I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep
Welcome to the first edition of The Beacon for the Pentecost Term. In the Church calendar, the fourth Sunday of Easter is known Good Shepard Sunday, and this occurred two Sundays ago. The Gospel reading for the Mass was taken from the Gospel of John. There was a particular synergy between Sunday’s readings and our recent commemoration of ANZAC Day.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd and says that He will lay down His life for His sheep. We do not mind being likened to sheep in this context. The word sheep in this text is not disparaging or belittling. In fact, it is quite the opposite as it goes to the core of our very human need to be loved and to feel safe, sheltered and protected in that love, just like the innocent lambs that Jesus the Good Shepherd shields and protects.
The image of Christ as our Good Shepherd has always appealed to me. One of the earliest paintings of Christ in the Roman catacombs represents him as carrying an injured sheep on his shoulders. In Jesus we have a Shepherd who understands us, one whose patience and love are infinite. He is always ready to go after us when we stray too far; his voice is constantly reaching out to us in missions, retreats, sicknesses, and we all have our own crosses to bear. But with Jesus as our protector we can confidently continue through life’s trials and tribulations.
The sermon preached by the Good Shepherd two thousand years ago is still echoing and reverberating around the world, calling on us his faithful flock to do all in our power to help those other children of God who are still outside the fold, or lost from the flock.
May – The Month of Mary and Mother’s Day
May is traditionally dedicated in a special way to honoring Mary as the Mother of God and Mother of the Church. By our devotion to Mary, we acknowledge how our relationships with women enrich our lives and how we are drawn closer to God through the example of Mary. We give thanks to our grandmothers, mothers, sisters, colleagues and women friends for the special way they bring the virtues of Mary into our world. Mary is the Mother of the Church and therefore the example and inspiration to us all about the way to Jesus.
Mother’s Day and our devotion to Mary also calls us to consider the injustices perpetrated against women in our world. The month of May is also Domestic and Family Violence Awareness. Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month is an annual event held each May to raise community awareness of the social and personal impacts of domestic and family violence and the support available for those affected.
Our schools play an important role in the prevention of social problems such as domestic and family violence. As a Catholic school, we want to form active citizens for whom the morality and the long-term impact of their actions, is a major consideration.
We want to produce young adults for whom virtues like love, compassion and justice are not just good manners, but are lifelong values. Knowledge by itself is not enough; proper human formation demands that the acquisition of knowledge be joined to the teachings of the Catholic Church and of developing good values and character.
In the context of Mother’s Day and the month of Mary, we at Thomas Carr Catholic College, want to produce good young men and women who are not only good husbands and wives, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers but who are also prepared to take a stand against social problems like domestic violence.
I would like to wish all mothers a Happy Mother’s Day for this Sunday.
Malaya Borneo Remembrance Service
It was wonderful to gather on Tuesday May 2 as a College Community to celebrate the remembrance service to honour the sacrifices made by our service men and women and maintain our commitment to the memory and the stories of those who fought in battles.
We are very privileged to have a special relationship with the Malaya and Borneo Veterans Association of Australia and the members of the Victorian Branch. It was indeed our honour and privilege to have to warmly welcomed the Victorian and National President of the Malaya Borneo Association Mr. Owen Marshall, and members of the association Mr. Lindsay Warner Mr. Wes McNarie. We also welcomed our local councillors from the Wyndham City Council Jasmine Hill and Robert Szatkowski as well as Juliette Cox from Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools, Western Region Office and Mrs Tanya Tesoriero, parent representative from our College Advisory Board. We were also delighted to have students and staff from St Francis of Assisi Primary school join us as part of the service.
We gathered as a whole school community for the 21st anniversary of our unique relationship with the veterans of the Malaya Borneo Conflict. We pray that moments like this remind us of the importance of studying history and learning about the sacrifices that were made for our freedoms here in Australia and the sacrifices that continue in the world as different communities fight for a voice, for freedom and justice.
We are blessed to live in such a diverse community which gives us the opportunity to experience all that we have in common as members of the human race and celebrate our differences. We honour the past and keep the memories alive so that we do not repeat errors that can cause destruction and tear communities apart. Instead, as we continue to honour the veterans and learn from their stories, let each, and every one of us, do our part, to respect each other, and truly value the innate dignity and uniqueness of each individual, as we are all a part of God’s creation.
Thank you to the Veterans who have travelled to Thomas Carr and to those who continue to support this relationship but were unable to be present. Thank you to our special guests and to all who have worked behind the scenes to ensure that this service is meaningful and reverent.
I would also like to thank the staff and students who participated in the service, especially the choir and musicians, who always enrich our liturgies and assemblies with their gifts and talents. We are proud of our connection with the Malaya Borneo Veterans’ Association and remain committed to fostering this well into the future.
Mr. Jamie Madigan