Contributing towards a better world

Below is the speech I delivered to our community at this week's Ash Wednesday Liturgy, where I encouraged all of our students to think about how they can play their part in making the world a better place.

When I'm asked, “what are some of the best things about our boys?”, I always say it is their reverence at Mass. It's amazing. But if you sit there and daydream, boys, all that reverence is merely a reflection of your politeness. The purpose of Mass is for you to become a better human being. 

At the moment, I'm conducting interviews for Year 7 students who will be commencing in 2022, and that's the first thing that all the parents say to me: “We send our boys to this College because we want them to be the best possible man.”

If a Martian lobbed up on your doorstep and asked how to be the best possible member of this human race, you could do no better than to refer them to the Gospels. So today, and every time you go to Mass, there should be a message that you take away to be a better person, and you build on that each time. Goodness should be built on; goodness shouldn't be static. 

The other day, I was in a Year 12 class and I asked them what they think is the biggest problem in the world today. One of the students gave a very erudite answer: greed. In the movie Wall Street, Michael Douglas proclaimed “greed is good”, and that might be the standard in the secular world today, but greed is not good. And greed is not just about avarice and money.

This Lent, I implore everyone in our community to reflect on the three key elements of the season, and how we can all make the world a better place through our own actions.

Almsgiving: We don't count how much money each House raises for Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion anymore. We count the number of boxes that come back, because in the reading today it said "your left hand must not know what your right is doing." Almsgiving is not about beating your chest and saying "I gave a lot of money". 

Prayer: Every time you pray, whether you talk to yourself or you pray to God, you are self-reflecting, and that's the only way to become a better person.

Self-denial: The only true joy and happiness you will ever know is when you give something to someone else.

What I would encourage everyone to do today, and every day, but with a special focus for the next 40 days, is to figure out what contribution you're going to make to a better world. I know that each and every boy at this College has the capacity, with the love and support of your families, with the love and support of the teachers and allied staff in this community, and with the love and support of each other, to be the best possible men they can be, which is the aspiration we have for you all.

A new resource for parents

Today also marks the launch of our new blog, The Road Less Travelled. The blog is a collection of essays and researched articles written by our community, capturing the culture of our school and hoping to inspire the desire to make the world a better place.

I hope you find the time to read our most recent article, which explains how we are helping boys learn how to learn, with some amazing results.

God bless and best wishes for this joyous Lenten season.

Mr Domenic Burgio