Finding just the right words to name and claim one’s identity and articulate who one professes to be, while simultaneously on the path of becoming, requires a process of deep listening that opens the door for personal and communal transformation.
This was the process the Good Samaritan Education’s (GSE) school principals called the community to earlier this year. This time of discernment resulted in the recent launch of a new statement during its November Assembly to complement and stand beside GSE’s other core documents.
The Good Samaritan Education: Schools of Welcome statement reflects the core values of the Good Samaritan Benedictine tradition, which challenge and inspire every aspect of GSE’s mission and ministry.
In its new statement, GSE honours the messy and transformational space of Benedictine hospitality that welcomes all, receiving all as Christ (RB 53.1), as we continue together on the path of being and becoming what we claim.
During the launch, the GSE community reflected on how the document captured, celebrated and challenged them to examine what it means to risk love and to embrace all, even amidst the painful reality that some will be uncomfortable with our expansive invitation and may choose to exclude themselves.
The GSE community, gathered in Glebe for the Assembly, launched the statement with great joy and was grateful for this new nuanced expression of what it means to be a Good Samaritan Education school.
Good Samaritan Education: Schools of Welcome
‘When our hearts are authentically open to universal communion, this sense of fraternity excludes nothing and no one.’ (Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ #92)
As a community of faith, Good Samaritan Education understands that the universe is graced and all creation is inherently dignified and worthy of reverence. We are all enriched and strengthened in our diversity. We strive to become more fully human – to grow together, be more kind, more just, more flexible and more integrated. (Joan Chittister, For Everything a Season).
We are educational communities of welcome, inviting all into communion with God and with one another. We cherish all people and stand humbly in solidarity with those who have been excluded or are vulnerable, especially First Nations Australians, people of all genders and sexualities, people with disabilities, refugees, and those from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
We share a vision of Catholic Education that is impelled by the parable of the Good Samaritan, guided by the Rule of Benedict and inspired by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan.
Seeking God together is the foundation of the Benedictine charism. In our schools, we constantly strive to include everyone, listen to everyone, and respect the dignity of all. We grow communities that challenge and nurture – so arranged that the strong have something to yearn for and the weak have nothing to run from (RB 64:19).
The legacy of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan is one of radical inclusivity and of service without borders. With the mission of the Sisters as our inspiration, we aim to serve our communities with open hearts, recognising Christ in all.
The parable of the Good Samaritan impels us to reach out and honour the humanity of all. It shows us how a community can be rebuilt by men and women who identify with the vulnerability of others, who reject the creation of a society of exclusion, and act instead as neighbours (Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti #67). Service is at the heart of who we are. We commit to work tirelessly to include, lift and honour all in a spirit of service and responsiveness. We aim to embrace the needs of all in a spirit of care and closeness. In the person whose voice is not heard and whose needs are ignored, we see Christ.
Good Samaritan Education: Schools of Welcome 2022 can be viewed online.
This article was published in the November 2022 edition of The Good Oil.