Reflection on the Good Samaritan Conference

Aug 19, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt has been two weeks since the experience of the Good Samaritan Conference and yet the profound messages presented so eloquently by the Keynote speakers, Fr Noel Connolly SSC, Carmel Posa sgs and Rose-Marie Prosser, still remain with me. I hope this is also the case for the 130 plus people from our 10 Colleges who attended which included the Leadership Teams, Directors of the Boards, Members of Good Samaritan Education and invited Guests. Questions surrounding the Mission of the Church are always significant and remain pertinent for our Catholic schools as we face both the complexities and rich opportunities of the 21st century. Three key questions / phrases provoked by our presenters that resonated with me over the weekend (and continue to do so) are: As Catholic schools and Good Samaritan Colleges, how do we embrace the demands of what it means to authentically lead a school for God and OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwith God? By our very nature we are compelled to do so, and yet in such complex organizations how do we ensure this remains at the forefront of our mind…  For this is the call of our schools and gift of Catholic education. Schools are places where the hospitality of God can be expressed in a myriad of ways. The questions ignited in me however include: How do we recognize it? How do we articulate it? How do we live it? To answer these questions we must delve into what it means to live in relationship with one another.  How do we show acts of inclusions to our students, parents, staff? How are we attentive to each other and how do we build relationships with all and yet especially with those who are different from ourselves? Embracing the works of the Spirit is to live the mission of the Church. Of course it is very affirming when we believe the whispers of the Spirit are calling us on a path that offers reassurance. The challenge however is to listen to the call of the Spirit when she exposes our vulnerability, takes us to a place to which we did not want to travel, makes us uncomfortable. This is the courageous act of mission. This perhaps is the turning point of transformation. This is the tension for all our communities which in itself is the gift. Deborah Barker Principal Santa Maria College