Dear St Michael’s College Community,
A genuine concern for social justice is central to who we are at St Michael’s College. As such, I would like to share with you an excerpt from Director of Pastoral, Mr Sam Kitschke’s address to students at our recent secondary campus assemblies;
“Thank you to everyone for their involvement in Mission Action Day this year. I was lucky enough to visit venues on the day and was so impressed with what I saw, with plenty of positive feedback about how well students entered into the spirit of the day.
Our school raised over $50000 for a one day event! That’s pretty amazing. So many people are going to be helped by what you and your families have done there. Well done!
Core to our Mission and Vision is an understanding that ‘St Michael’s College is a Catholic school in the Lasallian tradition which is committed to the human and Christian education of the young, especially the poor’.
Especially the poor… Since our school started over 65 years ago, it’s always been a focus. We are inspired by the teachings of Christianity, a key part of which is for people to love one another. Not just to love our immediate family and our friends but to really care for all members of our society. That was a message that really caught people’s attention 2000 years ago and it’s a message that still inspires many today and sits at the centre of why Catholic schools exist.
There are always opportunities to help others and encourage others to do so as well. Some of you may have seen that India at the moment is crumbling under the pressure of COVID. We have around 25 million people in Australia, whilst India, the second highest populated country in the world has about 1.390 billion people.
In the last week alone, Australia had about 5 cases and in the same time frame, India have had 2.5 million new COVID cases! Unfortunately it’s expected to get worse there over the next few weeks before it gets better. They are literally running out of oxygen tank supplies for those suffering in hospital, which is leading to more deaths as a result.
Some countries such as Australia are starting to offer help, and so are some individuals. Recently, one of Australia’s best cricketers, Pat Cummins, who is currently playing cricket in India in the IPL, decided to donate $50,000 to held buy much needed oxygen supplies for India’s hospitals. He also asked other cricketers who are doing well financially in life like him, to contribute to help out. His tweet has had a massive effect with many others now wanting to follow his example.
He said on the issue, “At times like these it’s easy to feel helpless…but I hope by making this appeal we can all channel our emotions into action that will bring light into people’s eyes”. He made a decision not to look on helplessly, but instead to actively help where he could.
What we know about people who care and give to others is that it is mutually rewarding, knowing that they made some sort of difference to others in their lifetime. Pat Cummins’ tweet has now been read close to a million times already with all types of people responding with donations that will make a meaningful difference. We can all similarly strive to have a positive impact on the world.
When people look back on their lives it is unlikely that many will say “I wish that I gave less money to others, or I wish I didn’t help others as much as I did”, instead there is great reward in showing care and support to others, particularly the most vulnerable.
With that in mind, again we thank you for your support of MAD and all the fundraising that we do at St Michael’s. I also invite you to let us know in what ways you are inspired to help others and what causes are particularly important to you. As we head into Winter and start to feel colder each day, are you concerned about the homeless in Adelaide who are struggling to find warmth on the streets, do you often have concerns for the elderly or the lonely in our community, or is it mental health that you are passionate about?
This Term, there will be an opportunity for students to be involved in suggestions and decision-making on the use of funds raised and we look forward to hearing what it is that inspires you to be able to make a positive change”.
All the best to everyone involved in the winter sports program which gets into full swing this week. This term the Co-curricular Sport program is comprised of over 20 sports and activities, more than 70 different teams and groups, and over 800 students and staff participating each week. Additionally, many students are currently involved in the Co-curricular program through upcoming band and ensemble performances, the College Musical at the end of May, the ‘Epic Challenge’ this weekend, Cadets and numerous other activities. A special mention to the cast and crew of the recent Year 11 drama performance, “Talking to Brick Walls” who showed what teamwork can truly achieve with outstanding performances this week.
I am confident our students will represent themselves, their families and St Michael’s well, always enhancing our community aspirations of inclusivity, respect and being your very best. This is so important in team and group environments, where we set the conditions for success by supporting and valuing each individual member, always.
The St Michael’s College crest we wear during many school activities represents a proud and dynamic history, both practically and in spirit. Our college name was inspired by St Michael the Archangel, God’s great champion and warrior. For centuries, people have prayed to St Michael to watch over and protect them, including Police and Paramedics, for whom he is the Patron Saint. We are able to draw on the qualities and characteristics of our namesake in all we do at St Michael’s, inspiring us with the strength and humility to work together with courage, commitment and honour, no matter what challenges we might face.
Thank you to all those taking up the opportunities available and for their engagement and contributions. I look forward to seeing many students participating and performing in coming weeks, and wish them well in all their endeavours.