Principal's Blog - 9 May 2019

05 May 2019

Dear members of the Marcellin College Family,

Since the day I walked into Marcellin 10 years ago there has been one constant which has never wavered with regards to the identity of our College. That is the strong and enduring sense of community engagement and connection that exists in our wonderful school. It is not just that our community continues to embrace the diverse range of high-quality activities and opportunities that exist here at Marcellin, it is the heart and the motivation they bring to these events and situations which speaks volumes about the culture and identity of our College. Allow me to provide some examples.

On Tuesday evening last week I popped in on the Year 7 mother and son night in St. Marcellin’s Hall, conducted by our great friend Bill Jennings from Time and Space. The hall was packed with mothers/mentors and their boys who all brought with them an open mind and generous heart to the many valuable activities Bill placed before them. Not only that, but many mums of older students, along with many staff and senior students volunteered their time and experience to support this significant occasion. Without the altruistic and selfless attitude of these people we would not be able to run a night like this. The feeling in the room modelled the idea of Christian service and outreach which is central to our approach in supporting our boys to grow to become fine young men.

Last Saturday I attended the first round of the AGSV Winter season held here at Marcellin. Not to place too fine a point on it, I believe that Saturday sport is one of the most important threads of the social and communal fabric of Marcellin College. It was not just that parents had turned up in great numbers to see their sons play, or the fact that we have the largest numbers of boys participating in Saturday sport in the Colleges' history, it was the atmosphere and attitude created by all those present which was most important. One of the mums present at the one of the matches gave me even greater insight into why this feeling of community was extant. She told me that she had received an email on Friday reminding the team about the time and venue for the game. At the end of the email the coach said, "remember to bring a water bottle and a smile”. The mother immediately got a sense of the culture and motivation for sport at Marcellin. She said that other coaches she had experienced might have said that rather than bring a smile, they may have been asked to, "bring your A-game”, suggesting that winning may have been more important that enjoying the experience. The parent went on to say that she really appreciated this attitude and it was quite clearly being mirrored on the sporting field. The boys were out there getting fit and healthy, connecting with their teachers and mostly forming friendships which will last them a lifetime. The parents too were enjoying each other’s company and building a relationship with the College. Winners all round!!

The final example from last week was not an official Marcellin event or one which would have appeared on the College calendar. Sadly, it was for the funeral of one of our Old Collegians, Michael Colosimo-Minniti (Class of 2012). Michael lost his life following a motor cycle accident. As colleagues and I entered St. Joseph’s in Northcote for this overwhelmingly sad and heartwrenching funeral Mass, we realised we were surrounded by members of the Marcellin community. From former students to teachers to parents, all there to give comfort and support to a family experiencing the pain of grief and loss. Again, the identity of our College shone through as a Catholic, Marist Community. Most poignantly the family asked that during communion we join in the singing of The Power of your Love – a very significant song for the boys of our College and one which was very important to Michael. In this moment of catastrophe our community reached out in prayer knowing that Michael was now at rest in the arms of a loving God.

These are just some examples of the sense of belonging, connection and engagement which occurs in our College every day. If I tried to list them all I would fill one hundred newsletters. Every day I thank God for the community that is Marcellin College as together we provide our boys with countless examples of what it means to be Good Christians and Good citizens.

Mark Murphy