Tena Koutou Katoa
I have just returned from the Catholic secondary principal’s conference in Wellington. This is probably the most useful professional group I belong to because all of our discussions in relation are underpinned with the Catholic ethos. This conference was particularly challenging this year as we discussed at length the place of Catholic faith in society and the role that we must play as Catholic schools in the development of the young people of our communities. A major point of discussion was, that as Catholic schools we are delivering a great academic and well rounded education (often as a direct result of our Catholic values) but the purpose of Catholic schools is to develop students in their faith and spirituality. The challenge comes in the question; are we doing enough to develop our students faith and spirituality? We were addressed by Bishop Charles Drennan who asked the question of us, In this modern society where is the discussion of Jesus?. We often speak of our Catholic character but were challenged by this question. We were also challenged in our thinking in relation to the value that Catholics put on faith development the fact that as school communities that we are working with families that are increasing less connected to the Church. It is easy for us to get distracted from the value of Catholic education with so many competing factors within schools. I think that we can and should be proud that at Verdon College we offer an education that is unique in Invercargill. I believe, in an increasingly secular society, that it is more important not less that we continue to develop the spirituality, faith and understanding of the example of Jesus in a more tangible manner without fear of the negative opinions of others. This confidence in who we are as Catholic is something that I know will serve our students well in their future.
I had the pleasure of attending the Bishop's Shield Competition in Dunedin last weekend. Our students represented the College in an outstanding manner. I am always so proud of the way our students represent the College and convey to the wider community just what Verdon is about. I had significant feedback from other principals and staff of Kavanagh College on just how much our students contributed to the event. I would like to congratulate all the students involved, along with the staff that supported these students leading up to this event, for the outstanding work that they achieved.