Our Marcellin mission: To make Jesus Christ known and loved
As our young men of Year 12 come to the end of their secondary education, it is a good time to reflect on the last six years of their journey at Marcellin. Every individual will have his own story and every individual will take away his own unique learnings. What the College has tried to do along the way is provide a range of opportunities across a broad spectrum, that taps into the holistic nature of each young man’s humanity. Central to this of course is our Catholic and Marist context. Our Marist spirituality should permeate all that we do.
Back in February 2015 I remember being delighted (like so many of you no doubt) when I heard that Australian journalist Peter Greste was released from a prison in Cairo and was on his way back home. Four hundred days in a Cairo prison after a farcical trial would be enough to make anyone bitter, but two things struck me as I listened to his first interview, recorded in Cypress by Al Jazeera just hours after his release. The first was that, while he was understandably relieved and even ecstatic to be free, he had enormous concern for his colleagues whom he left behind in prison. This made his release somewhat stressful in a sense, as these men had become ‘his brothers’. The second thing I noted was his explanation of how he was able to survive his ordeal. In Peter Greste’s own words: ‘the key is to stay fit – physically, mentally and spiritually’. He went on to outline some specifics about how he was able to achieve this. I suppose I was particularly drawn to his reference to ‘staying fit spiritually’. In a school which has as one of its highest priorities to encourage the boys to develop their faith and understand that they are spiritual as well as physical beings, I think the message that one has to nurture one’s spirituality as well as one’s physical and mental capacity is critical and it’s a message that has been amplified to our graduating class over the years.
Within our Marist tradition, and more specifically here at Marcellin, we continually strive to create opportunities for our students and staff to develop their ‘spiritual fitness’. This is part of our mission. St Marcellin himself taught the first brothers that ‘to make Jesus known and loved is the aim of our vocation’. In order to do this, it is imperative that opportunities to discern His presence are part of our everyday routine. For our young men of Year 12, this has happened not only through the Religious Education program, liturgies, prayer and opportunities for service, it has also happened through the role modelling they have witnessed from their teachers.
For me, the two observations outlined earlier from Peter Greste’s interview spoke volumes, not only about the man himself, but about what is important for all of us when we strip away the distractions of life and become focussed on what really matters. Peter Greste’s dignity and compassion under such trying circumstances are an inspiration for us all and a reminder of what we should value in life, namely, a deep respect for our fellow human beings and a commitment to develop our humanity in its entirety – which includes our spirituality. This is what a Marist education strives to achieve.
With blessings for the week ahead.
Mr John Hickey