Champagnat Day and more
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. Acts 2: 1-3
In Pentecost we see the end of Easter season. The Holy Spirit comes to the disciples in the upstairs room. Jesus promised to send a helper to the Apostles. Through the Holy Spirit we see Christ present in our lives. Some of the gifts of the Spirit are said to be wisdom, courage and understanding. Our school motto of Courage Conquers All is a reminder of that link with our daily lives. Our lives do require courage.
Last week we celebrated the life of St Marcellin Champagnat. This began with our Champagnat Mass led by Fr Geoff Plant of the Lane Cove Parish of St Michaelâs. Fr Geoff spoke using two analogies to describe our lives. The first was that of thermometer Christians where we just react to life much as a thermometer reacts to temperature change. Thermometer Christians will do little to improve the world. The challenge was to become thermostat Christians where we set the temperature or where we set the agenda in the world. Fr Geoff was calling us to being active in our faith.
Fr Geoff referred also to David Brooks, New York Times writer, who contrasted two lives. One life we could take on is the Well Planned Life and the other is the Summoned Life. The Well Planned Life is where one puts a lot of energy into planning the clear purpose in their life.
The person who works with the idea of the Summoned Life begins with the now. This life requires us to look at what are the actual problems and needs that we face. How are we being called? What are these circumstances summoning me to do. What is my most useful role in society.
There is much to be said for listening to our lives with the ear of the Summoned Self in order to determine our mission and our way of making society better.
The Junior Champagnat Award went to Olivah Tisbury-Brown of the MacKillop House and the Senior Champagnat Award went to James Netting of the Salta House. These students were chosen because they displayed many of Champagnatâs qualities in their lives.
The Staff Champagnat Award went to Mr Tony McDonnell. Each of these awards was well received by the students. My problem was getting the boys to stop applauding Tony so that I could indicate why he had been chosen. The short explanation for our selecting Tony was that everything that Tony does at the school is done with a thoroughness and a determination to make things better for students. We see this determination in his work at Night Patrol over the decades, at his leading of Immersions to Cambodia, in his work as teacher and as House Coordinator for the Moore House. We see it in the smaller but no less important activities of preparing students singing for our major Masses and in coaching the Squash Team.
On Friday we had a most unique celebration of Champagnat. It was truly amazing to watch the reaction of the entire College to the final round of the spelling competition!! Spelling was cool. It was not our foe!
Following the traditional Champagnat Quiz the College enjoyed the treat of our Multicultural Lunch and sport themed inflatables and a jumping castle. All of this was done in drizzling rain and with the best school spirit possible.