Feast of the Assumption of Mary

Today we celebrated the Feast of the Assumption of Mary into heaven. This important day on the 15th of August is celebrated worldwide and invites us to reflect on the wonderful qualities of Mary the mother of Jesus. Fr Peter our celebrant at our mass in our Gymnasium invited us to reflect on the qualities of our own mothers. For me it immediately caused a flood of emotions as I remember my own mother and mother in law who died from cancer and motor neuron disease respectively. In both, I saw courage, deep commitment to their faith, absolute unconditional love for their family, generous of their time, always patient and supportive. Both my mothers are deep in my heart as strong women of faith who made a difference in the lives of many.

Mary, the mother of Jesus is known for these qualities as well as we read in the Gospels. In fact, in the Christian church, Mary is our role model, courageous, faithful to God, trusting and dedicated to the lives of many. On this feast day, we honour Mary as she entered heaven with body and soul to be with her son Jesus. Our message is that at the end of time, we will all be united as faithful people in heaven.

When we gathered in the gymnasium as students and staff from Cardijn and Marcellin, we were also reminded that our patrons, Joseph Cardijn and Marcellin Champagnat dedicated their lives to Mary, the mother of Jesus. The stories of Joseph Cardijn and Marcellin Champagnat intersect on many occasion with common devotion to Mary. So today, we recognised that it is also the patronal Feast day for the Marist community and we pray especially for the gift of the Marist Brothers.

Dr Paul Rijken is principal of Cardijn College, a secondary co-educational school in the southern region of Adelaide with a total of 900 students and 120 staff. Marcellin Technical College is a campus of Cardijn College. It provides students in Years 11 and 12 with SACE, training and apprenticeships. It has an enrolment of over 120 students and 30 staff. Paul has been the principal at Cardijn College since 2005. He has a Ph.D. from Curtin University in Science and Mathematics Education. He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educational Leaders.

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