Principal's Blog - 31 August 2017

30 Aug 2017

Dear members of the Marcellin College Family,

Last week I was fortunate to spend some time in a couple of other great Marist schools in our state. Namely, Assumption College Kilmore and the new Marist College in Bendigo. On Tuesday I was invited by Principal of Assumption Kate Fogarty, to tour the College’s magnificent boarding facility and have dinner with some of the wonderful young people who call this place home throughout the year.

From the moment I entered this significant and historic place in the Marist world I was greeted with warm and tangible hospitality. From the generosity of the Principal, who took time out of her busy schedule to provide me with a comprehensive and informative tour of the College to the many staff I met along the way who each stopped what they were doing to welcome me and to chat about their work in support of the students of this great school. On entering the dignified and state of the art boarding facilities I was struck by the positive and attentive welcome I received from the students. They were very keen to show off their home away from home and we shared some rich and interesting conversations over dinner.

After dinner I was taken to my accommodation for the night; the Brothers residence. There I met the enthusiastic and effusive Brother Xav. In my time working in the Marist world I have always been struck by the incredible hospitality of the Marist Brothers whenever I have been privileged enough to stay in their residences around the country. Brother Xav was no exception and as result I felt very welcome and at home in this space.

The following day I ventured to Marist College Bendigo for the opening of a new building at one of the most innovative and creative educational settings I have ever observed. Here again I was warmly welcomed by staff and students who were not only immensely proud of their school but also highly knowledgeable regarding the unique and cutting edge educational setting they were learning in.

On my return to Marcellin on Thursday I encountered a casual relief teacher who was working at Marcellin for the first time. The teacher told me that when she arrived at the College in the morning she was unsure of where to find reception. She told me that a couple of boys saw her wandering around and asked if she needed help. When the teacher said she was a bit lost the boys happily escorted her to main reception chatting enthusiastically along the way about their school.

They say first impressions are lasting. Each of the simple examples I have presented here clearly demonstrate the power hospitality can have in creating a lasting and positive first impression. As I reflected on these experiences I wondered how I and all the members of our Marcellin community could become a more hospitable member of our community.  I think that the answer does not lay in any particular formula as to how we should greet someone as they arrive at our school. I believe hospitality is an attitude more than an action. Each of the examples I have presented here speaks of people who were more concerned about the needs of the other than about their own needs.

In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus speaks about hospitality as a higher calling:

I was hungry and you gave me food
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink
I was a stranger and you welcomed me. (Matt. 25:15)

As Christian people each of us is called to live in service of one another. We don’t have to do anything spectacular, just love one another as I have loved you. That is the ultimate hospitality.

Mark Murphy