Are you an Edmund Rice Person? A challenge for all of us.

Announcement re this blog:

On advice from a social media consultant utilised by the Catholic Schools Office I will provide a short article per fortnight in the college newsletter as that is where official college communications apparently should be found. This blog came about due to issues with our old newsletter provider. Now with Schoolzine that is a redundant issue. I will continue to blog on educational issues and you are welcome to check in if you wish and engage with it as many have done.

 

On the Feast Day of Blessed Edmund Rice 2019. 

At our College Assembly this week we celebrated the Feast day of Blessed Edmund Rice which is observed internationally on 5th May each year. As a college in its 90th year in the tradition of Blessed Edmund Rice it is an important moment to stop and reflect on the ‘why’ of this college as Simon Sinek would encourage and challenge ourselves to apply his example to our lives.

Below is what I said to our young men this week on this subject.

Today we remember Blessed Edmund Rice.

Born in 1762 and died in 1844 in Waterford Ireland, founder of the Christian brothers who founded this school

You have heard today of the four pillars of an Edmund Rice Education- a Liberating Education, Gospel Spirituality, an Inclusive community and Justice and Solidarity.

This school was founded on those principles 90 years ago and they are alive today. They have implications for us. What we need to do is interpret the example of Blessed Edmund for today.

Br Philip Pinto, the former International Province Leader of the Christian Brothers, the order that Edmund founded  in 1820, challenges us with the question,

“You are a member of an Edmund Rice school but are you an Edmund Rice person?”

Please listen to his wise words here.

As we have discussed many times, the notion of us placing others at our centre is the challenge we face as an Edmund Rice person.

Can you do that?

In doing that we advocate for justice and we stand in solidarity with the poor. In so doing we then have that sense that we are part of them and they are part of us. However we cannot remain silent. We have to advocate for them, be the voice for those who can’t speak.

If we don’t who will?

We have to be people of principle, stand up for the poor. Blessed Edmund did. It was dangerous. He stood up for the poor Irish catholic young men of Waterford in times in his country when it was something the community leaders and rulers of Ireland opposed. Giving education to the poor , they saw, threatened their authority. He gave up his business devoting himself to this work and to God.

He inspired others to join him and the order of Christian Brothers was born. This lives as a movement all over the world to this day, even in this college.

What do you believe in? What do you stand for? Or are you a passenger in our world?

Are you prepared to speak up and stand with the marginalised in our world, those who live in poverty locally, internationally, those affected by the actions of governments that make them poor or downtrodden, refugees that have to flee their country, those affected by the impact of climate change? Or are you just an observer from afar? 

In this college we have two powerful examples to encourage us to not be passengers, to be people of faith and principle- both St. Paul and Blessed Edmund have much in common. They took the example of Jesus and put it into action. They were not passengers and they had no patience for those who were. They stood up for what they believed and gave us a powerful legacy, a legacy that has reached all over the world to Manly.

In our prayers across the Edmund Rice world we say “Live Jesus in our Hearts” to which we respond “Forever”…. 

Live Jesus in our Hearts. Do you think about what that means? That the gospel message is alive in me. For that to be alive people need to see it in what I do each day, in my actions.

We need to learn from this legacy and be inspired to be an Edmund Rice person.  Have a great day reflecting on the trans-formative legacy of Blessed Edmund Rice , a man who saw a need and decided to do something about it, transforming the lives of many and inspiring others to do the same all over the world and remember the challenging question,

“Am I prepared to be an Edmund Rice person?”

God Bless,

Chris Browne

College Principal.