Two weeks ago a prayer vigil was held in the College Chapel to pray for the end to the death penalty in countries around the world. This was done through the simple act of a silent prayer and the lighting of a candle. The debate about the death penalty has recently sparked attention with two Australians currently awaiting the death penalty in Indonesia. Vigils like this can often ignight some controversy and can often divide people's opinions. However our Catholic social teaching tells us that we must have compassion and justice for all those around us.

The Catholic Church teaches us that all life is sacred and that God has created all people in his image. The Church also emphasises the mercy of Jesus Christ who said 'blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy' (Matthew 5:7). The Church always proclaims that with justice, mercy must follow.

In October last year Pope Francis called for an end to the death penalty saying, 'It is impossible to imagine that states today cannot make use of another means other than capital punishment to defend peoples' lives from an unjust aggressor'. In his words the Pope recognises there must be a punishment to a crime but argues that countries must be able to develop an alternate means of doing this, one which aligns with a sense of mercy.

Topics like this are often difficult to discuss with some of our young men and certainly as the story unfolds some of our students may have questions and opinions themselves. I believe as a Catholic School in an Edmund Rice tradition it is important we reinforce the gospel value of mercy in all aspects of what we do.

Next week we have a small break in tradition on St. Patrick's Day. Due to the Callan Centre being out of action, the day will be celebrated in tutor groups with a small liturgy. St. Patrick was known for being a great teacher, he used the symbol of the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit all represent the three leaves of the shamrock but they all come from the same stem that makes it one living entity. The liturgy will look at how we can be better Men of Faith, Humility and Learning. Like the shamrock these are three separate parts that connect us together as one whole community. The liturgy will challenge us to be better Men of Faith, Humility and Learning and through these three separate actions, better as one community.

God Bless

Mr Paul Corfield - Acting Assistant Principal - Identity