How do we all allow God’s grace to enter?

Dear members of the Whitefriars College Family,

There are those moments in all our lives when we have important decisions to make and we are not sure which way to turn. But then, all of a sudden, we have a moment of clarity, of epiphany even, which sets us on the right path and gives us the confidence we need to move forward. Such a moment befell me last week.

Even before the news broke last Wednesday, of a return to on site learning, as a leadership team we were discerning whether we should go ahead with our House Athletics carnival. Our prime concern was the safety of our students and staff. Could we provide an environment where over 1,100 boys and 150 staff would be safely brought together within the appropriate COVID protocols? To support us in our decision we took advice from the experts, we read the protocols provided by DHHS and Catholic Education and I consulted some Principal Colleagues. The answer was still not clear.

We eventually headed over to the College Gymnasium to discuss the matter with our Coordinator and Assistant Coordinator of Sport Kristan Height and Ali Rock. Even after all this perspicacity and discussion, I still was not clear on the direction we should take. Then I spied a basketball on the court, so I picked it up and we started throwing some baskets. In that moment, I looked around and the group was smiling and laughing, having put aside for a moment, the reason we were there. Then it came to me. Didn’t our students and staff deserve this same moment? To put aside all the challenges and anxieties that we face and to just go out and have fun. Then the decision was as clear as day.

Some may say that all we needed was a ‘circuit breaker’ to assist as in coming to the right response. Personally, I like to think that these moments are the work of the Holy Spirit or perhaps the Grace of God. Sometimes we need to stop in those difficult moments, when the way ahead is not clear and breath, reflect, pray or shoot some hoops. It’s all the same thing. Because that is the moment, we allow the spirit to enter in to do the rest.

It is one thing to make a decision, it is another all together to put it into practice. From the moment the decision was made, our community swung into action. Kristan Height and Ali Rock were already set to go having put in place every contingency and protocol to ensure a successful day. Our wonderful House Leaders had were mobilised and ready to unleash the spirit of their Houses. Our staff arrived on the day fully committed to ensuring our students experience would be enjoyable and safe. Then there were the boys themselves, full of energy, gratitude and a strong passion for their house which inspired them to run, jump, throw and cheer their way through the day. What more could we ask for? At the end of the day I looked back and wondered how we could ever have thought that this may not have been a good idea!

A prayer which inspires me and which I quote often is the prayer for St. Oscar Romero which says:

We cannot do everything,
and there is a sense of liberation in realising that.
This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.

The question I leave us all with today is this:

How do we all allow God’s grace to enter and to do the rest?


Mr Mark Murphy