Year 7 students have been presented with candles to mark the start of their Secondary School journeys and welcome them to their Houses.
The students, House leaders, family and friends today gathered in Blackfriars’ Chapel of St Albert for the Rite of Welcome, which included the presentation of the House candles to each of the boys.
Addressing the gathering, Assistant Principal: Religious Identity and Mission (APRIM) Angela Collins said the Year 7 Rite of Welcome, the first hosted by Blackfriars, was important to acknowledge and celebrate a significant “moment of change”.
“The opening prayer referenced you becoming men of honour when you leave here, and that certainly is our hope,” Ms Collins said. “But your graduation is still a significant way off. It’s about five and ¾ years or, until that last day of lessons, it is 2050 days. That is a lot of time to learn, make connections, have fun, be resilient through difficult times and work out what really matters to you.”
Ms Collins also issued a call for kindness – in word and deed.
“While you are here at Blackfriars, I hope you experience kindness. And that through that experience, you come to believe in – if you don’t already – the importance of being kind. So much so … that you commit to being kind even when it is a challenge. After all, how can a man of honour be anything but kind?
“We hope that in your experience of kindness at Blackfriars, you find that here is where you belong. Where you find human connection. Where you are welcomed into a space where you will journey to discover the amazing human you have the potential to be. For it is in being our best selves that we bring light to the world.”
The House captains then spoke about each of the eight Secondary Houses – Aquinas, Burke, Denifle, De Vitoria, Horten, Jarrett, Lacordaire and Lagrange – before presenting each of the Year 7 students with a candle, blessed by school Chaplain Father Peter Nguyen OP.
Principal David Ruggiero said it was important to celebrate the boys’ “next phase of education”.
“Boys, welcome to your home, your place of safety within your House,” Mr Ruggiero said. “Take those candles and put them in a significant spot at home to remind you that you are part of somewhere special.”