Last Friday, many people in the world collectively held their breath when they heard about, or saw, the heinous acts of violence that took place in Christchurch. We have all been left scratching our heads about how such a thing could happen to so many innocent people who had left their families to go and pray. Much has already been said about what the world can learn from this tragedy. I found the commentary of Michael McVeigh, senior editor at Jesuit Communications who publish Eureka Street to be the most poignant to me. He stated in...
Last Friday, many people in the world collectively held their breath when they heard about, or saw, the heinous acts of violence that took place in Christchurch. We have all been left scratching our heads about how such a thing could happen to so many innocent people who had left their families to go and pray. Much has already been said about what the world can learn from this tragedy. I found the commentary of Michael McVeigh, senior editor at Jesuit Communications who publish Eureka Street to be the most poignant to me. He stated in his article ...
In the wake of the Christchurch attacks, I'm not interested in learning how the person who killed those people was radicalised. It's the oldest story in the world. It's what happens when you decide the humanity of a group of people no longer matters. I'm tired of that story.
"I need to refocus on our shared humanity, because that’s the one idea that will expose the lies at the heart of this hateful act."
What I need right now is a new story, one that focuses on the life-givers not the death-dealers. I need to refocus on our shared humanity, because that's the one idea that will expose the lies at the heart of this hateful act.
What I need is to feel a connection to the human beings whose lives have been taken from them. To mourn the loss of their life, their hope, their possibility. To feel diminished by the space that they will leave behind.
I need to open my heart to the courageous and inspiring people in these besieged Muslim communities, who will continue to hold onto their faith and humanity in the face of this hatred. I need to join the thousands of people who are showing their love and support in various ways to Muslim communities — visiting mosques, attending prayer vigils, standing in solidarity.
I need to encourage those leaders who used this tragedy to emphasise our shared humanity, those like New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern who called for 'sympathy and love for all Muslim communities'. The story of renewal, of life sprouting out of the ashes of death, is another story that we've seen throughout history. In the wake of these Christchurch attacks, I dearly need that story to be told again.
I need that story to be told because I need to believe that someday we'll find an enduring place of peace and community, where we can live together as one human family, without having to worry about someone bringing it to a bloody and abrupt end.
Last Friday, we launched our new Strategic Plan. This document states that our Mission is to form Men of Action who will make a positive difference throughout their lives. What happened in New Zealand demonstrates why such a Mission is vitally important. Our world today and into the future needs young people who will build others up not knock them down. This starts with an understanding of themselves and what they are capable of as a person and how much difference they can make to the lives of others. Too often we are hearing about and seeing acts of violence or humiliation performed on human beings. Our communities need to start challenging such actions and remind others of our standards and expectations. Allowing others to do such acts without challenge reinforces their belief that what they are doing or saying is acceptable. At St Patrick’s, if we are going to truly form young men to understand how to make a positive difference throughout their lives, our families and College need to work together to ensure that words and actions that depict violence and hatred are not tolerated. In this way our young men will learn and grow to understand the impact that they can truly have on others.
Last Saturday morning, I was fortunate enough to be at the St Patrick’s Day parade. Our College participated in the parade for the first time. The College bus and the Paddy’s Van drove behind our drum corp. The drummers were impressive and drew many positive comments from those around me. I would especially like to thank Mr Kane McNally, Mrs Jackie Upton and Mrs Anne Maree Bliss for their time and efforts in decorating the vehicles and driving them in the parade. Kane led the drum corp. It was a lot of fun.
During this week, Troy Schultz, Elizabeth Gaber, Jonathan Brough and I attended a Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) forum regarding the new QCE 2020. The day was designed around updating us on any recent changes or upgrades that have occurred and informed us about added resources that will be coming to our schools. I have been very impressed with how the QCAA has transitioned into the new system and with the level of support they have shown and continue to offer schools.
On Monday, the College Leadership Team spent most of the day planning some of the significant events on our calendar for 2020. As the Year 12 cohort will finish from school considerably earlier to participate in external exams, there will be some changes to the way things have happened in the past. We will send out a draft of the possible changes for comment early next term.
Mrs Jackie Upton will also forward a draft Social Media Guidelines document to all parents to peruse and give any feedback to questions posed by on-line comment. The audience for this document is all adults associated with the College. Your feedback would be appreciated. It will be open for comment until 26 April.
On Wednesday, the CLT cooked a BBQ lunch for our Year 12 students. This was because they had a 100% attendance at their QCS practice the week earlier. I hope that we will continue to supply such lunches until the real tests. Our Year 12 students also commence their block exams next Thursday. They should be well prepared for their exams by this stage. The Year 11 students no longer require a block examination time as the new senior schooling program that they are undertaking spreads the subject assessment out across several weeks. The new program has less assessment and varying types of assessment spread over longer periods. All Year 11 students are expected to be at school until the last day of school as classes will continue as normal. Likewise, there will be exams across all other year levels spread over the next two weeks. All young men are expected to be at school during the full two weeks.
We also celebrated Men of Learning and Men of Word week during this week. Our young men had the opportunity to be involved in different activities and competitions over the last five days.
On Tuesday night, I had the great fortune to attend the Senior Music Evening. Across the night, we heard six different ensembles and two choirs perform. The calibre of the performances was quite outstanding. We are indeed so very fortunate to have such talented music teachers who enthuse our young men.
This weekend we compete against St Peter’s Lutheran College in Cricket and Volleyball only. Our older senior teams will be playing at home, whilst the Year 5-8 teams will be playing away at SPLC fields.
Live Jesus in our Hearts!