All Saints

On this, the Solemnity of All Saints, and looking forward to the Feast of All Souls tomorrow, I attempt to edit the part of my chapter on musical silence in modern music in light of the essential finitude of human bodily existence.

Today, All Saints, the Catholic Church recognises the canon of saints. The importance of this feast to practising Catholics was evident in the turnout (amongst staff at least) for Mass this morning. The day marks the significance of the ‘communion of saints’, with whom the earthly world of the Church remains in communion, according to Catholic teaching, hence, praying to Saints for intercession. I like the fact that our school nickname is ‘Saints’ – though we do obviously give priority to those saints whose values and charism we follow.

Having just been treated to an Identity and Mission conference in Brisbane last week, it caused me to reflect on the narratives we tell in school about the lives of the saints that are an important part of the culture and identity: St Augustine and St Marcellin Champagnat. Marist Father Gerald Arbuckle spoke via recorded video of the importance of telling stories to inspiring and retaining culture. Our school motto is one of St Augustine’s famous sayings ‘Tolle Lege’ – take up and read. I certainly aspire to that one! The Marist culture is rubbing off on me – and I now know many of the stories of Marcellin! More importantly though, I aspire to follow his teaching ethos: to teach children, we must “love them, and love them all equally.” That gives us pause to think each day as teachers.

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