From Boys to Men
Dear St Edmund’s College Family and Friends,
Congratulations to all our Year 10 young Eddies’ men who crossed the bridge on Wednesday evening as part of their Rite of Passage ritual ceremony. Under the chilly evening sky blanketed by night stars on Mulkerin Oval, with the Old Boys’ House as a poignant backdrop, each Year 10 boy was called by name by their House Dean to step forward and cross the bridge to symbolise their entry into manhood.
The ritual involved Uncle Joe Kirk making an Aboriginal mark on their wrist using ochre as paint. Each boy then placed a mask in a fire as they crossed the bridge. The mask was prepared earlier in the day during a reflective exercise, where they acknowledged the boyish traits and attitudes they wanted to leave behind on their way to claiming their manly identity. When they crossed the bridge, they were given a Senior badge by the College Captains and greeted by their parents and/or caregivers on the other side, who were each given a personal letter that the boys had written earlier in the day.
Fire is an apt symbolic force in that it both consumes their boyish behaviours to leave behind, as well as igniting within them their manly aspirations for the journey ahead. It has significance in our Australian context as it was used by our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestors to promote regrowth and renewal in plant and animal life. Even our Christian story has a strong connection with fire. Early Christian artists depicted the followers of Jesus in paintings with tongues of fire above their head to convey the presence of the Holy Spirit. An encounter with Fire results in irreversible change and so on Wednesday evening we acknowledged that our Year 10 boys have entered the world of adulthood and are ready to make their unique mark on the world for the common good of humanity.
Thank you to Lucas Wilson for coordinating the day and to all the House Deans and teachers for their work preparing the students during the lead-up activities.
Year 12 QCS
Now that the Year 12 students have finished their two-day Queensland Core Skills test, which was conducted this week on Tuesday and Wednesday, we take this opportunity to wish them well and acknowledge that they have completed a pivotal component of their final year of education at St Edmund’s College. They have been preparing for this test for two years, so in many ways it must be a big relief that it is finally over...and now the waiting game, as they finish strongly with their final assessments.
Thank you to Carmel James for coordinating the QCS program and for the team of teachers who have worked diligently to ensure that our Year 12 students were well prepared. The journey is still incomplete with Term 3 assessment and exams coming up in the next two weeks and the final hurdle of Term 4 just around the corner. We urge all our Year 12 young men to stay focused and true to their goals and keep their eyes firmly fixed on the prize at the end of the road. You are in our prayers Year 12, as you take these crucial next steps towards your future pathway beyond the gates of Eddies.
Over the next three days I will be in Melbourne attending the Edmund Rice Education Australia Congress with the theme Charting New Horizons. All EREA schools and organisations across Australia have been invited to attend this five-yearly event with representative members from their respective communities. Joining me from St Edmund’s College is our College Board Chair, Michelle Patterson; Deputy Principal, Ray Celegato; and Assistant Principal Mission and Community, Marysia Rice.
During the three days, we will be asked to reflect on the EREA story thus far, and where we believe we are being called, to continue the story for the next five years. I look forward to sharing the outcomes of the Congress with you in the weeks and months ahead. We feel very privileged to represent the St Edmund’s College, Ipswich community in this way and will endeavour to ensure that your voice is heard as we imagine the journey ahead of EREA.
Photo of the Week
EREA Congress Prayer inspired by Pope Francis
My friends, Jesus is the Lord of risk, He is the Lord of the eternal “more”. Jesus is not the Lord of comfort, security and ease. Following Jesus demands a good dose of courage, a readiness to trade in the sofa for a pair of walking shoes, and to set out on new and uncharted paths. To blaze trails that open up new horizons capable of spreading joy, born of God’s love and wells up in your hearts with every act of mercy. To take the path of the “craziness” of our God, who teaches us to encounter Him in the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, the friend in trouble, the prisoner, the refugee and the migrant, and our neighbours who feel abandoned. To take the path of our God, who encourages us to be politicians, thinkers, social activists.
Live Jesus, in our hearts, forever.
Diarmuid O’Riordan, Principal