When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples
had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’
After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ (John 20: 19–21)

Whitefriars is a Catholic College, founded on and perpetually enriched by its’ Carmelite Charism. As members of this College community, we have an understanding that the Carmelites value prayer, community and service. This has not changed since the 11th Century, but rather put into context according to each generation. Understanding and living out the Carmelite Charism is a challenge that we take seriously. We know that there are some things that can be taught – historical background, tenets and historical figures. Other things can only be learnt through interactions with people. This is imperative for the growth and development of our boys. They learn about the nature of our College through rituals, symbols and deeds, but especially through the actions of other people and their own. Role modelling is essential, especially from the older students. As a College we remain steadfast in our efforts to provide every opportunity to our staff and students to learn more about, and experience, Carmelite terminology and intent.

Our ‘pre-Easter’ Professional Learning Day for all staff today will be led by past principal and Carmelite Provincial, Fr Paul Cahill. The day will focus on the 3 key Carmelite tenets and incorporate reflection and considered discussion particularly on the tenet of Service (through action). Careful consideration of our approach to ‘Service Learning’ is fitting given the 2019 College theme originates from the Carmelite belief in the importance of Service of others.

During our school assembly last week, I spoke to the students in this context, reiterating that each one of us offers Whitefriars a unique blend of talents, abilities and service opportunities. With many of the leaders standing with me, I reminded the boys that the College and Liturgy Captains have led us all in term one through their service. The College Leaders – Senior and Middle Years, House, Sport and Activity Captains have epitomised this on Open Day, Open Morning tours, Year 7 Welcome Evenings, Father and Son evenings, College and ACC activities and events to name a few. It is important for us to understand that meaning to service is more importantly demonstrated daily in how each boy engages with others in class, in their learning, in the yard and as they travel to and from school.

It’s interesting to note that the Christian author JK Rowling observes, “It doesn’t matter how capable or talented we are, it’s what we do that makes a difference in the world.” In this Lenten season I left the boys with two questions reflect on,

  • ‘When I help or serve others, is it so that they notice what I have done?’ and
  • ‘When did I last help someone else without counting the cost?’

Congratulations to the Whitefriars Athletics team who returned from the ACC championships last week as runner up to the reigning champions, Parade College. This was the College’s best ever result in the ACC Athletics competition and a tribute to the squad’s commitment to a full training program since Term 4 last year. Captains Hugh Parrott, Pat Daly and Ben Worner have been wonderful role models, leading throughout by example. Many of these boys now move into the ACC cross country season.

As an illustration of the diverse interests and options available to students at the College, a field of Year 9 and 10 students have made their way down to Deakin University this week for the annual Science and Engineering Challenge whilst the Intermediate VCAL classes are on work experience all week and others are engaging with an ACC Lawn Bowls Tournament.

Almae In Fide Parentis – In the Care of a Loving Mother.

Mr Greg Stewart

en English