Principal's Blog - 22 August 2019

20 Aug 2019

Dear members of the Marcellin College family,

How often do our children surprise us? Just when we think we have them figured out, they do things which change our perspective on who they are and where they are at in their lives. In this sense I am not talking about when they do something incredible on the sporting field or achieve at high academic result or produce a great piece of art. As significant as these things may be, they aren’t the things that bowl me over with surprise and delight. I am talking about moments when we see their growth as human beings. Think for a moment about instances in your own children’s lives when they have demonstrated maturity, empathy, initiative, resilience, resolve, compassion or forgiveness. Think about those moments of growth that give us great comfort and encouragement that they are becoming what my good friend Saint Marcellin would describe as Good Christians and Good citizens.

My question to myself and perhaps to you too, is how often do we truly recognise and equally importantly, celebrate these moments? Of all of the awards nights, trophies, certificates, etc. how many of them celebrate these significant human achievements? At Marcellin one of my favourite, and I believe most important awards which achieves this aim is our House Spirit award presented at the end of year House Graduation evenings. Each year I enjoy listening as each Pastoral Leader speaks about one young man in their pastoral group who has stood out as someone who gives without wanting something in return. Someone who takes initiative in support of his classmates and teachers, who recognises their role as someone who brings a positive, warm and supportive attitude to every interaction, who goes out of his way to give solace and hope to someone who is doing it tough. I could fill many newsletters with examples of this attitude and action that so many of our boys display without even thinking about it.

Over the past couple of weeks I have seen this attitude manifest itself in the support and care our boys have provided to Jack and Angus McBrearty following the loss of their dad Bazza. I witnessed this in the prayerful and silent respect paid by many of our boys at gatherings in our College Chapel. Or the way they comforted some of their mates in their moment of sorrow and distress. I believe it is great hallmark of the health of a community when people, particularly teenage boys, can grieve openly in front of their peers without fear of what others might think. I was with 85 of our young men and Marcellin staff as we stood in solidarity with Sue, Jack, Angus and Eden as they farewelled their husband and father. I watched as they supported, comforted and looked out for each other during and after the funeral. I watched in awe as they stood at attention in a silent tribute to Bazza and his family.

I said to these same young men as we returned to the College that I was incredibly proud of their actions and involvement on this sad day. I said too that just through their simple act of presence, they brought relief and comfort to a grieving family and that in itself was a great gift.

It does not take something as tragic and sad as a funeral to bring out these qualities in the young men of Marcellin. I am grateful to all those boys who each day demonstrate these qualities through growth as mature, thoughtful and caring young men in support of others in the Marcellin family.

I am reminded of the words of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel… “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Eternal Rest Grant to Bazza Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul rest in peace.

Amen

Mark Murphy
Principal