Prayer – Fasting – Almsgiving
Earlier this week, the College community gathered for our combined Ash Wednesday and Opening Mass which Bishop Brian Mascord led. This meaningful Liturgy marks the period when we are each called to revitalise our spirits as we prepare for Holy Week and Easter’s joy. Wednesday’s gospel reading encouraged us to pray, fast, and give alms for those in need, but most importantly, to do so with quiet humility. Our patron Blessed Edmund Rice was an example of humility who lived in Ireland during a time when many people suffered extreme poverty. In 1802 he established a school for boys who were destitute and had no access to learning. He aimed to promote a liberating education that recognised the dignity of each individual, enabling them to rise above their disadvantage by offering a sense of hope for them to reach their true potential. Today, and especially during this Lenten period, we too can respond with kindness to those who are disadvantaged. The theme for Project Compassion is ‘For All Future Generations.’ Such a theme calls each of us to live out the gospels by ensuring that future generations can inherit a community where they can flourish. In this way, we not only encourage our students to give generously to this Caritas appeal but, through personal reflection, consider how we each can be the face of Christ to those we meet:
Loving Jesus, we thank you for the gift of this Season of Lent.
As we pause to listen to your voice speaking to us in the Gospels,
May we come to recognise your power to heal and transform us,
And may we receive the grace we need to worship you in Spirit and Truth.
Last week we had the opportunity to acknowledge the success of our 2022 HSC high achievers. We are so proud of every student for his academic achievements and wonderful contribution to school life, whether in the classroom, on stage performing, competing on the sports field, or in their service to the community. Many of our former students and their parents joyfully returned to the College to receive awards, offer advice to our current students, and express gratitude for their teachers and friends. The John Joseph Pollock Science Scholarship Award was presented to Lochlan Irlam during this assembly. At the same time, the 2022 Dux of the College was awarded to Elijah Hurley, whose very impressive speech is included in this newsletter.
We look forward to the stories our graduates will create as they begin the next chapter of their lives.
Last week the first Parents’ and Friends’ Association (P&F) met for 2023. I thank those parents and carers who could attend and encourage new members to join a very collaborative and generous community group. All Year 7 parents and carers are asked to ‘save the date’ for the annual ‘Year 7 Parent Welcome Barbecue’ to be held at ERC on the afternoon of Saturday, 18th March – more information to come.
The annual ERC ‘Try Year 7 for a Day’ and Open Day will be held next Tuesday, 28th February. This promises to be an extremely well-attended event and an excellent way for prospective students and their parents to see our College in action. Another reminder that this is a pupil-free day for students; however, I thank the many students who have volunteered to be involved as tour group leaders for the visiting Years 5 and 6 students or those actively involved in supporting individual subject areas. Please note that students who participate as volunteers will require a signed parent permission note to confirm their involvement.