Dean of Identity | Mr Charles Brauer
Thanksgiving for our mums
Who truly started our Edmund Rice tradition? Was it Edmund Rice of Waterford, Ireland, the man who was on a mission to educate and liberate marginalised young men? Some would argue that it wasn’t this man, nor any man. Some would say it was women who catalysed Ricean education. To be more specific, some would say it was mothers.
Without a doubt, an Edmund Rice education is deeply grounded and enlivened by the Gospel of Jesus. However, truly appreciating the heart of Ricean education, a particular expression of Catholicity, draws us towards the women in Edmund Rice’s life.
Two women, both mothers, were central to inspiring Edmund Rice to commit his life to the education of the poor and marginalised. His mother modelled ‘walking the talk’ of the Gospel with welcoming strangers into the Rice household without condition or judgment. It is no coincidence that our network of EREA embrace inclusion and dignity when supporting members of our school communities. Through reaching out to those new to our community, supporting fellow families who are coping with loss or illness or by listening to another who is struggling to cope, we are no longer strangers to each other.
Edmund’s wife, the mother of his daughter, opened his eyes to social justice and social liberation. The love for his wife, and the pain of her death, drew Edmund into the heart of the marginalised working class of Ireland, where humility was the bright light of humanity. The love of his daughter reaffirmed for Edmund his call to commit his life to be an advocate for a just education for young people so they may be liberated from social constraints and boundaries.
Just as this was the case with Edmund Rice, each of our Terracians are blessed with mothers, grandmothers and carers who are their source of support, encouragement and inspiration. These wonderful women guide and nurture our young men with knowing and understanding the importance of caring for others and the power of unconditional love.
Mother’s Day this weekend is a timely occasion for each of us to acknowledge and affirm the place our mums, grandmothers and carers have in our hearts. I wish all our Terrace mums, grandmothers and carers a very happy Mother's Day, and I hope the weekend allows you and your family to share some special time together.