Four Pillars of Dominican Life: Jordan of Saxony Award recipient’s address

The Jordan of Saxony School Spirit Award recognises the Blackfriars student who most aptly demonstrates attitudes and behaviours that promote the Four Pillars of Dominican life – Prayer, Study, Community and Service. It is the pinnacle of all school awards.

Today, we are pleased to share the 2023 Jordan of Saxony recipient Reuben Calleja’s address to the annual Laureate Assembly.

Reuben Calleja addresses the Laureate Assembly.

“I’d like to start by congratulating the Class of 2023 on their achievements last year. All the hard work has finally paid off and I’m proud of what you’ve all been able to achieve, and I’m sure your families, teachers and peers are, too.

“I’d also like to thank Blackfriars for gathering our cohort here today – something we haven’t done since the day we graduated. So, it’s great to see everyone again and I look forward to us all catching up after.

“When I first started at Blackfriars as a Year 8 student back in 2019, one of the first things I was taught were the Four Pillars of Dominican Life – Prayer, Study, Community and Service.

“Back then, I thought this was just something we, as students, had to memorise just in case a teacher decided to test us on it. So, that’s exactly what I did.

“It wasn’t until my senior years, when I could look back on my high school journey, that I realised how much of an impact these pillars actually had on me.”

Reuben Calleja with fellow Class of 2023 graduates.


“Growing up in a Catholic household, prayer was always just something that I did.

“As I progressed through high school, I learned more about my faith through religion classes and my own self-discovery. Prayer quickly became an anchor during times of uneasiness and uncertainty. It gave me a sense of peace and often helped guide me through any challenges that came my way.”


“I used to view studying as just a means to an end – a way to pass exams and achieve the grades I wanted. But, as I delved deeper into my studies and found topics I was interested in, I discovered a passion for learning new things. It sparked a curiosity in me that continues to drive my pursuit of knowledge to this day.”


“On my first day of high school, I didn’t know a single person in my key class. So, I kept to myself because I didn’t want to step outside of my comfort zone.

“However, as I became more involved in school activities and events, I began forming meaningful connections with my peers. I’m grateful to say that these people are now some of my closest friends, and some of my most cherished memories have been made with them.”


“There was a time when I had no intention of applying for a leadership position at all.

“But, over the years, I was fortunate enough to have role models in my life who showed me what it means to be a leader. I found that helping others always left me with a sense of fulfillment and a desire to make an even bigger difference, which encouraged me go for it.”

Students at the 2023 Laureate Assembly.

“So, by the end of my high school journey, this is what the Four Pillars of Dominican life meant to me.

“Now that I’ve graduated, when I hear the word ‘pillar’, it has a slightly different meaning: I picture these massive structures, strong enough to support the weight of entire buildings. They’re made from extremely durable materials so they can stand the test of time, and are strategically placed around to provide utmost stability.

“Obviously, I’m talking about them in a literal sense, but in a metaphorical sense, that’s what the Four Pillars of Dominican Life are. They’re a foundation that we can build the rest of our lives upon. By focusing on prayer, study, community and service, I think we’re all on the right track to becoming well-rounded individuals.

“If there’s one thing I’d like you all to take away from everything I’ve said today, it’s the following …

“The Four Pillars of Dominican Life weren’t designed just to hold us up during our time in at Blackfriars; they’re strong enough to support us for however long we choose. So, lean on them.”

‘School community is with you forever; it is a part of who you are’

As Blackfriars celebrates its 70th anniversary, Director of Development and old scholar Patrick Kelly (BPS’90) spoke with some Year 12 boys about his long-standing connection to the school.


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