Dear members of the Marcellin College family,
At Marcellin we challenge our students to reach their full potential. We also celebrate their achievements and significant milestones in their time in our College Community. Last Friday was one of those special moments in our school when we formally celebrated the achievement of the Class of 2013 at our annual Dux assembly whilst at the same time officially welcoming our year 7 students and other boys new to our College. Below I have reproduced my words to our community at this significant moment in our Colleges year.
Good morning boys, parents and staff of the Marcellin College family. It is wonderful to be here with you as we celebrate the commencement of our College Year. I would particularly like to take this opportunity to welcome all students, staff and families who are new to Marcellin you are all very welcome in our Community. I welcome the boys of the Class of 2013 and their families as we honour their efforts and achievements.
It was great to see our new year sevens and other boys new to Marcellin as they were officially welcomed into this Community this morning. I have been very encouraged in the last few days as to the way the rest of you have made these new boys feel at home and at ease in our College.
As you know each year at Marcellin we adopt one of the five characteristics of the Marist Charism as our College theme for the year. This year our theme is in the Way of Mary.
It is often said, that the fifth and final characteristic, In the Way of Mary, summarises the other four characteristics. Mary “pondered these things in her heart” and was ever present to her God. Mary loved to work, exemplified by her being unafraid to head across the hills to see her pregnant cousin Elizabeth. Mary nurtured family even though her family lived in poor circumstances. And finally Mary took a simple approach to her life, being genuine and straight forward in her interactions with people she came in contact with.
Mary was a very important figure in the life of St. Marcellin. When Marcellin and his fellow brothers met at Fouviere to pledge their life to the service of others it was to Mary that they dedicated themselves. Marcellin made up a little saying which became the Marist Motto to remind himself and his brothers of the importance of Mary in their lives as Marists. He said All to Jesus through Mary which demonstrates the central place Mary holds for the faith of the brothers and therefore should hold for us.
Mary was a person of great service to her community. She never wavered from her commitment to others. She was a woman of incredible courage. When her son was nailed to a cross all his apostles and friends ran away fearing they would be killed too. Mary without any regard for her own safety did not abandon her son when he needed her most.
This year the Marist brothers ask us to be people of service as Mary was through their theme – #Serve One Another. They are asking us to develop an understanding of the needs of each other, to help to build Community where we serve each other with respect, compassion and love.
I am very proud of the way many of you embrace the many opportunities to serve others in our community and beyond. Through ministry initiative like soup van, Melb. Juvenile Justice, giving blood and through REMAR. At the end of the year a group of ten Year 11 students along with br. Mark, Mr. Ashmore and Miss Duncan continued to build a relationship based on service with the people of Pailin in Cambodia. I know too that Miss Tostsos took a group of graduating year 12 students to Central Australia to support the indigenous people of Santa Teresa.
All these initiatives are wonderful and should be applauded and celebrated. However as the saying goes – charity starts at home. What that means is the way we serve and support each other every day here in this Community is as important as serving others through some formal activity. In fact I would go as far as to say if we save our service just for those occasions and forget about it in our day to day lives then I think we are being false and hypocritical.
We must be ready to serve all the time
On Tuesday morning some boys were getting off a bus on the way to school when one of them began to feel quite ill. The boys responded immediately by walking the ill student to a nearby medical clinic where he received medical attention. These boys showed great service to their fellow student by not only assisting him in his moment of need but also recognising the need in the first place and doing something about it. A year 7 boy told me the other day that one of his highlights from his first few days here at Marcellin was how friendly and helpful the more senior boys had been towards him – That’s service.
So as members of the Marcellin College family let us take seriously the call of the Marists to serve each other. Let us grow in our love of God and each other. Let us together build the Community of Marcellin College at the heart of which is a spirit of compassionate and loving service.
Today we are here to honour the class of 2013. This fine group of young men have achieved great things and have truly lived out our College Motto to strive for the highest with virtue and courage.
Earlier in this assembly we heard from Adrian about his experience of VCE and how he was able to achieve such incredible results. Adrian presented ideas such as “immersing yourself in the life of the College, making the most of every opportunity the College offers and most importantly enjoying yourself.”
Adrian is a great example of someone who served his community and supported his mates. Adrian’s success, I believe lays in the fact that not only did he serve but he allowed himself to be served. Service is not only about providing for the needs of others it is also about opening ourselves up to the generosity of others. Celtic spirituality says that if you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In other words the more love you give away the more love you will have.
I encourage all of us to reflect on this idea as we move into a new and exciting year at Marcellin. A year of review for our school, a year of discerning the future of our physical spaces, a year when we work together to continue to make Marcellin College a great Marist Catholic School for boys, a year when we are at each other’s service.