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Pelican : June 2010
3 Students Embrace the Spirit of the Opening Mass. Year 12 Retreat -- A Time of Prayer and Reflection The Spanish Romanesque styling of St Christopher’s Cathedral provides a space for worship that is unrivalled within the Archdiocese. The building’s impressive façade served to prepare our boys as they made their way up the stairs, passing the large wooden doors into the Nave. A cloak of reverence enveloped the College community, as staff and students alike became instantly aware of the sacredness of their surroundings; the tone for the celebration was set. In 2010, just as 2009, the students at St Edmund’s College did not disappoint with the manner in which they conducted themselves and embraced the spirit of both masses. On occasions such as this it is easy for some students to simply become passive observers during Mass, especially in the humidity and high temperatures that we experienced. However, with voices raised the College community welcomed the Eucharist with gusto and approached all aspects of the celebration as a united group, almost oblivious to the conditions. The Opening Mass is of central importance to the year and provides the platform from which the spiritual direction of the College can be embraced and nurtured. Monsignor John Woods, a former student, led the celebration of the Eucharist for the Senior College. His well directed homily was not only engaging for the students, but also inspired the staff and provided opportunities for refection. Our College Chaplain, Fr Geoffrey Coombe, concelebrated the Mass for the Senior School, and led Mass for the Middle School. His stirring and rousing homily caught the attention of the Middle School students, captivating them with a unique delivery that hit the mark and kept them in the palm of his hand. Therefore, with the precedent set the year before and now frmly established, there is tremendous promise for the Opening Mass in 2011. Damian Borgia Acting Director of Mission The new Retreat program was developed in consultation with many key staff members, and whilst successful, opportunities exist to make it even more effective in the future. The program comprised of a combination of large group seminars and small group refections, where students were provided with choices and different options about which seminars they wished to attend. Key note speaker, Jonathan Doyle, provided the impetus for the students to contemplate their own sense of manhood and how they can better prepare themselves for the challenges that lie ahead. His words resonated with many staff and students as he challenged our seniors to live up to their promise. A series of seminars, facilitated by staff, followed and once again students were able to choose which one to attend. The feedback was very encouraging as the students highlighted several of the presentations as having a signifcant impact upon them. “A time for bonding” was one of the key positive messages to emerge as feedback from the 2010 Year 12 Retreat. Providing an opportunity to come together in an environment removed from the usual school surroundings is one of the main features and attractions of the Retreat for the students. However, whilst bonding as mates is important, the Year 12 Retreat encompasses so much more. Prayer takes a central focus within this environment, and the students are encouraged to refect upon what type of man they are becoming in an increasingly stressful, complicated and competitive world. The Retreat provides crucial time and space for our seniors to refect upon their years of schooling, what they are doing to prepare themselves and how this will assist them and drive their futures. Finally, the Year 12 Retreat highlights how our committed and creative staff members inspire our students to not only achieve today, but also lead tomorrow. Damian Borgia Acting Director of Mission Secondary Opening Mass Procession. Time for refection.