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On Sunday the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. As a school, we will celebrate this on Monday with two masses at Norwood.

This feast day is important for us every year, recognising as it does the unique contribution that Ignatius made to the world and for us as our patron, but this year it is particularly so since it marks the end of the international ‘Ignatian Year’. This ‘year’ commenced in May 2021 on the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Pamplona, where a young Ignatius was seriously wounded as a soldier defending the town from the French invaders.

On Monday, we conclude the 15 months of celebration with our masses for his feast day. Throughout this period, students at the College have explored five aspects of Ignatius’ remarkable life:

  • Soldier
  • Pilgrim
  • Companion
  • Founder
  • Saint

I am very grateful for the work done on this by our teachers and especially Ms Emma Lilley, our Faculty Leader for Religious Education at the Senior School.

No doubt, different aspects of Ignatius’ journey appeal to people in different ways, and I think as a young boy at school in 1970, I was probably quite taken with Ignatius as a soldier. More than fifty years later though, the characteristic that I find most attracting is that of companion.

Having had a long association with many Jesuits over that period of time, I feel very fortunate to have experienced companionship in a very real sense. Members of the Society of Jesus sometimes refer to themselves as ‘Friends in the Lord’, and I also find that very appealing. There is something remarkably special about the mission that Jesuits and lay companions share, and I would like to think that we see this reflected in some way in our school community on a daily basis. I really do believe that all staff are my companions on my journey and that our families also share companionship with us and with one another.

It is unrealistic to try to oversimplify Ignatian spirituality as it offers such a rich explanation of God’s relationship with us, but as I approach the end of my time here as a member of staff, I find myself continually returning to ‘Finding God in All Things’ and viewing others as companions.

I am very much looking forward to our celebration on Monday when our Provincial, Fr Quyen Vu SJ, will join us as our celebrant and in companionship.

As I have expressed before, I hope that the coming term is a very happy and successful one for us all.

Deo Gloria

Mr Peter Coffey

OREMUS (Let us pray)

We remember all in our College community. May our prayers comfort those suffering at this time. May God’s blessing be a source of support in their sorrow and loss, and bring courage, patience, and hope.

For those who have died:

  • Robert Birks, past parent
  • George Gilbert, past parent, and former staff member
  • Sue Lear, former staff member

“Ask and you shall receive … knock and the door will be opened unto you.” (Matt 7:7)

If you would like someone to be remembered by the College community in prayer (even anonymously), please provide details to the Rector, class or Mentor Teacher, or House Leader.

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Happy Feast of Saint Ignatius Loyola