The culture of a school is hard to define in a statement. The culture of a school shapes expectations and the living out of a school’s values as well as the expectations students create for themselves and others. A good culture breeds success and becomes self-sustaining. There is a wonderful culture at St Peter’s at present and this was very evident at our celebration Mass on Wednesday and during the Eisteddfod. The quality of performances was outstanding and the attitude of the audience was every bit as good. Students confidently took to the stage in front of their peers (not an easy thing to do!) and worked hard at producing a quality performance while they were supported and encouraged by the students around them. As Principal, I felt very proud of every one of them.
I believe that tradition shapes culture, and the presence of Fr Michael Hill (Principal 1974 – 1979), Fr Aidan Cunningham (long serving English teacher and supporter of St Peter’s College), and Sr Maria Goretti (representing the Sisters of Mercy), at the Eisteddfod eliminations on Wednesday, certainly reminded us of the tradition and history behind the Eisteddfod. The numerous Eisteddfod shields, one for every category and hanging to the right of the office entrance, have winners’ names inscribed, beginning in 1969 which was the year of the school’s opening. Fr Hill and Fr Cunningham told us this week that the Eisteddfod was the brainchild of the Sisters of Mercy. Many of us remember how passionate the Mercy Order was about the performing arts, and their piano and singing tuition was part of many Catholic children’s lives throughout the country. Their desire at St Peter’s College was to have a competition that would foster the performing arts and build community. And so, we thank them this week for their foresight as we see the outcomes of tradition shaping culture within our college.
Make sure you get your tickets for the ‘Final Night Concert’ at the SBS St James Theatre on Thursday night. The quality and enthusiasm of the performances is excellent – don’t miss out.
We were very pleased to welcome Bishop Michael Dooley into our college on Wednesday morning to firstly lead some professional development for the staff and then celebrate our Feast Day Mass with the school community. Bishop Michael said to me he was very impressed with the prayerful atmosphere at the College Feast Day Mass, and he enjoyed returning to the college after the Mass to watch the Eisteddfod with us.
Have a wonderful weekend and I hope to see many of you on Thursday evening.