From the Principal
Last weekend on 15 August, the Feast of the Assumption was celebrated. We had masses at the Senior School on Friday and at the Junior School on Monday. This Marian feast is one of the few remaining holy days of obligation in the Catholic calendar and, whilst the theology is quite complex, the role of Mary, as the mother of Christ, the first disciple, and a female leader in the early Church, is perhaps easier to understand.
The Jesuits have always had a particular devotion to Mary, and this may be, in part, because of the fact that on the Feast of the Assumption in 1534, Ignatius and six of his companions, Peter Faber, Francis Xavier, Diego Laínez, Alfonso Salmerón, Nicolás Bobadilla, and Simon Rodrigues, celebrated mass at the Chapel of St Denis on the outskirts of Paris. At this mass, they made private vows to join together in the service of the Lord. Whilst the Society of Jesus (the Jesuit order) was not formally established by Papal Bull until 1540, for many Jesuits and lay companions, this mass marks the beginning of the order, and it is significant that it took place on the Feast of the Assumption.
As a member of an Ignatian Pilgrimage in 2012, I was fortunate to be able to experience mass in this same chapel with my fellow pilgrims. Fr Ross Jones SJ, currently Rector at St Aloysius’ College in Sydney, was our celebrant, and we were the only ones present. It felt a bit surreal to celebrate the Eucharist in the same place that Ignatius and his first companions had, especially so as we pilgrims had knowledge of what would become of their actions.
As someone who has been engaged in Ignatian formation, in one way or another, for a very long time, I’ve always been attracted to the fact that Ignatian spirituality has its origins in companionship. The early Jesuits referred to themselves as ‘Companions in the Lord’, and Ignatius’ sharing of his Spiritual Exercises with others has a strong element of companionship about it. Within our Wellbeing Framework at the College, ‘Companionship’ is one of our key pillars, along with ‘Belonging’, ‘Growing’, and ‘Engagement’.
In this same spirit, I was delighted to learn that Mrs Jacquie McCabe, our Head of Ignatian Ethos, this week shared some Ignatian formation with members of our Parents and Friends. Our entire purpose as a school is focused on the formation of our students, and along with this, significant work is also undertaken with the formation of our staff – a recent example of this being a small staff group from the Junior School and Senior School participating in the Magis program at Sevenhill last week. To see some of this formation now being shared so intentionally with our wider community through the Parents and Friends fills me with great heart.
In our lives, we all have moments and experiences that have a significant impact on making us who we are. For me, the experience in the Chapel of St Denis, in the steps of Ignatius, was one such moment. I read somewhere that Ignatius and his companions shared a picnic after their mass in1534. I really like that image, too, of this group of friends enjoying their companionship as they commenced their journey with the Lord that would eventually have as one of its destinations our community here in Adelaide.
We are extraordinarily fortunate to be able to share in this companionship and, if we can, share it with others.
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:
- Eugene Le Mire
“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 Home Group Teacher, or Year Coordinator.