Next Tuesday morning we celebrate the feast day of St Patrick. Whilst this day has extra significance for the Irish in the community, it is also an important day for our school. According to Br D.J. Beatson in his book, Edmund Rice Comes to St. Patrick's Shorncliffe, the College was dedicated to St Patrick as a mark of respect for Fr Patrick O'Rourke. Fr O'Rourke was the parish priest at Sandgate who obtained the land for the purpose of building a new school. St Patrick, apostle of Ireland, was born in the late 4th century. It...
Next Tuesday morning we celebrate the feast day of St Patrick. Whilst this day has extra significance for the Irish in the community, it is also an important day for our school. According to Br D.J. Beatson in his book, Edmund Rice Comes to St. Patrick's Shorncliffe, the College was dedicated to St Patrick as a mark of respect for Fr Patrick O'Rourke. Fr O'Rourke was the parish priest at Sandgate who obtained the land for the purpose of building a new school. St Patrick, apostle of Ireland, was born in the late 4th century. It is believed that he was born in England and that his father was a deacon from a Roman family of high standing. It is said that when he was 16 years old, St Patrick was captured by Irish pirates who took him to Ireland where he was sold into slavery tending sheep. St Patrick came to view his enslavement as God's test of his faith. During the six years of his enslavement he became deeply devoted to Christianity through constant prayer. In 408, St Patrick escaped from captivity and sailed to France where he studied and entered the priesthood. He returned to Ireland determined to spread Christian teachings far and wide. He initially met with great resistance. However through persistence with preaching, writing and baptisms, he eventually converted the Druids into Christianity.
Given the Irish Catholic influence in this area at the time of the College's inception, being named after an Irish saint made great sense. However, we must not lose sight of the enormity of the task that St Patrick set himself when he entered the priesthood. Converting a whole country is some feat. It is no wonder that the brothers chose our motto to be – Certa Bonum Certamen - Fight the Good Fight!
We will celebrate the occasion with a liturgy celebrated in House groups and the annual Great Morven Race.
Last Saturday, I had the good fortune of attending the Volleyball fixtures against St Laurence's College. This was a special day for St Laurence's as it was used a part of their 100 year anniversary celebrations. Across all of the age groups, SLC won the majority of the games. However, the last game (First VI) was an outstanding fixture for many reasons. The standard of play, respect and sportsmanship displayed by both teams was excellent. However, what most impressed me was the behaviour and passion showed by our students, the Paddies Battalion, in their support for the team. They were quite outnumbered numerically, but never "out-enthused" during the lengthy game. Our team came from the first two sets down to win the last three. The spirit that was shown both on and off the court last Saturday was quite special.
This weekend our teams play Marist College Ashgrove. MCA is renowned for their sporting achievements within the AIC competition. Currently, our First Volleyball team and First Cricket teams are undefeated. As this is the second last round, wins in both of these games will very much hold both of the teams in contention for premierships. I am also aware that the Second XI and some of the other Cricket teams are also undefeated to date. Again, I thank all of our young men for their spirit and participation in representing the College in our sporting teams and I hope that they enjoy this weekend's sport against a tough opponent.
Our students commence their exams in Week 9 of the term. That leaves the remainder of this week and only next week for final revision and study preparation. I would remind students and parents that there is no such thing as 'no homework', especially at this time of the term. I would expect that all students are being set homework and revision to prepare them for the exams and the students would also be using homework time to revise notes and practice past questions and problems. Last minute preparation usually brings results that reflect the amount of effort in practice. It is easy to combat this – plan and prepare now!
Fr Liam has been a little unwell of late. He is currently in hospital at the Holy Spirit in Chermside. He has undergone some minor surgery this morning and I am, as yet, unsure of how well it all went. I will pass further information on in our next edition.
On Friday 1 May, the College will celebrate Edmund Rice Day with a whole community Mass. This year we would like to dedicate our Mass to the great works of Fr Liam. During this year, Fr Liam will ease back on his commitments to the College and this will provide a great platform for the SPC community to say a special thank-you. Due to the expected numbers, it will be an open-air Mass held at Curlew Park commencing at 9:15am. More information will be given leading into the event.
During the past weeks, I have received a number of requests for students to be withdrawn from the College earlier than the holiday period. In some cases, these requests have been sent to a House Dean or the College Office. In the case of seeking permission for students to be absent from school, the requests are to come directly to me. My general attitude is that students should be at school for the entire term, especially in the last weeks and days when exams are in progress. Student absence from exams also makes it difficult for the teacher to give an accurate report to parents and also use accurate, up-to-date information to track student progress. In some instances, the requests are also accompanied with an expectation that student work will be provided during the time of absence. This cannot always be done and is also sometimes quite difficult if the students are moving to new concepts that require initial instructional teaching. Whilst I appreciate there will be times that some families will need for this to happen, I would urge parents to give great consideration to the possible effects of students missing school time. I ask this for two clear reasons, the first is because of the time lost within a classroom with teacher instruction and/or possible assessment and also to reinforce our clear message to students about being present (and engaged) in the classroom and the work ethic that is required when they are present.