Faith and more
We hear that Australia is a most secular society. Faith is not cool. Faith has become far less desirable over recent years in Australia and in truth for reasons that are not deniable. We Catholics in Australia will live for a long time with this reality. Having said that I must declare a conflict of interest with this mantra. We must not gloss over the wrong done in our Catholic institutions but we also need to look after our faith. God has not done wrong. It has been done by men.The Provincial of the Marist Brothers in Australia, Br Peter Carroll, wrote an interesting article on faith in a secular society. Peter writes of ‘a denial of God or at least a disinterest in God’. Peter refers to a talk given by another Marist, Br Graham Neist, whose message is that our image of God may be too small. Graham’s ideas remind me of the work of the famous theologian and writer, Richard Rohr.
Richard Rohr is a Franciscan Friar, a priest, based in New Mexico, America and is a very popular writer on spirituality.
Richard says that ‘your image of God creates you’. He speaks of the problems of having an image of God as a western Zeus figure throwing down thunderbolts at the creation that he didn’t like. If this image of God as one who delivers punishment is our personal image of God this presents problems in how we see God being part of our lives. Alternately, Richard says that if we see the very essence of creation is love then the very shape of God is in love. He says that this allows us to read reality in a very different way. Our purpose in this life, why we have been created is seen and is founded on love.
We need to nurture our faith because it can become less passionate if we are not living it.
I began and ended last week at Marist Dinners. The first was the Marist Student Leaders’ Forum at Mittagong. Mr Rulewski took four of our student leaders to this forum. These were Josh Willathgamuwa, Tom James, Jonathan Amirzaian and Tim Pettigrew. Our leaders joined student leaders from 18 other Marist Schools around NSW. The forum gave our leaders a chance to talk about their goals for the year, within a really supportive forum, based on Christian Leadership.
On Friday evening our College Leadership Team attended the Annual Marist Schools Australia dinner at St Joseph’s College, Hunters Hill. Each year, at this dinner, there is an opportunity to recognise the contribution certain teachers have made to Marist Education over the years. We took the opportunity to recognise Dr Sue Turner for her passion and energy as a teacher of Ancient History for over 33 years at MCNS.
I read the following citation in regard to Sue’s work at the College:
Dr Sue Turner began teaching at Marist College North Shore in 1986 and for all of these 33 years she has taught Ancient History. Over recent years Sue has also taught Extension History to the senior students. Sue dedicated herself to the study of Ancient History and Egyptology in particular. Sue was awarded her PhD in 2016 and the topic of her thesis was Horses in the Ancient World. Sue shares her passion and her deep expertise in history which she shares with her fellow history colleagues and her students.
Sue is a Marist Educator. Her presence is evident every day in her working with students in need. Sue displays a love of work and simplicity can be seen in the positive working relationships that she creates with students and with staff. Sue is a worthy recipient of this award and we thank her for her contribution to Marist education.