We joined over over 60 EREA schools and Flexi-learning centres across the country today in our celebration of the feast day of Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice. We also join a global network of hundreds of schools who also celebrate this occasion. Schools within the Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) are the legacy of the great work done by the Christian Brothers in forming so many schools within Australia and around the world. Tomorrow, we not only celebrate the life of Blessed Edmund Rice but also the 150th year anniversary of Br Ambrose Treacy’s arrival in Australia to start the...
We joined over over 60 EREA schools and Flexi-learning centres across the country today in our celebration of the feast day of Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice. We also join a global network of hundreds of schools who also celebrate this occasion. Schools within the Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) are the legacy of the great work done by the Christian Brothers in forming so many schools within Australia and around the world. Tomorrow, we not only celebrate the life of Blessed Edmund Rice but also the 150th year anniversary of Br Ambrose Treacy’s arrival in Australia to start the Christian Brothers order and schools within our country.
Edmund Rice was born in Callan, Kilkenny Ireland in 1762 during a time when education to Catholic children was compromised by the Property Act. Any teacher that gave public or private tuition regarding faith education was liable to be prosecuted. Edmund understood the importance of education and how it could liberate people, particularly those whose social conditions were forced upon them due to a deliberate lack of education. Edmund was lucky enough to receive an education at home and obtained an apprenticeship with his uncle in the merchant business. From this humble education, he was able to build a lucrative career as a businessman. In later life, Edmund lost his wife through a tragic accident and devoted his life more to prayer and charitable works.
In 1802, he established a makeshift school in a converted stable in New Street, Waterford. His initial vision was to supply an education to the poor within Waterford. Over time, this became more ambitious.Over the next 35 years or more, Edmund continued to build more schools to deliver his dream of a Catholic education for the poor and marginalised. Edmund eventually retired because of ill health in 1838 and finally passed away in 1844. Edmund Rice not only established many schools but also two religious orders: the Christian Brothers and the Presentation Brothers. These Brothers were made up from men who were also attracted to Edmund’s dream of delivering an education to young people to liberate them from their situation of poverty.
It is a matter of history that the Christian Brothers travelled to many parts of the world to deliver a Catholic education to young people. In most cases, the Brothers were invited to start schools by the local Bishops. Their schools developed reputations for delivering a good education to young men. Over two centuries after the establishment of his first school, Edmund’s legacy still lives at St Patrick’s College. There are many young men who have been fortunate to have been given an education by the Christian Brothers or lay staff within Christian Brothers or EREA schools. Our Mass on this date each year is an opportunity for our students and staff to also say thank you to the Brothers and remember and celebrate all their work in establishing so many schools around the world, particularly this great school. It is also a time for us to remember Edmund’s original Mission and purpose for developing his schools. We still carry a commitment to offering a liberating education to young men from many diverse backgrounds and be advocates and Men of Action for the poor and marginalised within our society. During Mass, we also made particular mention of Br Chris Pritchard who is still a valued and active member of the St Patrick’s community. Chris has been a Christian Brother for over fifty years and been a part of Christian Brothers and EREA schools across the world during this time.
Br Paul Oakley, President of EREA Board, recently reflected … “As we each reflect on the passion in the life of Edmund and in that of Ambrose and hopefully seek the passion in our own life may we find both comfort and challenge in the words of Pope Francis”, ‘All of us are called to offer others an explicit witness to the saving love of the Lord, who despite our imperfections offers us his closeness, his word and his strength, and gives meaning to our lives’.
The Mass on Friday also had two other elements. Firstly, we acknowledged the great work of four young men in the Year 12 cohort: Callum Mc Farlane, Carl Morgan, Jack Cain, Levi Parker and De Wet Coetzee were inducted as the new House Leaders for the remainder of the year. Each of these young men have been a great example to their peers and the student body and it was with great pleasure that we were able to recognise their efforts through this induction.
Secondly, we recognised the many staff within our College who have given 15 years of service or more to Christian Brothers or EREA schools. The full list of these staff is listed in Frank Torrisi’s article. It is an impressive list of staff members. This Mass was also a way for the College community to recognise and thank the staff, not only on our own behalf but also for EREA and the Brothers as well, for the wonderful work that they have done within schools throughout their careers.
We held our Parent Teacher Interviews on Tuesday. It was great to see so many families meeting with the teaching staff with their sons to discuss their progress and ways to improve into the future. I hope that everyone found the interviews to be relevant and useful with good information for your son about how he can improve within each of his subjects.
On Thursday afternoon, the whole school gathered together for our first trimester sports awards assembly. We were very fortunate to have so many young men involved within the sports program and it was wonderful to be able to recognise the achievements and efforts of so many. In my address, I mentioned the AIC Sports Review and some of the information within the report apart from sports, schedules etc. The University of Queensland report included information about the importance of school sport and challenges all AIC schools to ensure that we use our sporting competition for the development of our young men. The opportunities that our school sport in the development of our young men is best summarised in three categories:
- Health and fitness outcomes;
- Enhanced (academic) learning;
- Positive social outcomes.
The final report has been forwarded to each of the AIC schools and we will discuss and plan any recommended changes throughout the rest of this year. These changes will start next year.
Last week, our junior musical, The Lion King, was performed by students from Year 5-9. It was an excellent production and very well attended by many parents and friends of the performers. During the course of this week, many of our bands and ensembles have been involved in the Queensland Youth Music Festival. Most of the young men involved are much younger than the other bands and ensembles and the feedback and awards that have been received have been quite outstanding. Our concert band received a gold medal and placed 2nd overall. This recognition reflects the great work done by our teachers and tutors within the music program.
Tomorrow, we will recognise Mother’s Day a week early with a morning tea for all our mothers in the function centre at Curlew Park. The morning tea will start at 9:30am and conclude at 11:00am. All mothers are invited to join us for a nice cuppa and refreshments. Our Year 5 choir will also perform for all our mums.
This Friday night we host St Peter’s Lutheran School for Chess and on Saturday we play them in Rugby and Football at Curlew Park. Ambrose Treacy College will also be playing some of our teams.
Live Jesus in our Hearts!