Good morning students and staff
Today is about coming together to deepen your understanding of what can be achieved this year through imaging a better 2020, and then working together on shared goals; what we also call collaborating.
I wish you all a day of laughter, energy and productivity. I wish you a day of clarity; of dreaming up some brilliant ideas for leaving your mark, for making St Francis Xavier College a better place by the last day of this year than it is today. I wish you a day which makes you more confident that you can make a difference because you are not alone in your leadership role.
I wish you a day which helps you have a better understanding of what it means to be a leader, a servant leader as Jesus modeled for us all.
So, congratulations on making yourself available for leadership this year. It is easy to sit back and leave the work to others. You haven’t done that.
Congratulations on being chosen by your peers to lead them. They have seen something in you.
And finally, congratulations and thank you to all who participated in the process for determining our College theme for this year. You have given us such a blessing by finding such a powerful gathering point for our coming together around an idea that has such a rich capacity. A rich capacity to build:
The founder of the Sisters of St Brigid was an Irish cleric called Daniel Delany. He wanted his followers to see the value of doing the ordinary things of life extraordinarily well. It is what I ask of you. To try each day knowing that this is the path to eventually maybe even doing extraordinary things. But we start with the everyday.
As student leaders you have each accepted the invitation to be people for your peers. As leaders within St Francis Xavier College, you have accepted the invitation to be the ones who show what it means to imitate Jesus in your living. The ones who embrace Positive Learning Partnerships in your classes; showing unconditional respect, interact with others in a calm and just manner and face challenges together with optimism. To imitate the Jesus who was kind, forgiving, inclusive and accepting. Who was truly human and understood his own emotions. And expressed them.
As student leaders you have invited everyone else to take their lead from you on what it means to be an active and engaged student of St Francis Xavier College. This can sound scary. It doesn’t need to be. The pass mark isn’t perfection. It is just about being the best version of yourself as often as you can. It is about being authentic, about being yourself.
And if we can all do that, then our combined impact will be amazing.
Growing St Francis Xavier College into a better place and a better school for you, it’s brilliant young people, is my deep passion. It is what gets me up in the morning, what puts a smile on my face and what keeps me moving forward through challenges and successes alike.
I am so grateful that you are saying that you too will be joining in this work by your presence today.
May our work be blessed. May we all be the hands and heart of God in 2020.
Vincent J Feeney