A community living with love

This morning as I waited for Mass to commence in our Blessed Edmund Chapel, I was reflecting on what it meant to belong to a Catholic school community. In enrolment interviews, we talk about this idea with Year 5 boys and their families – some of whom attend secular primary schools. We discuss how we give witness to our faith through Mass, Religious Education classes, and opportunities to serve the local and global community. We talk about a school based on Gospel Values and how a CBC gentleman forms attitudes and actions based on these values, regardless of where he is on his faith journey.

As I reflected this morning, the idea became clearer and simpler: belonging to a Catholic school means being part of a community that is based in love. Love and respect for the human dignity of each member of our community. What CBC Fremantle does explicitly is model how to live with love. Through the actions of Christ, through the life of Edmund Rice, through prayer, through the care of our staff, through their own acts of service and kindness, students are immersed in examples of how to live with love.

At the end of Mass I spoke about this simple yet prophetic epiphany with the students. All sat quietly and politely, some were listening with varying degrees of interest and, no doubt, some had drifted off into thoughts of their own. But I noticed one student who rolled his eyes when I spoke about love. Maybe he was tired of listening or would rather be somewhere else, maybe he didn't feel that he was loved by his school or didn't really care either way? Pope Francis said we must place our hope in the seeds of goodness we sow. Wherever our students are at, we plant the seeds that love will lead us to a better world, and we hope that those seeds will one day grow.

"As a Catholic school community, we have the privilege and sacred responsibility of helping to shape the future."

The Executive Director of Edmund Rice Education Australia, Craig Wattam, shared a story recently. It is the story of a man who, wanting to outsmart a wise man, held a butterfly behind his back. He asked the wise man if the butterfly was alive or dead. The man thought that whatever the wise man answered, he would prove him wrong. If the wise man answered that the butterfly was alive, he would crush the butterfly.  If the wise man answered that the butterfly was dead, he would open his hands and release it, showing it was alive. The wise man simply said, "It is in your hands." Craig, a wise man himself, then spoke of how the future is collectively in our hands.

As a Catholic school community, we have the privilege and sacred responsibility of helping to shape the future. We are committed to improving the lives of the young people with whom we work by our modelling, our witness to our faith and our preference for acting in justice and solidarity. How we can make a genuine difference in the lives of our students is by providing a community based in love, taking up Pope Francis's challenge to work in hope for the future of our world.

Ms Jenny Knox
Vice Principal