From the very moment our students walk in the gates on their first day of Year 7 to the very last day they leave after completing Year 12 our community lives and breathes Edmund Rice. We are taught about his story, his gifts to the poor, the sacrifices he made, and the legacy he left to, ‘Give to the poor in handfuls’.

But this year in our Edmund Rice Day liturgy we posed the following questions. Have we ever wondered how his life’s work, the Christian Brothers, arrived on the shores of Australia? How different would our lives be if the Christian Brothers never spread from Ireland? Never expanded to Australia, to Geelong?

We then explored the journey of this spirit-filled man, Brother Patrick Ambrose Treacy.

For 30 years, Br Patrick Ambrose Treacy would lead his followers and open 27 schools for young men in Australia and New Zealand. Ambrose’s story shows a man on a mission. What motivated him? Providence was truly his inheritance, he had a close relationship with Mary, to whom he said he owed his vocation, and he worked unselfishly, expecting no personal reward for his labours. The prayer he said so often came alive within him: Live Jesus in our hearts . . . forever.

Annually we continue to be inspired by our founders and their call to action for the most vulnerable in our world to continue to give the gift of a liberating education to those who are most in need. To truly enact the values of Edmund Rice, we have to make a real difference in the lives of the poorest people in the world. St Joseph’s has always proudly funded and supported St Joseph’s Vocational School in Kensekka, Uganda. So far, we have made a real difference in this community, providing education and hopes for a brighter future.

Our guest speaker this year was one of our treasured teachers, Monika Ercoli, who has been lucky enough to attend our early Uganda immersions and passionately explained where the funds we raise primarily go and why it’s so important. She shared a special video message from Fr Emma sharing their hopes for the next steps in updating facilities to allow more students to attend school. Thank you to each family who generously donated for their son to participate in the fun-filled day and recognise they are part of a community whose gospel value of compassion for others shines through into the future.

Year 8 Student Reflection

At the Edmund Rice Liturgy, we not only got to celebrate Edmund Rice but we discovered the story of another Christian Brother, named Ambrose Tracey and his long journey from Ireland on the ship the Donald McKay to set up schools in Australia. He continued the work of Edmund Rice after he died to provide a free education to those most in need in Australia. Just like we are doing when we contribute our $25 to help the kids in Kensekka to get a better school to go to and learn in. After the Liturgy it was great to compete in the cross country run and walk which I won for Year 8. After the 4.3km journey, we were able to relax with our mates while doing all the fun activities across the school. We ended the day watching the Gaelic football match and somehow the teachers won against the students.

Alex, Harley & Jonathan, Year 8