Dear members of the Whitefriars College Family,
I often quote the prayer to the great Archbishop of El Salvador St. Oscar Romero… It helps now and then to step back and take the long view.
I believe the opening line for this prayer is quite fitting for the last week of a school term. It is also pertinent to who we are as a Catholic School in the Carmelite Tradition. It is not by chance that the first of the three tenets of the Carmelite Charism is Contemplation (the other two being Community and Service). How often do we step back and take the long view? How often do we take a moment to reflect on what has been, to just take a moment to breathe? It might sound simple and a bit strange but the simple act of stopping and just focusing on your own breathing just for a few moments can be very good for your health. Some call these moments mindfulness, some call it mediation, some even call it prayer.
So lets take a moment to stop, to reflect, to breath and then to celebrate all that has been accomplished in the last ten weeks. In looking back of the term I wish to remember, acknowledge and celebrate the following:
- The 60th Anniversary Gala Ball and the wonderfully dedicated people of our Parents Association (WPA) who not only brought their talents, energy and generosity to this event, but to other gatherings of our community including Fathers Day Breakfast, Grade 5 testing day, Trivia Night, the evening of conversation amongst other wonderful occasions.
- The many Music Concerts and Soirees including the Winter showcase, held throughout the term, and the courage of boys prepared to perform under the spotlight including our talented boys who performed in the CLC Musical – Legally Blonde, and the ACC music Concert at Hamer Hall.
- A term of amazing achievements on the sporting field including winning the Herald Sun Shield and other premierships. Of even greater significance was the sheer number of boys who put themselves forward for selection in teams across all year levels and all sports.
- Staff and students involved in Rosies Street Mission, All Saints community meal, St. Brigid’s Soup making night, the Brandsma Winter Sleep out, Relay for Life, and other opportunities to reach out to those in greatest need in our community.
- Everyone who participated in our Student Parent Teacher Nights, especially our teachers who give so willingly and thoughtfully of their expertise and knowledge of the young men they teach.
- Those of you who braved the winter chill and turned up to the many Parent Information evenings for the various Year Levels including subject selection, VTAC, study skills and others. By doing so you have contributed positively to your son’s final result. And to the staff who pour their energies into presenting quality information and advice on these vital evenings.
- Those staff and students who attend our wonderful Kairos experiences, which continue to be a great gift to the young men of Whitefriars.
- The dedication of staff, and the grit and determination of students who attended the Year 9 OLP Camp.
- The wonderful Year 11 formal and the Year 10 Ballroom dancing evenings.
- The VCE Staff and Student Trivia Night hosted by our senior student leaders.
- Students and staff involved in the Student Leadership Program and retreat.
- House Feast Day celebrations.
- Mother and Son Evening.
- Book Week 2022.
- Year 10 Work Experience.
In making such a list, my concern is that I may not have captured everything. That said, this is an example of the efforts of all in the Whitefriars Community to bring life, meaning and purpose to our College and for that I thank you all.
Above all this I would like to celebrate the continuity of learning and teaching that has occurred this term. In the midst of increasing staff absences due to illness, our College continued to operate everyday as a place of learning, life and faith. This is due in no small part to the commitment, determination and professionalism of the staff of this great school. I would especially like to pay tribute to those staff who quietly, collegially and generously took on extra classes to ensure continuity of student learning. I am grateful also to our dedicated Casual Relief Teachers who turned up everyday to ensure each class and each student was supported to learn. I am grateful also to the non-teaching staff who also demonstrated great dedication to Whitefriars in the midst of their own challenges during this time.
So, in this moment, we stop, we breathe, we reflect and we give thanks for all those who given so much to our great school throughout this term. I pray that our students and staff enjoy some time to rest and recuperate over the term break and perhaps to reflect on a celebrate all that we have achieved. Thanks to you all for the gifts, energy and commitment you bring to our wonderful Whitefriars community.
Mr Mark Murphy