From the Principal_3Mar
Written on the 6 March 2017 by Mr Paul BeltonThe Year of Living Justly
St Paul's College is a Catholic school for boys in the Edmund Rice Tradition. This statement may seem very obvious to all members of our community, but in fact, it's three components clearly define who we are and what we must be.
We are first, and foremost, a Catholic school. We were started by the Christian Brothers in support of the Archbishop and Catholic Church of South Australia to support Catholic families in our region.
The real meaning of 'Catholic' is 'universal' and so we are a universally accepting Catholic school. We respect all faith backgrounds but always remain faithful to our Catholic ethos. This rests very comfortably with us as an Edmund Rice school, as we are challenged by our EREA Touchstones to be an inclusive community. Likewise, one of the fundamental principles of all the world's major religions is to 'treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself', and so being a multi-faith accepting school is living out who we are meant to be.
We are an all boys' school too. A single sex school, (until Year 11 and 12 when we share classes with Kildare College), and this allows us the freedom to develop programs and pedagogies that best suit our boys. Finally, we are very much a school and being a school means our main focus is education and successful outcomes for all boys within our educational setting. It is our ongoing challenge to provide a broad curriculum that gives all boys the opportunity to fulfil their God-given potential.
No doubt most members of our community and beyond would have heard, or read, of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. As a Catholic College, our first thoughts go to those who are victims and survivors of sexual abuse. The memories of these terrible crimes by trusted people would be re-lived during the commission's hearings.In a recent letter from Rev Father Philip Marshall, Vicar General of Adelaide, he said that not only does the Church sincerely apologise for all wrong doings, but as a Church we promise to not leave any stone unturned in an effort to make the Church in Adelaide safe for children and to ensure that they will never be at risk of abuse in the future.
As a Catholic College, St Paul's also pledges its total commitment to the maintenance of a safe environment for all students. We also pledge our support to any family that may have been affected by issues such as these in the past.
This Wednesday we celebrated an opening school Mass. We welcomed the new Parish Priest of Dernancourt, Father Mathew Raj and thanked him for the lovely liturgy that we all shared. Once again our boys were very respectful and reflective during mass and no doubt were considering in what ways they can show their Lenten promises at home and at school. Throughout Lent our boys will be provided with opportunities for the traditional 'alms giving' and fundraising for those of our world who are far less comfortable in terms of finances and basic resources such as water. We should all use this time of Lent to reflect on the real purpose of our lives, the real purpose of a Catholic school like St Paul's and how we allow that to impact on our love of our neighbours.
God Bless,Mr Paul Belton
Author: Mr Paul Belton
About: Mr Belton is the Principal of St Paul's College and passionate about holistic education for boys. A former member of the SANFL grand final winning, Port Adelaide Magpies, he is also the Coach of the Year 10 Football Team.