Yesterday, over 60 EREA schools and Flexi-Learning Centres across the country celebrated the feast day of Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice. Edmund was born in Callan, Kilkenny, Ireland in 1762. It was a time when education to Catholic children was compromised by the Property Act. This meant that any teacher that gave public or private tuition regarding faith education was liable to be prosecuted. Edmund was lucky enough to receive an education at home and obtained an apprenticeship with his uncle in the merchant business. Edmund was able to build a lucrative career as a businessman and later married. Edmund was always...
Yesterday, over 60 EREA schools and Flexi-Learning Centres across the country celebrated the feast day of Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice. Edmund was born in Callan, Kilkenny, Ireland in 1762. It was a time when education to Catholic children was compromised by the Property Act. This meant that any teacher that gave public or private tuition regarding faith education was liable to be prosecuted. Edmund was lucky enough to receive an education at home and obtained an apprenticeship with his uncle in the merchant business. Edmund was able to build a lucrative career as a businessman and later married. Edmund was always interested in the plight of the poor and was a very active community member whilst married. In 1789, Edmund's wife Mary died as a result of an accident. As a result of the accident, Edmund devoted his life more to prayer and charitable works.
In 1802, he established a makeshift school in a converted stable in New Street, Waterford. Edmund's vision was to supply an education to the poor children of Ireland. He saw education to be the means of liberating these young people from their life cycle of poverty. Over the next 35 years or more, Edmund continued to build his schools to help deliver his dream of a Catholic education for the poor and marginalized. He was eventually forced to retire due to ill health in 1838 and finally passed away in 1844. During this time, Edmund Rice not only established many schools but also two religious orders: the Christian Brothers and the Presentation Brothers.
It is a matter of history that the Christian Brothers travelled to many parts of the world to deliver a Catholic education to young Catholic people. Some 213 years after the establishment of his first school, Edmund's legacy still lives at St. Patrick's College. There are many Catholic men who have been fortunate to have been given an education by the Christian Brothers and our Mass last Friday was an opportunity for our students to also say thank you to the Brothers for all of their work in establishing this great school and for reminding us of our commitment still to the poor and marginalized within our society. At yesterday's College assembly, we also noted the feast day and paid particular homage to Br Chris Pritchard who is still a valued and active member of the St. Patrick's community.
The Mass on Friday also had two other elements. Firstly, we acknowledged the great work of four young men in the Year 12 cohort. Trent Barrett, Patrick Greenfield, Rory Livingstone and Nicholas McMillan 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 recognize their efforts.
Thirdly, the Mass was used as a thanksgiving for the exceptional contribution to the community by Fr Liam Horsfall. Fr Liam is 89 years young this year and consequently is easing back on his commitments to the College. My comments to Fr Liam at the beginning of the Mass were… " Fr Liam, I cannot think of anyone I know who better deserves this celebration of thanksgiving on such an important day for our College. Please accept this Mass and celebration as our sincere thanks to you for what you have done for so many of us." The student's appreciation and acknowledgement of Fr Liam's work was clearly evident in their respect for him throughout the Mass. St Patrick's is indeed a lucky community to have a man of the calibre of Fr Liam Horsfall in our midst.
The severity of the weather event last Friday forced the cancellation of all co-curricular activities over the course of Friday night and the weekend. Whilst I appreciate that the weather had improved markedly by Saturday, the AIC Principals had little option than to cancel the sports and Chess due to the state of the fields and travel concerns on Friday afternoon. The Principals will work on protocols for future cancellation decisions given that this has now had to happen twice this year.
This Saturday, our students in Year 5-8 will play against Padua College in Football and Rugby at Padua's home ground in Banyo. Our other teams from Year 9 through to Year 12 will be played at Curlew Park. This week, the away games are quite close to Curlew and it would be great to see some of our older students attend the games at Banyo and the younger students visit Curlew Park for the senior games. The Chess team travel to Padua for their games on Friday afternoon.
Our final payments for Shore to Gate are finally coming in. To date we have received just under $55,000. This has been an amazing effort by our students.
Finally, I would like to thank all of the parents and students who took the time to visit the teaching staff on Monday for the Parent/Teacher interviews. There was a very healthy number of interviews and I hope that the time together was fruitful and relevant in assisting each young man to further improve this term. Unfortunately I was absent for much of this day at an EREA Principal's meeting, but did manage to meet some families in the evening.
I would also like to acknowledge the Year 12 cohort for their efforts in their QCS practice during Monday. I have been impressed with their attitude and efforts to date.