Celebrating the feast of the founder of a religious congregation is always an opportunity to give thanks to God, express gratitude for the example and courage of the individual and to celebrate as a community. The feast day for our founder, St Marcellin Champagnat, is 6 June. We honoured his legacy last Friday with our Champagnat Day Mass followed by the annual Walkathon.

Our celebrant was Archbishop Christopher Prowse and it was wonderful to have the leader of the local church with us.

In the Mass we were integrating two themes. Our 2023 Marist theme, Created and Called: a Revolution of Love and Tenderness and the Reconciliation Week theme, Be a Voice for Generations. In his homily, Archbishop Christopher reflected on both and gave us a challenge. He recalled the humbling experience of being welcomed into an Aboriginal community in northern Australia where the practice of placing warmed hands on the head, heart and feet of the visitor are used.  Archbishop Christopher compared this with the way that Mary was a support and inspiration to St Marcellin.  He also spoke beautifully about the tenderness of Mary and challenged us to use this as a motif in our relationships with others.

The Archbishop left the boys with this invitation. To pray daily using these words:

Jesus be in my mind
Jesus be in my heart
Jesus be on my feet
This day and all the days of my life. 

At the end of the Mass we commended the students who have received Champagnat Medals. These are given to young men who demonstrate the Marist spirit by being someone who is a person of faith and emulates the example of St Marcellin Champagnat. In doing so, we are very conscious of the many students in our College who exhibit these traits.

Year 4:  Hansel George
Year 5:  Luke Bamford and Henry Spiller
Year 6:  James Pascoe and Joshua Boteju
Year 10: Caleb Kirk and Cooper Maher
Year 11: Piet Clayden and James Russo
Year 12: Solomon Belcher, Jake D’Souza, Joseph Hartwell, Jack O’Mara and William Seselja

We also took the opportunity to express our thanks and gratitude to Archbishop Christopher as he approaches the 10th anniversary of his instalment as Archbishop of the Canberra-Goulburn Diocese. He has consistently been an ardent supporter of the College and we fully appreciate his pastoral care and prayers. We have some appreciation of the pressures he faces and he asked that we continue to keep him in our prayers.