Principal's Blog - 26 July 2018

23 Jul 2018

Dear members of the Marcellin College Family,

Sport these days is becoming a very complicated affair. We only need look at the statistics that are kept by the various codes of Football to realise that. In the games of Rugby, Soccer and Australian Rules Football there are a plethora of statistics which coaches and officials look to as they analyse the performance of their teams and individual players. One group of statistics which most fascinate me at the moment are those which coaches refer to as the “one percenter”. These statistics are exemplified by the small, often unnoticed acts of players in support of their team. In Australian Rules parlance the one percenters are actions such as smothers, tackles, contesting for marks, goal assists and intercepts. I’m certain that these same measures exist in the other codes, unfortunately my limited expertise does not extend that far!

One of my favourite one percenters is the Shepherd. This is when one player supports his team mate to get gain possession of the ball by using his body to guard the space where the ball is blocking any opposing players from tackling his team mate. I like this one percenter because it the quintessential act of selflessness which is a hallmark of team sport. It requires something too of the player being supported by the sheperder. They have a responsibility to do something with the ball which will lead to a positive result for the team.

Here at Marcellin our boys have many people who shepherd for them. Their teachers and other staff who give them every support in reaching their potential; their families who love them and provide them with the opportunities and resources they need; and their friends who walk with them and even hold them up in more difficult moments. Shepherders are selfless, thoughtful and compassionate people. They are constantly on the lookout for those around them. They put their body on the line, literally and figuratively, desiring always to use their gifts and talents for the benefit of others. In life, as in football, the one being shepherded has a responsibility to honour those supporting him by doing his best to use the ball as well as he can not only for his own benefit but also for the benefit of the team. He also needs to become a shepherder for others, rising above his own needs and looking towards the needs of others.

I was reminded about this idea of shepherding as I sat in mass last Sunday. In his Gospel for the day the great St. Mark spoke about one of the most important and enduring images of Jesus – that of the Good Shepherd. Mark writes in chapter 6 of his Gospel…

… they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

Like the shepherder on the football field Jesus saw a need which he just couldn’t ignore. His compassion and deep love for his people drove him to focus on their needs above his own, using his skills and talents to help them more fully understand his mission to bring light and love to the world.

As we begin this all important third term at Marcellin I ask myself the question…How can I be a good shepherd for the people I encounter each day?

On behalf of the Marcellin College community I wish to send my deepest sympathies to the Ryan family, specifically to Patrick (Year 11) and his mum Marguerite following the death of Patrick’s father John. The thoughts and prayers of the Marcellin family are with you at this very sad time.

Grant eternal rest to John O lord and let Perpetual Light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the departed rest in peace. Amen.

Mark Murphy