Reflecting on Christmas

Last Sunday at Mass, the first Advent candle was lit. Advent in the Christian church calendar is the period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of  Jesus Christ and also of preparation for His Second Coming. Whether you believe in Christ or not, the line from Johnny Cash's classic When the Man Comes Around will apply. Whether it is what you say when you meet your maker, or what others say about you when you're gone, I think that opportunities to reflect on how to live the best possible life should always be taken, and the end of the year seems as appropriate a time as any.

Like the Lenten period before Easter, Advent is also marked as a period of prayer and fasting, although the latter is certainly a difficult ask at this time of the year. All our boys have recently spent time with a priest, either receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation, or reflecting on how to become a better person. As I write to you, classes for 2021 are finished, we prepare for Orientation Day on Monday, welcoming our latest cohort and looking forward to a restful, peaceful and safe time with our families and loved ones. For some, it seems the happiest time of the year, and yet for others it is a time of stress, anxiety, deadlines and busyness.

Much of the latter feelings are as a result of the secular obligations of this time of the year. It is a fact that this secularisation has usurped whatever religious or spiritual purpose Advent should bring, but it is also a fact that you have the power to just take a breath and dedicate some time to just sit back with your families and celebrate the successes of 2021, identify the challenges, plan for the year ahead and just embrace each other, enveloped in love and focussed on the joys life can bring.

I'm not suggesting anyone goes so far as Frank Costanza and create your own Festivus, but I am saying that the time to slow down is there if you really seek it. Your sons have had another tough year, not as tough as many, but the times are unusual, and maybe this is the new usual. They will have brought home a report which they should own, analyse and reflect upon. Each of them will return a year older in terms of responsibility and hopefully in terms of psychology. The questions asked around the report should be focussed on what the boys can control; attitude, preparation, study and punctuality to name a few. I hope you engage them in a conversation about their responsibility to you for the opportunity you are providing. Like any investment, a dividend should flow, and as the boys mature, they should be aware of that obligation to your sacrifices and to their own formation.

I was asked the other day by my eldest daughter, "Dad, do you do what you do for your own ego, or do you genuinely do it for the boys?" I guess she was doing her due diligence for where she may send Sebastian in 2024. The answer I gave her is the answer I give all of you. There can be no greater honour given another than when you ask them to partner you in the formation of your children. Every day of my work life I believe that to be more and more the case, and I hope your sons feel the love from their school and the care they are shown reflects the importance of the task you have all bestowed on the staff of CBC Fremantle. But for all the care in the world that the adults in the lives of our boys give them, the boys must dip their pail in the well, and that is why the year just gone needs to be reviewed, and 2022 previewed. I hope you find the time to take on this important reflection and set your son up with some explicit yet achievable goals for the next 12 months as he journeys towards his destination of being the best possible version of himself.

Can I take this opportunity to thank you one and all for the support, love, gracious feedback, prayers and gifts you offer the staff at this time. It is uplifting and quite special. May your Advent be one of joy, love and peace, your outlook be positive and your family time remind you of the things that really matter in our lives.

With love and best wishes.

Dom

Mr Domenic Burgio
Principal