Although the actual feast is not celebrated until Sunday 18 June, we celebrated the Feast of Corpus Christi last Friday after the examination period for Senior School students concluded.
In addressing the College community, I shared a story from our most recent Associated and Catholic Colleges of WA (ACC) Carnival. As the students are aware, I will often ask them after they have run for the College, whether they have been able to achieve a personal best, a credible goal for each member of the team. However, it was at the end of the Senior Girls race that we witnessed a true act of heroism. A few metres from the finish line, one of our girls who was coming second in the race was completely exhausted. Having started the race feeling unwell and experiencing un-seasonally warm conditions, Brooke McCoy fell to the ground completely spent, but dragged herself up and moved slowly towards the finish line, obviously in pain, finishing the race an amazing 6th place and named by the commentator as ‘hero of the day’. This courageous finish led to our girls winning the aggregate shield, and an overall 3rd place on the day, a feat we will recognise at our next assembly.
Why tell this story on Corpus Christi Day?
I paraphrased from the second reading on Pentecost Sunday from St Paul to the Corinthians 12:3-7.12-13. Just as a human body, though it is made up of many parts, is a single unit, because all these parts though many, make one body, so it is with Christ. We are one body, made of many parts, every single person before me is gifted by God, but we are together, always one spirit. ‘…there are all sorts of service to be done, but always to the same Lord; working in all sorts of different ways in different people, it is the same God who is working in all of you.
We have many analogies to the concept of us all working together towards one common purpose. The individual runners who formed the ACC Cross Country team….the students who have helped each other to prepare for tests and examinations in the past few weeks…the staff who have served the College since 1983, including our former Principals, each working towards ensuring our students received the best education we can provide…..the Board members, Project manager, EIW Architects and Metrocon Pty Ltd (builders) who have worked together to provide the best facilities for our students. There are many examples of courage made by individual members in the community – the sacrifices parents have made to enrol students at Corpus Christi College, the sacrifices we make to take part in immersion programs to Mulan in the Easter Kimberley region or to Cambodia; maybe standing up for our friends against those who bully, or the students who perform in bands and choirs to lift our spirits and those of our community. We all have parts to play to make our world a better place.
On behalf of the students, I acknowledged Board Chair Mr Greg LeGuier who represented our parents who provided the funds to be able to undertake our ongoing capital works. Funded by the Building Levy, the $1.5 million redevelopment has transformed our former College gymnasium into a cutting edge facility that will complement our successful programs in music, dance and drama. The James Nestor Performing Arts Centre features two drama suites, two dance studios, an arts gallery space and reception area, and will double as a green room when an adjoining 400-seat theatre is built later this year. In line with the College’s status as an Apple Distinguished School, the facility is compatible with the latest digital technology. It has also been fitted with LED lighting, full surround sound, acoustic paneling and sprung floors. The James Nestor Centre is also a flexible learning space, used as an examination centre for the first time this term. Later in the year, the Centre will house our Visual Arts and Technology Exhibition, and is also able to accommodate a range of assemblies and gatherings, including hosting our Tour Days.
Along with Project Manager Ms Patricia Rodrigues, Mr Peter Quake representing EIW Architects, Mr Ross Leighton representing Metrocon Pty Ltd, a facility that is the envy of other schools has been built – many parts working together.
I concluded my speech with an invitation to our senior students. The Church has identified the liturgical year of 2018, beginning on 31 December 2017, as a National Year of Youth. Pope Francis wishes to hear from the youth of Australia (16–29 years) about their views on life, faith and experiences of the Church.
‘Every young person has something to say to others…all of us need to listen to you! Even young people who consider themselves agnostics, even young people whose faith is lukewarm; even young people who no longer go to Church; even young people who consider themselves atheists’. – Pope Francis
The thoughts of young people will contribute to the international conversation led by Pope Francis as part of the General Synod on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment to be held in Rome in October 2018. The link for the survey is provided within this copy of the e-News.
We concluded the formal proceedings with recognising our former and current staff who had served the College for more than 20 years, followed by a morning tea for special guests, whilst all students continued with various competitions, Homeroom stalls and the Annual talent quest.