On Sunday, we celebrated two wonderful events. Firstly, we took time to thank our mothers for what they have done for each of us. I hope that every mother within our community had a wonderful day and was made to feel very special by your children.

The second event was the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. This also marked the end of the Easter season with our faith. The ascension marks Jesus’s final words on earth before he ascends into heaven. These words to his disciples were to go out to all in the world and proclaim the good news. This started the process of the disciples travelling and preaching this good news and, in turn, developing their own followers and numbers to the faith. In essence, the meaning of the ascension for us is that Jesus no longer has a physical presence (as person) in the world but has a spiritual presence through each of us. Our words and actions could be described as our own personal Gospel. This maybe the only Gospel that others may hear. Therefore, it is incumbent on each of us to make sure that our words and actions are gentle, selfless, patient and compassionate. St Teresa of Avila, a Spanish nun and saint, is the patron for the sick and the missions. Her prayer, Christ has No Body, best makes this point.

Christ Has No Body

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

Teresa of Avila (1515–1582)

Tomorrow is a significant day on our co-curricular calendar. We host Marist College Ashgrove in our annual Back to Shorncliffe Day. This day is traditionally a special day of thanks to our Year 12 students in their last games at Curlew Park as well as a welcome back to the many SPC Old Boys who make this a special day on their calendars. Our First XI Football team and First XV Rugby teams will also wear special retro jerseys that represent the jerseys of the early years of competition. This year, the First XV will be given their jerseys by Mr Murray Schultz. Apart from being a past staff member and father of sons from St Patrick’s College, Murray was one of the original parents and Sports Support Group members who worked so hard to transform Curlew Park from an old dumpsite to what it is today. The First XI Football team will receive their special jerseys from Joe Champness. Joe is the brother of our current College captain, Daniel. He was also College Captain in 2014. Joe has since gone on to represent Australia in Football (U/23) and is currently a member of the Newcastle Jets team that narrowly lost to Sydney FC in the recent A League Grand Final. There will be a full day of fixtures at Curlew Park and I would like to publicly thank Marist College Ashgrove for allowing this to happen. At 10:00am, the College Leadership Team will also host the parents from our Year 12 students to morning tea. This will be the last Back to Shorncliffe Day and second last fixture at Curlew Park for many of them. I hope that this morning tea, in some small way, demonstrates the College’s appreciation for all the hard work that has been done by so many of you over your association with St Patrick’s. Once again this year, we will use the occasion to express our opposition to domestic violence and the DV police unit will have a presence at the grounds throughout the day. There will also be great live music from our young men and other displays. We are expecting a large crowd of people and look forward to an enjoyable day of sport and music.

During this week, almost all our students in Years 5, 7 and 9 completed their NAPLAN tests. As mentioned in me article last week, we use the data from these tests along with other tests and in-school results to look at individual student and cohort strengths and challenges. I was disappointed that some students did not attend without following the expected procedures. In the case of illness, we have been able to catch up with the tests for most of these students. I would encourage all parents who may have chosen to withdraw their son from the tests for other reasons to make contact Mr Troy Schultz. He will alert you to what data we receive and its use that is different from that sent to students and parents. This may allow some people to have a balanced informed view of the tests from our perspective.

I would also like to thank the many Year 12 students and parents who came to the QCS information night on Monday. During the meeting, Ms Elizabeth Gaber, Mr Troy Schultz and Mr David Crewe used our current data as evidence to demonstrate how we think the current cohort is progressing in their preparation. I hope that this information and explanation was very worthwhile to all who attended. I am also very happy to receive feedback about the presentation in ways that we can make it more relevant or useful in future years. The young men undertook an SRI Practice Test on Wednesday afternoon as well.

Congratulations to our Chemical Titration teams who competed against other schools at the UQ last Saturday. Once again, one of our teams has moved through into the State finals to be held later this year. The teams have been expertly prepared and trained by Mrs Lorraine O’Sullivan and Mrs Ashleigh Walker.

I look forward to catching up with many of you tomorrow at Curlew Park.

Live Jesus in our Hearts!

Mr Chris Mayes – College Principal