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In the Christian tradition we talk a lot about the idea of “who is my neighbour?” This question stretches back to the writer of Luke’s Gospel where he has an expert in the law ask this very question of Jesus as a lead in to the story of the Good Samaritan. The ‘Neighbour’ is an interesting metaphor in the modern world because for many of us we do not have contact with the people who live beside us. I live in an apartment building and to me my neighbours are the people I see in the lift and speak to briefly, they aren’t people who share much of my life. This wasn’t what Jesus thought of when he called us to see other people as our neighbour.

In the story of Edmund Rice we see a different relationship developing. Edmund when he decided to establish the Religious Community of the Christian Brothers deliberately chose the vocation of ‘Brother’ to name the kind of ministry that he was about to engage in. Brother-ing means to see everyone as family; Brother-ing means to see connection, Brother-ing means relationship; Brother-ing means to see equality; Brother-ing means to share.

Here at St Patrick’s we see the great example of the Senior ‘Big Brothers’ and their ‘Little Brothers’ and we know the power of these relationships for our young men. I was really struck by the sincerity of the reflections given by the ‘Little Brothers’ at our recent Edmund Rice Mass as they honoured their new House Leaders, it was a privilege to hear their heartfelt sentiments.

Our call as a Catholic school is to see the link between us and all beings and even the earth. We aren’t called to be neighbours that never enter into the lives of one another, instead we are called to be fully part of the relationship of life and to see that as the definition of ourselves.

When we model ourselves on Jesus and Edmund we are recognising that relationships are vital to who we are; and how we are in those relationships makes up the stuff of our lives.

This week in the Identity area of the College:

  • Continuing the Domestic and Family Violence Awareness Month
  • Paddy’s Van ministries are continuing
  • Era for Change group is continuing its work to speak out for people in need

Mr Tim Kenny - Dean of Identity