Edmund Rice Education Australia Touchstone
As an Edmund Rice Community we acknowledge the services and contribution of the Christian Brothers and the inspiration, they have provided us celebrating their own sacred story and their call to mission.
It is with great sadness that I share with the St Edward’s community the passing of Br Anthony Denis Cusack aged 91, on Tuesday April 23. Br Denis joined St Edward’s in 1993 and has served the Gosford community tirelessly in an administration support role until December 2018. Br Denis joined the Christian Brothers as a Juniorate in 1942, at the age of fourteen and became a Novitiate in 1945 at just seventeen years of age. Br Denis’ mission saw him work at thirteen different Christian Brothers Ministries prior to joining us at St Edward’s. We were fortunate to celebrate with Br Denis the milestone of seventy years as a Christian Brother during his time with us at the College.
Br Denis was a kind, gentle, compassionate and spiritual man, who was selfless in his devotion to the Christian Brothers. He maintained a great intellect and remained a life-long learner. He provided great assistance to the College particularly in the area of computing where he would spend a great deal of time learning how to program computer applications and assisting staff, right up until the time he finished working at the College at the age of ninety. At the start of 2019, he discontinued his work at the College due to health reasons, however, remained in the Brothers residence on site until recently when he moved to a care facility in Sydney.
A memorial service was held at Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney on Thursday May 2, where the College was appropriately represented.
Br Denis will be sadly missed. His sense of humour, his commitment to the College and the clear connection that he created for the College with the Christian Brothers has been lost forever. I ask that you keep Br Denis’ family, his colleague Christian Brothers and members of our own community in your prayers.
We have lost a truly great man.
Eternal rest grant to him O lord and may perpetual light shine upon him and may he rest in peace. Amen
As an Edmund Rice Community, we invite people into the story of Jesus and strive to make his message of compassion, justice and peace a living reality within our community.
On Friday April 12, the St Edward’s and St Joseph’s communities joined in celebration in the lead up to Easter and the Holy Week through a wonderfully powerful liturgy. The talent of students from both Colleges was on display in the retelling of the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection through song, dance, music and prayer. Whilst there were many highlights throughout this liturgy, special mention must be made of Ashleigh Palupe a Year 11 student at St Edward’s. Ashleigh composed and performed a contemporary poem, highlighting his personal deep faith and commitment to the story of Jesus. Ashleigh captivated all assembled and he is a true inspiration for both staff and students. Ashleigh’s performance can be viewed through the link below.
The impact of bullying on adolescent mental health can never be underestimated. A range of proactive strategies continue to be employed at the College to reduce and manage bullying incidents. A key strategy employed at St Edward’s in the creation of a safe school environment is the conducting of online bullying surveys. Students in Years 7 to 10 have completed anonymous surveys at the end of Term 1. These surveys allow them to identify students that are being bullied as well as students that are the perpetrators of bullying. The data collected from these surveys is dealt with confidentially by the Pastoral team. The surveys provide us with invaluable information allowing us to counsel students that are identified by their peers as being victims of bullying. Importantly these surveys allow us to work with students and families of boys who are identified as bullies, providing them with advice on how to improve with a clear message that their behaviours are unacceptable. These surveys will be conducted again later in the year to monitor progress made.
We encourage parents to engage in conversations with their sons on the topic of bullying. Unfortunately, because of the surreptitious manner in which bullying sometimes takes place it can go unnoticed. Cyber-bullying can have a devastating effect on young people and parents are encouraged to be vigilant and actively talk with their sons about the use of social media. Parents are encouraged to inform the College of any concerns that they may have about their own son or students that their son may be concerned about. Information can be provided to the College in a range of ways including direct contact with Mr English the Director of Pastoral Care, your son’s Pastoral Leader or anonymously via the electronic bully box on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founder’s Day Mass
Father Greg, from the St Patrick’s Parish, joined us on Friday 3 May to celebrate the Eucharist in commemoration of Blessed Edmund Rice Founder’s Day. At this celebration, we acknowledged that we are very fortunate to be members of a wonderfully supportive and caring community. A community that promotes the touchstones of inclusivity, justice and solidarity. These touchstones draw on the Gospel values, which guided our founder, Blessed Edmund Rice to give up all he had in the pursuit of providing a liberating education and care to serve those at the margins in Waterford, Ireland. The readings and Gospel at Mass challenge us to reflect deeply on the notion of service to others.
Founder’s Day is a special day for the Christian Brothers. These men have devoted their lives to the service and education of young men and have laid the platform for the work that lay staff continue to do in Edmund Rice Schools across the country. These caring, professional and committed people have significantly contributed to the rich fabric and flourishing culture of St Edward’s and to them we are truly indebted. Part of this service was devoted to the celebration and commemoration of the life of Br Anthony Denis Cusack.
Students are encouraged to continue to challenge themselves to be the best that they can be in living up to the values that we hold so deeply at St Edward’s, the values of service, compassion, inclusivity, peace, justice and solidarity with those at the margins. For it is being strong and steadfast in the pursuit of these values that we remain true to the rich traditions of our founder Blessed Edmund Rice and the many Christian Brothers, staff and students that have gone before us.