Dear St Michael’s College Community,
Mission Action Day
Thank you to all staff and students involved in today’s relaunched Mission Action Day and for the generous support offered by our families. Whilst the weather has been unkind, I hope the spirit remains alive. The ongoing nurturing of a genuine concern for social justice is a key element of an education at St Michael’s College. Mission Action Day (MAD) is one of the ways that we work together to support those most in need. Each year the funds raised through MAD go to a range of local charities and national and international organisations to assist those less fortunate. Sometimes we might think that our individual donations are unable to help others very much, but when all of us at St Michael’s College work together, we can reach targets that can make a significant difference to the marginalised and most in need. Thank you.
Well done to all involved in preparation, performance and attendance at Wednesday’s Small Ensemble Night. It was an outstanding event, thoroughly enjoyed by all of us. As mentioned on the night, our musicians have had limited opportunities to perform this year, so it was terrific to see all of them take the chance to showcase their enormous and diverse talents. I couldn’t help but mention again how proud we are.
Congratulations also to our senior girls football team on winning their state knockout final against Sacred Heart on Wednesday afternoon. There is some outstanding individual talent amongst this group, but their greatest feature is the ability to play as a team. It is obvious when watching that they genuinely enjoy seeing each other succeed and supporting each team mate to do so. We will have a lasting memory of Charlotte’s three-quarter time address to the team on this theme! Thank you to the coach Mr Heath and all the support team.
Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels (Tuesday 29 September)
With the Feast of our College namesake being next week, we remember the important role that St Michael the Archangel plays in our Christian tradition and for us at St Michael’s.
St Michael’s College was established on East Avenue, Beverley in 1954. At inception, the founders released a statement relating to the choice of name. In essence, it read:
“The name of St Michael the Archangel would be a fitting designation for our new venture….We would like the vision of this great champion of God to be continually before the minds and gaze of the rising generations that will come to this new school”.
Saint John Baptist de La Salle writes in his Meditation 169.1 that “Saint Michael the Archangel was the leader of all the angels who remained faithful to God”. As God’s loyal warrior, St Michael led the army of angels that cast Satan (the devil) and his rebellious angels from Heaven into hell. The Hebrew version of his name (Mīkhāel, Mi cha El), translates to ‘Who is like God?’ and is said to be the rhetorical battle-cry used by Michael to challenge Lucifer and his followers during the great battle in Heaven. The translation of ‘Who is like God?’ into Latin is Quis ut Deus and sits on the St Michael’s College crest. De La Salle wrote that “Saint Michael, inspired by this attitude of faith, which served as his shield against the evil angels, was victorious over them by these words”. (Med 169.2)
Scripture and Christian tradition relate the four main responsibilities of St Michael the archangel as being to “combat Satan, escort the faithful to heaven at their hour of death, be a champion of all Christians, and the Church itself and call mankind from life on Earth to their heavenly judgment”. For many, angels bring a sense of peace and security and St Michael the Archangel is often called upon in prayer for protection against evil. This theme is prominent in most traditional prayers to St Michael, with novena’s often seeking inspiration from the qualities associated with the Archangel. The more prominent characteristics and qualities attributed to St Michael include humility, zeal, strength, loyalty, courage, commitment and honour. St Michael is also the patron Saint of numerous groups and organisations, including the military, police and paramedics.
As we continue to navigate through these uncertain times, it seems timely to acknowledge the important heritage of our College name and draw on the spirit and qualities of St Michael the Archangel today. We therefore pray that St Michael look over our school community and protect us, giving us the strength and humility to live, learn and play together with courage, commitment and honour, no matter what the challenge may be.
Wishing everyone a safe and well earned break.