Friday 11 May 2018

2020

In numerology 2020 is regarded as the Angel Number; one which promotes the cause of compassion, consideration and consistency in living a life that is devoted to the service of others. It may be seen as a metaphor for the education provided at Riverview as it carries with it deep undertones of a spirituality where the energies of the individual are committed to the benefit of the collective. Throughout the course of the week, I signed 220 letters of offer to families who have been successful through the application and interview process for entry to the College in Year 5 and Year 7 in 2020. What seems a long way off in the current context will surely appear in the metaphor of tomorrow very quickly. Over the past three months, considerable time, effort and discernment has been devoted to ensuring that the families who have been made offers possess a congruence of values with the College and with the Society of Jesus – values that promote a spirituality committed to compassion and service for the greater good. In 1973, during a renaissance of Jesuit intuition, Pedro Arrupe SJ coined the phrase ‘a man for others’. More than rhetoric, it has become synonymous with Ignatian schools and universities throughout the world and has been adopted as a living mantra of the daily life of the College. It is my genuine hope that the young families who arrive to take up their journey over the years ahead will embrace the mission of the school as wholeheartedly as those who give witness to it in the here and now, and draw upon those virtues upon which Jesuit education rests: competence, compassion, conscience and commitment.

 Evidence of the service programs unfolded during the week with the preparations for the immersions to Cambodia in the latter part of the year. While it is early days, the fine grade planning and fund raising that is integral to the success of these immersions is well underway. As is always the case, the quality of outcome is always in due proportion to the planning that is entered into along the way. These young men will engage in a process of conscientisation; namely, an appropriation of the consciousness that will enable them to not only understand, but to appreciate the degree of disadvantage and institutional hardship that is faced by millions across the world. And, they will make an active response in the form of service – in villages and schools, in orphanages and welfare agencies. Serving to learn and learning to serve. In many ways, these are the most profound educational experiences the boys will have as they navigate the challenges of the adolescent years and learn to widen the lens of compassion to a world that is so desperately in need of support and assistance. In the process, they will be formed in the spirit of service to live out the larger mission of the school and make a meaningful contribution to their community and their world.
House Masses have continued unabated over the early weeks of the term. Dalton and Cheshire Houses, respectively, have come together in the Dalton Chapel over the first fortnight, giving thanks for the blessings and endowments that see them with the life opportunity afforded by the educational program at the College. In each instance, the boys in the graduation class of those Houses are presented with a candle in rrecognition of their contribution to the House over the years, and to wish them well as they confront the HSC examinations later in the year and life beyond school. They are touching moments for families – new and old – and they build the tradition that has seen so many grow and flourish through the House system. Next week Teresa House will gather for their perennial Mass and Supper as the calendar moves forward into the term.

After many weeks of rehearsal, The Mask Men Wear, a powerful collection of monologues that formed the Year 12 Play, was performed in the O’Kelly Theatre during the week, much to the acclaim of the audience. Set in an office building amid a group of men voracious to get to the top of the business world, the production weaves a tapestry of words and images that portray the irrepressible impulse behind, and the collateral damage that power can cause, when put to the test. As always, the acting was superb from a committed group of young men, as were all aspects of the production including lighting, sound, stage production and direction. Congratulations are extended to all who contributed to the quality of this captivating production.

 

 

The powerful Year 12 play, The Mask Men Wear

Over the weekend, the boarding community gathered at Bowral for an education forum and a dinner to celebrate the many who have come from the Southern Highlands over the years to take up their education at the College. Past, current and future parents were joined by Old Boys from the Southern region to commemorate and celebrate that inimitable sense of community that has thrived in boarding over the better part of a century and a half. The earliest member from the region to arrive at Saint Ignatius’ was Charles de Lauret (OR1882). He joined the very first class of just 26 students and was to be a portent for the flow of boys who continue to come from the region until the present day. In recent weeks, the College has travelled to Bathurst and Scone to build the relationship with boarding families and will move to Dubbo on May 21 to spend time with one of the most prolific suppliers of boarders to the College over its history.

Best wishes for the week ahead.

Dr Paul Hine