Dear members of the Whitefriars College family,
The season of Lent is a very significant time in our Church Calendar. It is a time to take stock of ourselves, and equally importantly, it is a time to reflect on our relationship with God and with others. I ask myself during this time…
Do I have a gracious and patient attitude with the people in my life?
Do I look for the best in others, or do I have a judgmental attitude?
Do I have a thankful heart or am I constantly complaining about situations and people in my life?
Do I speak up for the less fortunate, or do I remain silent and inactive?
I find these questions tough and challenging. I know that if I were to answer these questions with a truthful heart I would be found wanting. But that shouldn’t stop me from trying and failing and trying again. To me, that’s what lent is all about. Trying, failing and trying again.
In these moments, I look to others for guidance and inspiration. At Whitefriars it doesn’t take long to find examples of all that these questions are aspiring us to be. For example…
Shave for a Cure
Last week 19 brave and selfless students and one courageous staff member demonstrated the Lenten attitudes of graciousness, generosity and empathy when they sacrificed their precious locks at our Shave for a Cure fundraising day for Leukemia research. This event is fast becoming an important part of the Whitefriars calendar and has certainly captured the imagination of all in our community. I was particularly encouraged by the interest and support shown by all our students who turned out in very large numbers to cheer on and support their friends as they gave themselves over to the buzz of the clippers! I would also like to pay tribute to our staff, led by Josh Vujcich and Anna Nyariri who supported the organisation of the event along with our Performing Arts Learning Area who provided entertainment on the day.
House Swimming Carnival
Last Friday, our community once again came together for our annual House Swimming carnival at Aquanation Ringwood. The positive and uplifting spirit of this day was most epitomized by the support and encouragement demonstrated by our boys toward each other. Loud cheers could be heard as boys celebrated their House mates successes in the pool. Most gratifying though, were the even louder cheers of support and encouragement for the boys who struggled valiantly to reach the end of the 50-metre pool. These are the cheers that most embody the Lenten attitudes that the questions above challenge us all to live up to. I am grateful to Kristan Height, Jarrad Ward and all House leaders and House Captains for the enthusiasm, energy and expertise they bring to these days.
Pat Cronin Foundation
On Friday evening, I attended an Art Exhibition event at Monsalvat Art Gallery to raise awareness and funds for the Pat Cronin Foundation. Pat Cronin was a Whitefriars boy who graduated from the College in 2014. Tragically, Pat was killed by a coward punch when going to the aid of a friend. Pat’s parents, Robyn and Matt have dedicated themselves to raising awareness of this issue to prevent conflict turning into senseless violence. The mission of the Foundation is…
To provide an optimistic voice and empowering approach to awareness, education and research—working with schools, clubs, community groups and young people to End the Coward Punch.
I am in awe of the dedication and strength of Matt, Robyn and their family who have turned this awful tragedy into a mission to keep young people safe and to educate them about risks, choices and consequences of our actions using real stories and personal reflections on how to manage anger and navigate social conflict. Last year the message of the Foundation was delivered to well over 450 school across Australia and the foundations be wise education programs have reached many more.
Each year at Whitefriars, our Year 10 students are privileged to hear this important message from the representatives of the Foundation including Matt Cronin himself. To find out more about this important work I encourage you to view the Pat Cronin Foundation Website https://patcroninfoundation.org.au/
I feel incredibly blessed to be part of a faith and learning community which takes seriously it’s Lenten commitment to reaching out and walking with those in greatest need in our community and to truly live out the call of the Gospel to love one another.
Mr Mark Murphy