Principal’s Corner

Our Whitefriars Opening School Year Mass was held this week at St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Thank you to everyone for your prayerfulness and for reverently giving witness to the wonderful Eucharistic celebration of our Whitefriars community and values, as led by our new College Chaplain, Fr Paul Sireh, O.Carm. Special thanks to Fr Matthew McPhee, O.Carm., Fr Maurice Barry O.Carm. and Fr Michael Gallacher for concelebrating the Mass – and to all staff and students. To all students, your willingness to engage and your respectful demeanour were both impressive and appropriate. Thank you. To our talented service-driven musicians, vocalists, altar servers; College, House, Sports and Activities Captains, thank you for your special
contributions.

Following the Mass, the College welcomed back members of the 2018 Year 12 group and their families, and the High Achievers were appropriately recognised for the efforts that culminated in their academic excellence. The investiture of our new staff and 2019 Student Leaders also took place during the celebration. We express our thanks to parents and family members, College Board members, Carmelites and all our guests who were able to be present at this significant event.

I include below an edited excerpt of my address to the community at the Opening Mass:

“With commitment to the Carmelite foundation stones of Community, Contemplation and Service, each of us is challenged to live according to the Charism espoused and articulated in the Rule of Carmel: To live in allegiance to Jesus, serving him zealously with a pure heart and a good conscience. With the utmost respect for the vision, legacy and example provided by Carmelites such as Fathers Shortis, McPhee, Kierce, Brown and Cahill, we can only be inspired to continue to educate and nurture the young men in our care, to become academically, and emotionally intelligent, ‘gentle-men’, confident in who you are, and able to take your place in the world as valued individuals, alive with the wisdom of the Gospels. The students of this generation will be the most educated in history. However, never has the world been more electronically connected and yet more socially disconnected. So, no longer can we measure education in terms of what we know; information is too vast in the 21st century to be able to do that. Instead, to be truly well-educated, students need to understand – where to find knowledge, how to contextualise it in relation to our own values, how to process it and how to wisely use it. This is our collective challenge.

In real terms, the staff at Whitefriars work hard each day in innovative and creative ways to connect and engage with the boys in their growth and learning. This means that they will seek to encourage, sometimes challenge, but at all times support them to:

  • Enjoy their learning
  • Challenge themselves in the pursuit of excellence
  • Positively engage with the many opportunities available, and most importantly,
  • Be considerate of others in all of these respects

As a community, we genuinely hope and pray that you love your time at school, that you have a wonderful year ahead and that you firmly grasp the many opportunities provided to you for learning, excellence, growth and friendship – remembering that ‘Who and what you are tomorrow, begins with what you do today.’”

Year 7 House Welcome Mass and Dinner evenings
I would like to thank the House Leaders, Pastoral Care Teachers, Fr Paul Sireh, House Captains and Leaders, and the Parents’ Association for the wonderful work that they all do in support of our Year 7 House Welcome Mass and Dinner evenings. The Houses of Corsini, Soreth, Lisieux, Stein and Avila have all enjoyed the warmth of a Whitefriars welcome with Eucharistic celebrations led by Fr Paul followed by rich conversations afterwards in the Science and Technology Centre with dinner catered for by the Parents’ Association. Welcome Mass and Dinner is scheduled for the Houses of Brandsma, Trinity and Mantua early next week.

Mr John Abrahams
On behalf of the College, I sincerely congratulate Mr John Abrahams on his recent appointment to Catholic Education Melbourne as a Team Leader, Catholic Leadership Group. John served the College for 14 years as a Head of Mantua House, Assistant Principal and then Deputy Principal – Identity and Mission. He is keen to continue his strong association with the College in a variety of ways and will be formally recognised and thanked for his years of wonderful service at a staff morning tea early in March.

Grandparents Morning and College Open Day – Sunday 3 March
On Sunday 3 March we will welcome our Year 7 students and their grandparents to Whitefriars. Our boys are very proud of their new school and this
gives them the opportunity to show them around. For those still to register, please do so by the end of today.
In addition to our grandparents visiting, we shall be hosting our annual Open Day. This day allows families considering Whitefriars for Secondary
education to visit our beautiful grounds and chat with staff and students about the opportunities a Whitefriars education provides boys. If you have
friends in the community who should visit, let them know they can register through www.whitefriars.vic.edu.au/future-students/local-students/visit-us/

MCC’s Gratitude
The Melbourne Cricket Club has written to the College expressing its sincere gratitude for our support of the Club XI Cricket Competition,
provision of wonderful facilities and especially for the tremendous efforts of our ovals groundskeeper, Glenn Sharom. Glenn is
acknowledged ‘for consistently going far beyond his job obligations to prepare first class wickets on beautiful grounds’.

Almae In Fide Parentis
Greg Stewart

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