echoed in the following scripture passage, which Edmund himself often referred to when describing his work in education.
‘The Spirit of our God is upon me: because the Most High has anointed me to bring good News to those who are poor. God has sent me to proclaim liberty to those held captive, recovery of sight to those who are blind, and release to those in prison – to proclaim the year of our god’s favour.’ (Luke 4: 18-19)
Our Feast Day Mass was a wonderful celebration thanks to our Assistant Principal Mission and Community, Marysia Rice, whose overall coordination, creativity and passion to involve the staff and students in a meaningful way added to the rich community experience.
The day was also an occasion for the St Edmund’s College community to acknowledge 40 years of dedicated service to the College by three beloved staff members, Di Denman, Anne Mulkerin and Wayne Warren. Mr Peter Chapman, EREA Northern Regional Director, presented a plaque to each of them recognising their 40 years of service.
Live Jesus In Our Hearts, Forever
Diarmuid O’Riordan, Principal