You may have noticed if you have passed the College in recent times there are three flag poles flying; the Australian, Aboriginal and College flags. These flags have taken pride of place at the foot of the Benedictine Centre symbolically representing parts of our Aboriginal, Australian and Santa Maria College story. As presented to our community at the Reconciliation Week ceremony last Tuesday these flags are identified with their own story and legacy but also share connection and relevance for each of us as we pass these poles each day as described below:
The Aboriginal Flag
The Book of Genesis from Hebrew Scriptures (often known as the Old Testament) writes about the importance of caring for our earth. It calls each of us to be co-creatures of all living things.
Our Aboriginal sisters and brothers are great examples of being stewards of the earth for at least 40,000 years here in Australia. They have taught us how to respect, nurture and care for all living things.
May our Aboriginal flag remind us of the original owners of our land and ignite in us a spirit of care and responsibility for our environment.
St Benedict, born in the 6th century in Italy has taught the world so much about how to live in relationship with people. His Rule based on the message of the Gospels in the New Testament inspires us to be people of compassion. His rule asks us to be a community who listens with the ear of our hearts.
For us at Santa Maria, the journey of John Bede Polding from England, soon to become the Archbishop of Sydney who lived his life in the footsteps of St Benedict is a significant migrant. For it is Archbishop Polding’s vision and Sr Scholastica Gibbons leadership that instigates the formation of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan in colonial Sydney in 1857 which heralds the beginning of Good Samaritan Education here in Australia.
May our Australian flag remind us of the opportunities and promise of our multicultural country in the 21st century.
Santa Maria College Flag
The Good Samaritan story taken from Luke’s Gospel speaks of a world where we are all called to look after each other to restore life. As a school built on the foundations of this may we be reminded when we look at our College flag, we are called to “Go and do Likewise” and tend to the needs of neighbour in our daily encounters.