From the Headmaster

Dear Members of the Marist College Ashgrove Family,


Viriliter Age – Act Courageously


At the start of this term, I completed the exit interviews with the Year 12 boys.  Their overwhelming response to my question about what they have enjoyed about being a student here at Marist College Ashgrove is in terms of friendships. “Mates, The Boys, the Brotherhood”. Since 2009 I have heard it more than two thousand times!  You see this sense of friendship across the ages with our Old Boys … it’s significant, it matters, it’s something to be proud of and envious of!


Six anecdotal thoughts about friends:

  • Without friends no-one would choose to live, though they had all other goods.  Aristotle
  • If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself alone.  A man should keep his friendships in constant repair.  Samuel Johnson
  • Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.  Marcel Proust
  • A friend is someone who will act against his own interests to protect yours.  Gareth Redenbach
  • The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.  Ralph Waldo Emeerson
  • Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends leave footprints in your heart. Eleanor Roosevelt

The Gospels advocate for the absolute importance of friendship:  Jesus (Matthew 22:34-40) highlighted the importance of love of neighbour as the second greatest commandment after love of God.


The esteem at which friendship should be held is perhaps best stated by Jesus in John 15:13

“Greater love has no one than this; that a person would lay down their life for the sake of their friends”.

In his book ‘Resilience’, former US Navy Seal Eric Greitens writes,

“Few things in life shape you more than the people around you, and few choices are more important than deciding who you’ll be with.  Be with the people who are the way you want to be.  If you want to be excellent, be around people who pursue excellence.  If you want to be happy, be around people who are happy.  If you are around resilient people, you’re far more likely to be resilient yourself.” pg 208.

Some advice worthy of our consideration.  I hope that you all have friends who leave footprints in your heart!


Let’s all take friendship seriously.


Yours in Jesus, Mary and St Marcellin.

Peter McLoughlin