From the Principal
I am sure that in the near future I will be writing pieces in The Ignatian that have no reference to COVID-19 at all − and I look forward to that very much.
In fact, I commented to others recently that I have noticed that news services are, on occasion, beginning their broadcasts with stories unrelated to the pandemic. Regrettably, these stories are usually associated with some other tragedy or crisis, but it is a sign that the world is contemplating moving to a different context. For the time being, though, COVID-19 and its effects are still very much to the forefront of our thinking at the College.
On a number of occasions during the past month or so, our Rector, Father Hosking SJ, has spoken or written about the fact that this virus has the potential to bring out the best or the worst in us. We may readily identify examples of the worst, such as the hoarding by some consumers of essential items from supermarkets – even to some fighting over rolls of toilet paper! – or members of society flagrantly disregarding very sensible measures to protect the common good of all. Happily, there have also been many examples of the best in us, too, such as the identified increase in neighbourly activity in our community, or the work of so many in the health professions to provide a vigorous defence against the spread of the virus, often at great risk to their own personal safety.
I would like to think that when this global catastrophe is safely behind us, researchers will investigate and quantify for us that our best actions in the world far outweighed our worst.
Many times, I have referred to my belief that I am very privileged to hold the position that I do as Principal. There are numerous reasons for this, but in the current context I find it even more apparent. In the past few weeks I have been in a unique position to observe so many examples of individuals or groups acting selflessly and generously for the good of others. I am also utterly convinced that what I have witnessed is just the tip of the iceberg of the good that is present in our community.
Two examples of this good that I would like to share involve both staff and students. We continue to have a number of staff involved with the Adelaide Day Centre-Moore Street and St Vincent de Paul, and their work has become even more important as these organisations struggle for both volunteers and donations. The willingness of some staff to look for ways to involve others and to support those in need has been a wonderful example of service in action, and one that I know many others in our community also replicate.
The second example is a little different, but similarly encouraging, and involves a Year 10 student who decided during the period of remote learning to write letters to those individuals who had played a positive role in her formation. The student initially intended to write 10 letters, but at last count had written 100. In doing so, she displayed initiative and an endeavour to use her time away from school to express gratitude in a way that ensured that something positive was achieved from this time of challenge. In my mind, I viewed this as a great way to ‘Find God in All Things’.
As the health indicators in our state improve and we happily edge closer to a relaxation of some restrictions, I hope we take with us all the good that we have learned from this extraordinary time and leave the worst of our actions behind.
Mr Peter Coffey
PS: A very Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday to all the mothers in our community. I hope that families are able to spend time with their mums in whatever creative way is possible.