On Friday 9 June, we celebrated Founder’s Day, one of our most significant community events. Staff, students and special guests joined to celebrate our founder, Blessed Edmund Rice, at Mass, followed by the running of the 27th Waterford Mile, and then the Founder’s Day Performance hosted by our Year 12 students.
The Mass was celebrated by our College Chaplain, Fr Jack Evans and an address was given by College Vice Captain, James Bellamy. The music was impressively led by the choir and orchestra under the direction of Ms Grapé and Dr Taylor, with organ scholar, Bailey Yates (Year 12) on the organ.
It is on Founder’s Day that we are reminded that our way is the way of Edmund. This year, the theme for the Mass was Christian Service and the EREA touchstone of Justice and Solidarity. It is through dedication to the service of others that we can be “united in one mind and one purpose”, as the College theme for 2023 proclaims.
The Gospel at Mass was from St Mark in which Jesus reminds us that “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” This is the call received by Blessed Edmund when he saw the need of the poor and the oppressed on the streets of his own town in Waterford, Ireland more than 200 years ago. As a wealthy businessman, he could afford a life where he could expect people to serve him, but he heard Jesus’s call to serve others. He used his time and resources to reach out to the young and the poor, because he knew that education is liberating. Like Blessed Edmund, we too are called to imitate this example and live lives of selfless love and service to others.
At St Patrick’s College, we have so many opportunities to take up the call of service through SOL Service and Social Justice Service; through our charity partnerships; the Winter Appeal amongst many others. And all of these are important actions of our faith. But we are also called upon to act in the service of each other in our community. Like Blessed Edmund, we are called to allow for our “hearts be broken open for people”.