Feast of St Eugene de Mazenod at the College
On Wednesday we celebrated the Feast of St Eugene de Mazenod with a whole College Mass in the gymnasium. This week, our Oblate schools across Australia, Mazenod Victoria, Iona College Brisbane, ourselves and associate school, St Eugene’s College in Brisbane have celebrated St Eugene. Our College is based on the charism of de Mazenod and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and it is important we strongly connect with the legacy story and lived faith of Eugene.
Eugene de Mazenod as a Young Priest
Like many young adults, de Mazenod had some profound choices put before him. When he finally decided it was safe to return to Provence following the French Revolution, he had decided to marry back into money and revive the family fortunes. Thus, he could play out his proper role in society as a person of position.
But God had other plans!
Eugene felt a deep sense of dissatisfaction pursuing his worldly ambition – that restlessness that has led many, before and since, to the brink of a decision. For de Mazenod, it brought him on Good Friday, 1807, to the foot of a crucifix, where he was overwhelmed by Jesus’ love and self-sacrifice. This was the moment that changed his life. The following year, he entered the seminary of St. Sulpice, in Paris, and he had a very clear ideal: he would be the servant and priest of the poor, to restore the Church so ravaged by the revolution…
When Eugene was ordained to the priesthood in 1811, his Bishop was faced with the dilemma of what to do with this young aristocrat, “so personal and impetuous”. He was somewhat relieved when Eugene asked to work with the poor and abandoned of the cities and outlying villages. The young Father de Mazenod also turned his efforts towards youth, founding an association of some 300 who were to share in his mission to the poor, which included an outreach to prisoners, casualties of the Napoleonic wars and a typhus plague.
The language of the Church was French. The language of the poor was a dialect known as Provencal. With a daring and courage characteristic of his whole missionary life, Fr de Mazenod preached special sermons to the poor in Provencal – for he believed passionately that the Gospel must be preached in the language of the ordinary people. Eavesdropping on one of his sermons on early Lenten morning, to a congregation of farm labourers, servants, peasants and paupers, we would have heard him say:
“You poor, what are you in the eyes of the world?..The world looks upon you as the scum of humanity, intolerable to look at … beyond pity or contempt.. Come then and learn what you are in the eyes of God!
All you poor of Jesus Christ, you afflicted, unfortunate, suffering, infirm, diseased.. You are the children of God, the brother of Jesus Christ, co-heirs of His Kingdom,.. You are a holy people, You are Kings, you are Priests, in a sense you are Gods,.. God alone is worthy of your Soul”.
By 1815, Eugene realised his overwhelming ambition to serve would not be accomplished, unless he drew others to his cause, to share a common life, and be united by religious vows. On January 26, 1816, Fr de Mazenod and four friends dedicated their lives to bringing the Good News to the Poor in this way. Their new group was approved by Pope Leo XII on February 17th 1826, and took the name of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
In this, the 125th anniversary of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Australia, we give thanks to God for St Eugene de Mazenod and the Oblates.
Cebula Boarding on Show
To round-off a week of celebrating boarding through National Boarding Week, several Year 7 to 9 boarders were invited to the Catholic Education Office with St Brigid’s students to present their experiences of our TransitUs boarding transition program. This was a joint venture by Catholic Education WA with Mazenod and St Brigid’s colleges, and the Executive Team of Catholic Education were keen to hear the experiences, through the program, of young students settling into boarding in Year 7 and the role played by their ‘buddies’ in Year 8 and 9.
Inter House Athletics Carnival
Today, we held the carnival and we were blessed with magnificent weather. The move from Term 3 to Term 2 seems to have paid-off! The Mazenod College Athletics Championship Shield was hotly contested all day by the 6 houses and it is always the students who make these carnivals through their willingness to participate, encourage others, show house spirit and great sportsmanship. Thank you to Mr Tim Grabski, Head of Physical Education and Health, and Mr Chris Mason (02) for their outstanding organisation and running of the event. The work of our grounds staff enabled a really special event in our calendar to be run to such a high standard. Thank you to all!
The final standings are:
- Gavin 3,799
- Albini 3,666
- Grandin 3,212
- Cebula 3,161
- Gerard 3,075
- Tempier 2,873
Wellbeing of Students and Community
From time to time it is important to remind ourselves of the commitment we share as a community in providing a safe environment for all students. The spiritual, moral, emotional and physical wellbeing of Mazenod College students and their families is our highest priority and we remain dedicated to ensuring our students are, and remain, respectful members of the community.
Mazenod College has strict policies in place in relation to the standards of behaviour expected of students and the prohibited use of alcohol and illegal drugs.
Enjoy the week ahead.
“I looked for happiness outside of God and, to my sorrow, looked there for too long.”
– St Eugene de Mazenod