Principal's Blog - 9 August 2018
To the Marcellin College Family,
This week we celebrate Globalisation Week at Marcellin. I am very grateful to languages staff led by John Di Natale and our student Languages Captains Luke Davoli and Nicholas Crabb for their work in providing our community with wonderful educative opportunities to grow in their awareness and understanding of their role as global citizens.
Below is my small contribution to the celebration of this significant week in the life of our College.
It is often easy to throw up our hands in despair when we read about the state of our world today. There are no shortage of stories about war, environmental degradation, poverty, starvation and most significantly our failure as a human race to build relationships of trust and understanding with each other.
Despite all this I remain hopeful. I am hopeful because of the generation of young people I am privileged to interact with who are much better placed than at any time in our history to build relationships with our global brothers and sisters and to right the wrongs of the past.
I am hopeful too when I read the inspiring and practical words of our friend Pope Francis. In a recent TED talk he said that for hope to exist in our world a single individual is enough, and that single individual can be you. He says… “And then there will be another you and another you and it turns into an us...and that us turns into a revolution.” Pope Francis goes on to say that this revolution is one of tenderness. This tenderness… “is the love that comes close and becomes real. It is a movement that starts from our heart and reaches the eyes, the ears and the hands. Tenderness means to use our eyes to see the other, our ears to hear the other, to listen to the children, the poor, those who are afraid of the future. To listen also to the silent cry of our common home, of our sick and polluted earth. Tenderness means to use our hands and our heart to comfort the other, to take care of those in need. Tenderness is not weakness; it is fortitude. It is the path of solidarity, the path of humility.”
At Marcellin we know all about solidarity. We know what it means to reach out to those in greatest need. I have been privileged on many occasions to be witness to the generosity, love and tenderness of our boys as they seem to innately understand what it means to walk with those who do not share in the riches of opportunity and security that is our everyday reality.
I was fortunate recently to travel to Indonesia with a wonderful group of young men who truly lived that revolution of tenderness in the simple and real interactions they shared with the people of that diverse country.
I saw it in the market places where these boys so warmly, respectfully and genuinely interacted with the older women who ran the market stalls in their native language. I saw it in the way they played a simple game of Futsal with the boys of a local school and shared a laugh with them as naturally as they would in their own school yard. I saw it most particularly in the humble, unpretentious respect they paid our bus driver through their daily interactions with him as we travelled through the country. At the end of our trip the bus driver told me through our guide that no tour group had ever related to him with the respect and sincerity demonstrated by the boys of Marcellin. He said he felt like more than just our driver – he became our friend.
These modest interactions are at the heart of Marist simplicity. A simplicity founded on a genuine desire to meet the other where they are at and to see them as a brother or a sister – this is the essence of global citizenship.
So I remain hopeful. I am hopeful that each of our young men will continue to take the opportunity both at home and abroad to spread the revolution of tenderness to all who they encounter. Then perhaps we will see a world a little less fearful and suspicious of each other and a little more united as global brothers and sisters.
Finally I turn to the words of another Francis - that revolutionary global citizen – St. Francis of Assisi, who many hundreds of years ago provided us with the simple recipe for global unity…
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. O divine master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, And it’s in dying that we are born to eternal life.