12/10/2017 Fr Anthony Nguyen SDB, Parish Priest of St Margaret Mary’s celebrates the welcoming mass and the installation of Ms Fiona Dearn as a new principal for St Margaret Mary school. The whole community school: staff, students and some parents have joined mass and the celebration after mas.
During the mass Fr Anthony shares in his homily:
All the readings of today focus on the call, a vocation in life. Every one of us is called to a particular purpose in life. As we come here this morning in this mass dedicated to Ms Fiona our new principal, a Catholic principal. This is the appropriate occasion to reflect on what the Lord is asking us to do, in order to fulfil our vocation in life.
Under the light of the word of God, we wonder what is the role of the principal? At the end of the day, everybody who is called to be proclaim the good news, must be at the service of truth and love. So the challenges of a Catholic principal is really great. You know it is daunting enough to be a principal, but to be a Catholic principal, is even more daunting. And suppose you are a principal who happen to be teaching in a Catholic school, that is doubly daunting.
And why do I say this? If we want to be at the service of truth and love, then it presupposes that we are clear of what we intend to do for our children. Our young people here, what do we expect for them? What is our hope for these young people that the Lord has entrusted to us? Our hope is that they will believe in truth and in love. For them, it’s more than just simply offering them an academic formation. Academic formation is only a tool for something else.
A Catholic school has to provide beyond academic formation – a holistic formation, in terms of human, moral, psychological, and most importantly, spiritual formation. This is what makes the person human. Because every person is a person who has a soul, is seeking for God ultimately. Whether he or she recognises God or not, that is secondary.
The point is that in every human person, the heart is restless. The fact that the heart is restless, means they are seeking for the ultimate provider. That is why no one can be satisfied simply with material success. Even if you provide our young people with the best education, they can do very well academically, but there is no guarantee of happiness. Because happiness ultimately, is when we begin to see that our lives is not we for ourselves. That the skills we acquire is meant for the service of truth and love, for God, for humanity. This is our concern for our children, our young people, the future of humanity.
Dear Fiona, although your ultimate target, your audience, is your students, your immediate target, will not be your students. It will be your teachers, those who work directly under you. So Fiona, actually you must have two eyes, one eye to look at the future, how the students are being formed, the other eye, you have to look how the teachers are forming the students. You know when we speak of Catholic education, we are not fragmenting education – oh now its biology, now its geography, now its scripture lesson. Catholic education is not a matter of subjects. Catholic education is that the whole curriculum, all its values, are motivated by Christian principles. Truth and love ultimately can only be found in God. Christ for us is the fullness of truth and love.
I think it is important for us to raise the standard of Catholic education in our schools. Our schools must be truly Catholic, in the fullest sense of the word. We have to ensure that education is Catholic, motivated by Catholic principles. Otherwise, I don’t see why we call ourselves Catholic school.
Of course, in the process of imparting our faith, and we have always said, there is no way others would feel threatened, because we never proselytise. But faith has to be proclaimed! Faith has to be shared. Otherwise, they will not know the fullness of life and fullness of truth. That is why as educators, we should not only want our students to pass their exams, but also to be happy in life here on Earth. From that perspective, this is where Catholic principal and teachers, you will have to really acquire and understand the faith. We cannot teach what we have not been taught. And we want to give only the best.
I believe that if people send their children to a Catholic school, even if they are not Christian, the fact that they send, they are implicitly saying “my children will be for you”. They are happy and appreciative of the Catholic values that we impart to our young people. We have to be clear of our vision and mission. We have to be clear of what we want to do and how we want to help people.
We wish you, Fiona the very best wishes and we cor-operate with you to build up our school, a high standard of accademy one but the more important is a lovely family of faith, respect and care...
Some photos of the welcoming Mass and celebration
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New Principal of SMM Brunswick
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