“Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?”
He said, “The one who showed him mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:36-37)
“Go and do likewise”. Jesus’ bold instruction to the questioning lawyer in the Parable of the Good Samaritan has remained central to Good Samaritan Education; enriching schools, teachers, and students. So what does it mean – and look like – to belong to a school community which is, by its very identity, shaped by such a message?
While it may seem a complex question, the Good Samaritan Education Induction day led by Sister Meg Kahler and Monica Dutton held at Melbourne’s Santa Maria College, set out to explore what it means to belong to a Good Samaritan community. Santa Maria College hosted new teaching staff from both Santa Maria and Mater Christi College.
Like many good learning experiences, this event held particular sentiment. As a past student of Santa Maria, I saw the Good Samaritan Benedictine values embodied by my peers, teachers and within the College’s leadership. It brought back memories of the Good Samaritan leadership camp held at Sydney’s St Scholastica’s College, where we were taught that the role of a leader was to serve our school community with the same spirit of humility that had gone before us, and which we hoped would remain ingrained long after us. Although that personal role has now switched from student to teacher, the tradition remains the same.
Our day of learning began by unpacking the Parable of the Good Samaritan in fine detail, and paired its significance with the story of Saint Benedict and the contribution that the Sisters of the Good Samaritan have made to education in Australia. This information would later be put to good use during a round of Good Samaritan Jeopardy to test our gained knowledge – a team challenge with a good competitive streak! We were then guided through open discussion to share how the Rule of Benedict is reflected in our own learning communities, as we continue to welcome all students and colleagues as we would Christ.
This was followed by a reflection of the ways in which we, as new staff members at our respective schools, could embody a spirit of hospitality throughout our teaching practice – particularly when we were faced with challenges – and reflected on key questions: How can I create a welcoming environment in my [teaching] role and, how do I wash the hands and feet of my pilgrims as seen in the parable? Again, like many good learning experiences, we are still reflecting on these prompts as we listened and learned from one another, strengthening the connection between our schools, and between colleagues.
A big thank you to Sister Meg and Monica who made us feel welcome and reminded us of our important place in continuing the Good Samaritan story – in (and beyond) the classroom. We have indeed been encouraged to “go and do likewise.”
Santa Maria College