BLESSING OF NEW FACILITIES AT EMMAUS COLLEGE, VERMONT SOUTH, BY ARCHBISHOP DENIS HART ON WEDNESDAY, 8TH FEBRUARY 2012 AT 9.00 A.M.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am honoured to be with Mr. Tony Hirst, your Principal, and all of you as we bless these new College facilities.
It is timely that at the beginning of a new year new opportunities will be offered for a wide range of activities which will continue the work that Emmaus does so well, preparing young people to engage as solid contributors to the life of family and community now and as they emerge from Emmaus College.
This is a moment of thanksgiving, reflection and challenge. I rejoice with you in what has been achieved.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Some weeks ago, as I was preparing this homily, I reflected on the name of your College 'Emmaus'. The Emmaus story of disciples being cast down because they thought that Jesus in whom they had put their hope was lost and yet he accompanied them on the road to a point where finally they recognised him at the Eucharist in the breaking of bread at the end of their journey.
Emmaus is a very appropriate title for a College where young men are searching for their vocation in life. Education is a broad based preparation and the more that we can develop in all of the areas of life the better we will be prepared to contribute to what life gives us.
As I go round the schools I find quite an exciting array of options which are offered to young people. The traditional subjects of maths, English, languages, history, sciences, but also practical involvements in some schools in catering, woodwork, community outreach, technology and so on.
I congratulate you all at Emmaus because every activity which is conducted, whether by young people or the school or teachers or families, has to be founded on our common faith in Jesus Christ and our common dedication to walking with him. The Emmaus story of the disciples coming to the great discovery of who Jesus was for their life was enriching and challenging because suddenly life had meaning, suddenly gifts were appreciated, suddenly they came to the realisation that we have too, that Jesus walks with us at every moment. This not only nourishes faith, but it gives us great confidence in what we can be and achieve.
I have always admired schools in which the teachers' love of learning meets with inquiring minds, challenging questions, and works together on a great journey of discovery. I am sure the teachers you will remember after school are those whom you felt met with your questions, were interested in you and really sought to enrich your lives. Even in some mathematic and scientific subjects the results are less tangible, but they do give us a capacity for analysis and reflective thinking which will help us in all that we do throughout our life.
My prayer for all of you here at Emmaus on this great day of joy and celebration is that you will never be afraid to ask and to search. You will remember the wonderful response given to the disciples on the road to Emmaus when they discovered Jesus and saw what they could become because of his presence.
As young people in a Catholic College this means faithfulness to the Eucharist, contact with Jesus in prayer and allowing him to open your hearts to the great discoveries which can be made by people of faith, learning and hope. Saint Peter once urged us all: "Show to the world the reason for the hope that is in you."
At the beginning of a new year if we can engage with our teachers and our school community, if we can make Emmaus a common place of searching, mutual respect, confidence in what can be achieved, then indeed the College will rise to greatness beyond what might have been imagined or expected.
My dear friends, may you discover Jesus in the breaking of the bread of the Eucharist, present walking in your live