Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

Last week I had the privilege of spending two days as a part of the Catholic Education Office review team that was working at St Therese’s School in Invercargill.

This was a great opportunity for me as it allowed me to work with the review team and to study the procedures that they followed and also to work in a school that while larger than our still had many common characteristics.

The challenge for all integrated schools is to protect the integrity of the special character of the school, in our case the Catholic Special Character, after all this is why the schools exist.

St Mary’s as a school has an interesting history because it was not founded by a religious order, as most church schools were, but by a lay teacher.  The Sisters of Mercy took over the running of the school, and administered it for a good part of it’s history, that is why we have the school motto—Misericordiae (Mercy).  Mercy as we understand means benevolence, forgiveness and kindness.

In this day of mission statements, visions and values we have lost sight a little of the purpose or reason for a motto. A motto is a pledge or phrase meant to formally summarize the general motivation or intention of a group or organization. So a challenge that we as a school community have is to honor our motto of Mercy (Misericordiae) and to show forgiveness and kindness.

The Parable of the Prodigal son and his Brother (Luke 15:11-32) best depicts what we see as Mercy, but it also has the added component of the ‘good’ brother who was angry that the prodigal had returned, realizing that he had lost nothing by his brother returning.

Often we forget that like a good golfer we should focus on our own game and not compare our situation against others, because if we do this we will never be happy.

 Have a great week.

Mike Brosnahan


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