A father asked his son whether he would join him on a trip to visit a village in a very poor country area. The son was keen to join his father to learn as much as he could. They set out for the village and met a beautiful family who welcomed them and took them in for a week. On their way home from their trip to the village the father asked the son what he had learnt from the experience. The son replied that at home he had 1 dog and the family from the village had 4 dogs, at home he had a large swimming pool and at the village the family had a river, at home he said we bought groceries and vegetables and at the village the family grew their own food. At home he said we enjoyed electricity to power our lights and devices and at the village they enjoyed the stars. The father said so what did you conclude from that and the son replied that he realised how poor he was.

The moral of this story is about what we mean by poverty. In this case the son realised that poverty is not about economic wealth or possessions or physical circumstances but rather a context of life and what you make of it. What is important are the values that are implicit in the circumstance. Simplicity of life, love of work, family values, presence to people, humility in circumstance, modesty in our lives, these are foundational in being Marist and living life which is rich and full. The perfect example of the family in the village.

Over the last week we enjoyed the Art show, the Music night and the Sports presentation, highlighting the amazing talents and gifts of our students, the dedicated staff and their commitment to provide these extensive opportunities for our students and the gratitude shown by our students for being part of life at Cardijn.

We are indeed rich in our lives and grateful for our Cardijn community.

Dr Paul Rijken is principal of Cardijn College, an R-12 co-educational Catholic school in the Marist tradition, deeply inspired by the method of College patron Joseph Cardijn with a foundation built on the three pillars of his teachings; to See, Judge and Act. Educating and inspiring students in the beautiful Southern Vales region of Adelaide since 1984, Cardijn has grown to encompass three schools, each with distinct offerings. Cardijn College Galilee at Aldinga offers Reception to Year 7, expanding to include Year 8 in 2022 and Year 9 in 2023. Cardijn College at Noarlunga Downs offers Years 7-12 and is renowned for academic excellence and a vibrant extra-curricular program. Cardijn College Marcellin at Christie Downs provides a wide variety of vocational education and training opportunities for students in Years 10 – 12 and beyond, with relationships that extend well into their careers. With a current enrolment of 1750 students and 240 staff, Cardijn College is an institution which strives to be a beacon of faith in the community, with students who have enormous influence and impact on both a local and global level. 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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