A Word From The Principal – 13 September 2022

Dear Parents and Carers,

Over the past month our Secondary students have been preparing for their interhouse drama competition. The theme of the competition is the adventures of St Paul. The students have written their own scripts based on various chapters of St Paul’s life from the Acts of the Apostles. The drama competition will take place in the College Hall starting 12:45pm. All parents and friends of the College are welcome to attend, but we ask you to please sign at the College Reception as per usual before proceeding to the College Hall.

This week we celebrate two important holy days, namely the feast of the Holy Cross, 14th September and also the feast of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady 15th September.  Both feasts speak of the cross and suffering as the royal road to greatness. Palma sub onere crescit is an ancient saying found on many royal coats of arms. It translates to “If we put a weight on a palm tree, it grows all the better under the weight.” I do not know if this ancient belief is true, but I know that a strong person will not break under trials but by the grace of God, uses them as steps on the ascent. Here’s a classic example from antiquity: Julius Caesar (100-44 B.C.) landed in Africa. Stepping out of the boat, he stumbled and fell to the ground. His superstitious entourage see a “bad omen” in it. Caesar keeps his presence of mind and makes the most of the situation by crying: “Amplector te, Africa!  Africa, I embrace you!”  He turned his fall into success.

Struggle and deprivation is not merely “trouble,” but a source of heroic virtues. As the wise saying goes, “In every crisis there is an opportunity.” Students too often only see the crisis. It takes a wise parent, teacher or mentor to show them where the opportunity lies.

Dear parents, don’t be afraid of imposing high expectations on your children. If there is no trial, there is no perseverance. If there are no mistakes made there will be few lessons well learnt. Whoever fights becomes stronger. Fr Toth wrote beautifully on page 58 of his book ‘The Young Man of Character” by Tihamér Tóth (Goodreads): “Dante wrote his great work, Divina Commedia, in exile, in virtual poverty. Schiller wrote his most dramas while painfully ill.  Mozart finished his Requiem in painful illness. It would not be good for a river if all the fish eggs turned into full grown fish; it would not be good for the garden if every flower turned into a fruit; and it is not good for a student to succeed in everything he or she starts. Lack of success teaches humility, whereas success makes one proud. Man can survive everything except continual well-being: ‘Everything in the world can be endured except a long period of good days.’ (Goeth) Because ease breeds disease!”

I wish you all the blessings of the Feast of the Holy Cross, 14th September and also the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady on 15th September.

Sincerely yours in the Two Hearts,

Father Andrew Cranshaw