Let us celebrate Blessed Edmund Rice Day 2021!

‘Living the Golden Rule’ in the ‘Year of St Joseph’

This quotation taken from the correspondence of Blessed Edmund Rice speaks of his compassion in the crises of his time.

“Our Limerick Brothers are doing more than our good ones here (in Dublin) have done. Every day they are attending the poor cholera patients in the Hospitals. They give a rightful account of the ravages it is making there. Sixteen sent dead out of their school - which had been turned into a hospital - one morning. I am not one bit in dread that a priest, Nun or Monk will sink under its direful hand.”

Edmund Rice to Mother Austin McGrath, Presentation Convent, Dungarvan. 12 June 1832.

As we complete the week following Good Shepherd Sunday and prepare to celebrate Edmund Rice Day, we see a model of discipleship that all good leaders possess. Compassionately guiding, advocating for, educating, and taking action to protect those in their care. As this quote suggests, Edmund Rice would have been right at the front line of educating the communities he supported to help combat COVID19. We have worked hard to deal with it here in Australia, but we do not really know the dramatic effect it is having in countries in the developing world, apart from what we see in the media. We keep our friends in India, Africa and other countries across the world in our prayers.

Our St Joseph’s College Foundation Team and Identity Team have collaborated to educate our St Joseph’s students about the need to ‘Live the Golden Rule’, and treat others the way you want to be treated in the communities we are supporting this year via our Edmund Rice Day fundraising. More than ever during this pandemic, we are called to respond compassionately to support the communities in Uganda and Timor Leste to enable their teachers and students to continue their education in a safe learning environment. In Uganda, we hope to continue to help provide food and education for students at St Joseph's Secondary Vocational School in Kensekka and help finance the completion of a much-needed second classroom block.

Tomorrow, the students will gather as a faith community in a prayerful liturgy, to reflect on Edmund’s faith journey through the lens of our three sub-schools, named after significant places in Edmund’s life journey: Waterford, Westcourt and Mt Sion. They will then enjoy the freedom of being outdoors without masks (choice) to choose to participate in the cross-country run and the wide variety of fun activities spread across the Edmund Rice Campus grounds. A time to be grateful and enjoy each other’s company and to celebrate living out our Edmund Rice Touchstones of Inclusive community, Justice and Solidarity, Gospel Spirituality and Liberating Education.

Please take a moment to ‘Live the Golden Rule’ and make your student/family contribution today. To donate please go to our SJC website -https://www.sjc.vic.edu.au/new...

ANZAC Day Assembly 2021

We commemorated ANZAC Day last Friday at a whole school Assembly. We particularly acknowledged all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women who have served their country as part of, or working for the defence forces both now and in the past, who willingly joined the ranks and fought for all of us.

A project that began in 2014 titled the ‘serving our country project’ gathered data to give due recognition to the Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander soldiers and their families after the injustices they faced on their return from battle. Although long overdue, we were determined to be at one with that voice of recognition and remember the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander fallen and returned soldiers.

This year The Royal Australian Mint has launched a new coin to commemorate Indigenous Australians who have served in the military. The $2 coin, emblazoned with artwork from Kalkadoon woman and artist Chern'ee Sutton, is designed to "tell the story" of Indigenous soldiers who serve and have served, in the Australian Defence Force.

The young artist Chern’ee hopes, ‘people will get the coin in their change and when they see it, they'll reflect on the sacrifices that were made.’ Royal Australian Mint chief executive Leigh Gordon said he hoped the coin would broaden conversations about Australia's military history.

We were very fortunate to have a member of our staff, Lieutenant Colonel Rolf Audrins, Conspicuous Service Cross and Bar, to address the assembly. Lieutenant Colonel Audrins spent 27 years in the Australian Regular Army, which included deployments to Afghanistan, Syria and Timor-Leste and service in Antarctica. We are grateful to him for sharing his informative and heartfelt recognition of the importance of ANZAC day.

This recognition is another step on our Reconciliation Action Plan.

Lest we forget.