Year 12 Graduation 2021

On Saturday evening we were able to celebrate the graduation of our Year 12 students; both VCAL and VCE alike. After two years of unprecedented interruptions to their studies, this wonderful group of young people have risen above to successfully complete their studies. 

In my closing remarks on the evening, I reflected on our desire as a school to see that, through our Christ-centred schooling and learning experiences, our students ‘actively live for God in His world’…

What does it mean to ‘actively live for God in His world’?

Does actively living for God, mean that you are expected to live a life such as that of Mother Theresa? To become a saint? Are we proposing that you need to sell all of your belongings, move to a developing nation and become a missionary? 

Whilst this would be wonderful, if that is what you were feeling called by God to do, this is not what we mean by ‘actively living for God in His world’. 

Rather, we desire that you are becoming someone who discovers their deepest potential and happiness in knowing God, loving people and serving the needs of the world.

His world. Right here. Where you are.

It is the daily grind, the monotonous tasks of your day, your work, your studies, your family life…

Let me tell you about Solanus Casey. Born in Wisconsin in the late 19th Century, Solanus was one of 16 children. He was a less than average student and spent years of his life experiencing academic failure and career confusion. He failed school and pretty much had no idea what he wanted to do with his life. 

He ended up working as a lumberjack, handyman, prison guard and finally a bus conductor. 

Feeling that there was still more to life, he eventually tried to enter a monastery, but with classes in German and textbooks in Latin, he bombed out again and was sent home. 

Next, he approached the Franciscan Order and after ten years of failing exams and trying again and again he was allowed to become a ‘simple priest’ which meant he was seen as so unspectacular he was only allowed to do the most basic tasks. In fact, he was so unimpressive, that his superiors felt he was only suited to one task: being a doorkeeper. His job was to open the door of the monastery when people rang the bell and welcome them. 

And that’s what he did. Day after day. For 21 years!

But… He did it with such amazing joy, patience, and grace that he made people feel incredibly valued; he was able to take the time to listen to the needs of visitors he welcomed through the doors. 

As time passed Salanus also began to experience the ability to have insights into people’s needs and when he prayed for people, those prayers seemed to get answered, and often in miraculous and surprising ways. 

Solanus Casey was so important and impacted so many lives not because he raised the dead, started a church movement, healed lepers or fed the poor. He just opened the door for people. For 21 years. But he did it with the love of God, and it changed people.

So don’t fall into the trap of believing that you can only change the world or ‘actively live for God’ by being part of some great historical event or movement. 

Rather, it is the hidden and simple tasks of right now, and doing them with joy and love, that can create real change. 

That is; Actively living. For God. In His world. 

Don’t focus too much on ‘what do I want to be when I grow up?’. Instead, focus on ‘Who do I want to be?’ and more importantly, ‘Who do I want to serve?’

If we are worth anything,
it is not because we have more money
or more talent
or more human qualities.

Insofar as we are worth anything,
it is because we are grafted onto Christ’s life,
to his cross and resurrection.
That is a person’s measure.
(Oscar Romero)