Recently I was asked to speak at a conference on the topic of what will make Catholic schools relevant in the future. How we answer this question will depend on the criteria used to judge our ongoing relevance.
On Tuesday 24 March 2014, the Ambrose Treacy College community gathered with representatives from EREA, the Christian Brothers, Brisbane Catholic Education, Archbishop Mark Coleridge and local members of parliament to celebrate the opening and blessing of Australia’s newest Catholic school.
I take this opportunity at the start of a new year to send my best wishes in the hope that all have had a calm and restful break and are ready for the opportunities and challenges that 2015 will bring.
Our schools are places of learning and the formation of the young. We all hope that while they are with us, our students will learn what they need to become the best people they can be and truly engage with life in all its fullness. This is the Christian promise!
‘Presence’, ‘liberation’ and ‘compassion’ are celebrated by the Christian Brothers and those who work with them as core pillars of the charism and ministry of Edmund Rice. I personally have never had any problem in understanding the centrality of ‘liberation’ and ‘compassion’ but have struggled somewhat with the notion of ‘presence'. Just recently though, I had an experience that shed light for me on the importance of being truly present to the reality of others.
We acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of Australia as the traditional owners and custodians of the land of our schools. We are inspired and nurtured by their wisdom, spirituality and experience. We commit ourselves to actively work alongside them for reconciliation and justice. We pay our respects to the Elders; past, present and future. As we take our next step we remember the first footsteps taken on this sacred land.