Posted by Paul Forrester
on 18 June 2021
Jesus put a parable before the crowds, "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the biggest shrub of all and becomes a tree so that the birds of the air come and shelter in its branches. (Matthew 13:31-3)3
Our La Salle Week celebrations were truly an inspiring example of the beautiful community we have here at De La Salle Ashfield. A week of fun, reflection and celebration was highlighted for me by the incredible generosity of our community in supporting outreach initiatives that embody the spirit of the Lasallian charism that we celebrated throughout the week. The College donated over 800 personal items to the St Vincent de Paul Winter Appeal and raised $5000 for our twin Lasallian school in Pakistan at our MAD (Mission in Action Day).
The spirit of the Lasallian charism is so alive in the College as was evident by our Founders Day Mass which included 10 De La Salle Brothers, Old Boys, parents and special guests from Oakhill College staff and student community who joined us on the day.
As part of my reflection, I have included an extract from my address to the community at our Founder's Day Mass which reflects my feelings on the legacy of the De La Salle brothers and 200 years of Catholic education that we celebrate in Australia this year.
"It would be easy for me to espouse the incredible impact and achievements of Catholic education over the last 200 years but I believe no Prime Minister, scientific achievement, engineering feat, famous piece of art or music are as important as the relationships we have with people we meet in our Catholic schools. I believe Saint John Baptist De La Salle knew this, Father John Therry and Saint Mary Mackillop knew this. The De La Salle Brothers here today who have committed their entire lives to this adventure we know as Catholic education know this - I believe that is why they are here - to continue to be in relationship with us, this wonderful school community and all those who are part of it.
You see they know this because they listen to Christ and this is what Jesus asks of all of us. Jesus' life was dedicated to being in life giving relationships with all he met, regardless of whether they were priests or prostitutes, doctors or lepers, legionnaires or criminals. He came that we may have life and have it to the full and he told us how to do this with the greatest commandment - Love one another as I have loved you.
For over 300 years, Lasallian education and for 200 years, Catholic education in Australia, have been built on the relationships that have developed between those whose love of Christ and of each other has been prepared to overcome the most significant barriers and hurdles to ensure we sit here today with the benefit of an incredible catholic education. We are the beautiful branches of the majestic mustard tree.
I am truly humbled to be a part of it."