Dear Members of the Marist College Ashgrove Family,
A sincere welcome to you all for the 2019 academic year and a special welcome to all new members of our Marist College Ashgrove family. St. Marcellin’s vision was that a genuine family spirit pervade the schools where his Little Brothers of Mary were present. It is my fervent hope that you feel that you are valued members of our college family here at Ashgrove.
Our country has been hit hard by searing heat this summer and bushfires have been prevalent particularly in Tasmania. Here in Queensland, apart from the tropical north, we are desperate for rain. As Dorothea MacKellar (1883-1968) wrote in her poem, My Country (written 1904), about a sunburnt country characterised by droughts and flooding rains… certainly what we have seen on our television screens and experienced first-hand this current summer.
The Marist Association of St Marcellin Champagnat has chosen for its theme in 2019 HOLY TODAY. It is a phrase that comes to us from Gaudete et Exultate (Rejoice and Be Glad), the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis on the call to holiness in today’s world.
Pope Francis writes:
“We are called to be holy, living our lives with love and bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves…. Be holy by working for the common good and renouncing personal gain.”
Water From the Rock, the book of Marist Spirituality leads us on a journey to be holy. Excerpts from this below:
We may find ourselves questioning the purpose of our existence: Who am I? What is my life for? How can I make a difference with my life? To whom do I belong? For whom am I responsible? Questions like these can fill our minds and hearts. As we grow in awareness of the life in and around us, this sense of unease of anxiety is felt more acutely.
49. Yearning for something that will make sense of our lives, we search for an idea, a person, an activity that will integrate the different dimensions of living: feelings and desires, relationships and actions, sexuality and loves, rights and responsibilities, hopes and dreams.
50. In such human situations, we discover God as the one for whom our hearts really yearn. We realise that this longing is not of our making but primarily the work of God’s Spirit within the depths of our being. With trust, we can open ourselves and come to an experience of God.
In our largely secular 2019 world, we search for true meaning. Maybe it’s not that complicated? In the words of the hymn written by Marist Brother, Michael Henry fms:
To follow Christ as Mary did,
Her heart so open to your holy Word
You call us forth to be your people;
Your living Word made flesh today.
The challenge here, is to trust God like Mary did:
Water From the Rock No: 51
‘Mary is surprised by the forceful entry of God into her life. She is afraid. Then she comes to be at peace because of her intuition of the presence and love of God for her. Without having all the answers to her questioning, she trusts and commits herself to a God who inspires trust.’
May 2019 be a year where we too, trust in God, giving an example to all of our boys to follow Jesus as Mary did, so that they might become Good Christians and Good Citizens.
Yours in Jesus, Mary and St Marcellin.