Principal's Blog - 26 October 2017

23 Oct 2017

Dear members of the Marcellin College family,

One of my all-time favourite prayers is the Prayer of St Francis, or Peace Prayer which was attributed to St Francis of Assisi. Recently, I was doing some research on this prayer and sadly found that it is widely recognised that the prayer was not written by St Francis in the 14th century as I always assumed. The real author of this timeless classic was a French Priest of the early 20th century who was the editor of a Catholic Newsletter in Paris. How it came to be attributed to the 14th century Italian monk is a story for another time. In many ways it doesn’t really matter for it is the words of this prayer which speak to me most poignantly regardless of who might have written them.

The line that has attracted my attention this week from “Francis” prayer is…

For it is in giving that we receive

Generosity is such an important trait of the human character as it speaks of selflessness, empathy, a desire to give to another without expecting anything back. These are all analogues with our Marist Charism, particularly the characteristic of simplicity which speaks of doing good quietly. Over the last couple of weeks, I have been witness to the generosity of our young men in many ways. The generosity of which I speak most specifically is with regards to the giving of one’s talents for the joy, entertainment and pleasure of others.

Friday week ago, I attended the Junior Production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory held in the Brother John McMahon Performing Arts centre here at Marcellin. This joint production saw the continued strengthening of the relationship and association with the staff and students of Our Lady of Mercy College, Heidelberg. This group of aspiring young actors from our two schools performed with great skill and discipline. In doing so they gave generously of their time and talent to bring a bit of joy and laughter into the lives of all those who were privileged to see them perform. Like Francis’ prayer, they did not go away empty handed from this encounter. Through their participation in this activity the students developed skills, built confidence, made new friends, found a passion for performance and mostly had a wonderful time.

I would like to thank Natalie Ciardulli (Director), Clint Gifford (Assistant Director), Natalie Heath (Producer), David Blackman (Stage Manager) along with the many other staff and students (past and present) who contributed to this most entertaining performance.

Last week at our annual Visual Arts and Technology Exhibition I witnessed at different type of generosity. Generosity born from a courage to express very personal, thoughtful ideas, to lay the soul bare through Art and Design, to tell a personal story, to take the viewer on a journey of discovery and wonder and to do something which for many boys is not an easy task – to communicate. I felt quite humbled by the skills and creativity of our senior Art, Studio Arts, Visual Communication Design, Product Design & Technology and Systems Engineering students as they presented their final Unit 3/4 pieces. More than this, I was moved by the generosity displayed by our boys in allowing the viewer into their lives and their thoughts.

None of this would be possible unless an atmosphere of trust and mutual regard is built between teacher and student in the classroom. I am very grateful to all involved in the Visual Arts and Technology learning areas of our school. Expertly led by Sean Kolednik (Visual Arts) and John Meagher (Technology) the staff of these areas build the confidence, skill and capabilities of our students, which in turn gives them the self-assuredness they need to express their personality, passions and interests to their audience. 

I encourage all of our young men to be bold and courageous, as these examples show, to step out of their comfort zone and express yourselves. I promise you the return will be as great as your generous investment.

Mark Murphy