St Patrick's College Strathfield

Founder’s Day


On Friday 7 June, we celebrated Founder’s Day, one of our most significant community events. Staff, students and special guests joined together in the College gymnasium to celebrate Mass in honour of our founder, Blessed Edmund Rice, focussing on the need for peace and the examples of the Brothers in their pursuit of justice and peace.

The Mass was celebrated by Fr Tom Stevens, Parish Priest of St Patrick’s, Mortlake and our College Chaplain, Fr Jack Evans. The music was impressively led by the choir and orchestra under the direction of Ms Grapé and Dr Taylor, assisted by Mr Freere, with a beautiful rendition of ‘Only Love’ sung by Camilio Chelala (Year 7) during communion. It is on Founder’s Day that we are reminded that our way is the way of Edmund and our focus this year is the EREA touchstone of Liberating Education.

The Gospel at Mass was from St Luke in which Jesus read from the Book of Isaiah in the Temple, proclaiming that “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.” Fr Tom reminded us that this is what Edmund Rice did, responding to the needs of the day, in 18th Century Waterford, Ireland. He then challenged us to see what is needed in our day and consider how we respond to the call from Christ to ‘bring Good news to the poor’. The education Edmund gave the poor boys of Waterford was liberating and led to a movement all around the world to do the same. Today we are part of that legacy; one that requires us to share of our blessings to make life better for others. This is what the Brothers did when they established St Patrick’s College, and what we need to do in our world today. Sadly, there is no shortage of need, but how we respond is the key!

At St Patrick’s College, we have so many opportunities to liberate others; through our call of service in SOL Service and Social Justice Service; through our commitment to justice campaigns that need light shed on them; through our commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education and through our pursuit of living sustainable and authentic lives caring for all of God’s creation – the Earth and its people.  Engagement in a life lived with peace and justice is one that brings liberation for all. Martin Luther King Jr said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” We are called to be the light and show the love! A commitment to this was the core of our celebrations.

Following Mass, we enjoyed a communal lunch and a Founder’s Day Performance hosted by our Year 12 students. Ordinarily our Waterford Mile would take place, however the weather forced its postponement to the following week.