This year marks the 180th year in which the school community known as St Patrick’s has delivered quality education to many generations in the Campbelltown area in New South Wales.
When the Irish settlers established St Patrick’s in 1840, they knew they were investing in the future of their children, their community and the fledgling colony that would grow into a nation. With every investment there has been a delicate balance of risk and gain. For the pioneers, the risks and hardships outweighed the gains they envisioned for the future.
In 1887, the Sisters of the Good Samaritan of the Order of St Benedict took responsibility for St Patrick’s. Establishing themselves in Old St John’s on the Hill, they embarked on a path that the college has continued along to this day. They took the extraordinary step to invest in the education of the girls.
They provided girls with opportunities to think critically and offered experiences that would broaden their horizons. They have left an indelible legacy. Strong, wise women mentoring and nurturing the development of girls, forming them into compassionate, competent and well-educated young women.
St Patrick’s College has continued this legacy and the celebration of the 180th anniversary reflects the college’s maturation since that time. St Patrick’s students are girls of passion and determination, robust in their endeavours and resilient in their development.
They are the young women our wider community needs in the 21st century and the Sisters would be pleased with the way the girls continue to live out the Benedictine values that are central to the daily life of the college community.
St Patrick’s graduates take with them into the world a strong and practical sense of social justice, with the desire to make the world a better place. Indicative of this is the respect the girls show to our nation’s first peoples and their participation in bringing about genuine reconciliation.
It is fitting that throughout the 2020 school year, the St Patrick’s community will be focusing on the Benedictine values of pax through the lens of stability and justice. In particular, a focus on stability in an anniversary year is most apt. stability is about solid foundations. Stability is about holding steadfastly to what is right and true and good. Stability is that which anchors a community to the things that last.
For the St Patrick’s College community, the celebration of its 180th year is a celebration of all that is enduring, true, and good. May the patronage of St Patrick and the grace of the Holy Spirit continue to bless the St Patrick’s College community.