A blessed and joyous Feast Day to all members of the Dominican Family!
May Dominic de Guzman
Son of Jane and Felix
Brother of Mannes and Anthony
Visionary and seeker of truth
Man of contemplation and truth
Founder of the Order of Preachers
Patron Saint of Astronomy
Help us to dream a better world
And for all the students in our care at Santa Sabina College, the message of Father Bruno, Master of the Dominican Order, in one of his talks to young people is brief but powerful. He asked them to be thinking and joyous….
On occasions such as St Dominic’s Day (official feast day of St Dominic in Australia is August 3), we have a particular opportunity to communicate these words of hope. Both thinking and joy have been in evidence since the beginning of the term. Blessed as we were with beautiful weather last Friday, we joined in prayer, song and dramatic expression to celebrate St Dominic’s day. The theme of our ‘800’ liturgy inspired us to reflect on the signs of our times, and to live as people of faith committed to the gospel values of justice, mercy and love. And our ‘800’ has provided a unique opportunity to share in word and deed the way those gospel values are at the essence of the Dominican charism. In the Jubilee ‘Journey’ Concert held in the first week of term we witnessed the joy and beauty of the Dominican ideal as it was portrayed through the musical journey of the Dominicans around the globe.
Moreover, we have been reminded that we are part of a global community of Dominicans that have lived that commitment for 800 years – at times and in places including for the Sisters in Iraq today – at great risk to personal safety.
At the recent World Youth Day Pilgrimage in Krakow, Pope Francis inspired and challenged young people to not confuse happiness with the comfort of a good sofa that promises hours of escape in front of a screen. Instead, he urged that:
‘The times we live in do not call for young “couch potatoes” but for young people with shoes, or better, boots laced. It only takes players on the first string, and it has no room for bench-warmers. Today’s world demands that you be a protagonist of history because life is always beautiful when we choose to live it fully, when we choose to leave a mark. History today calls us to defend our dignity and not to let others decide on our future. We have to decide on our future. You have to decide on your future.’
He asked that we all have the courage to be bridge builders in a world that seems focused on building walls and division, and reminded us that ‘Jesus is the Lord of risk, of the eternal “more”. Jesus is not the Lord of comfort, security and ease. Following Jesus demands a good dose of courage, a readiness to trade in the sofa for a pair of walking shoes and to set out on new and unchartered paths.’
As a Catholic Dominican school, we have a particular commitment to education that takes students on such ‘unchartered paths’, to engage with those who think differently, and to do so with respect. This will be challenging and at times counter cultural, given the fear and mistrust of cultural and religious differences we witness in everyday life. As parents and teachers we need to nurture and honour the dreams our children have for a better world, and to help them build the bridges needed to achieve it.