Wollongong Bishop Brian Mascord discussed leadership, inclusivity and owning your choices when he met more than 2000 students to mark their final year at secondary school. Source: Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong.
Bishop Mascord met the year 12 students in a series of gatherings. At the start of each gathering, students were invited to come forward with their school candle and a symbol representing their cohort.
“As each of our schools have brought forward their symbols and expressed the values and charism of their school, you have all conveyed three significant characteristics: faith, hope and love,” Bishop Mascord said. “So what does that say about you? The reality is that all of you are leaders. You are called to express those values in the context of the Gospel. You are called to be people of Christ. We not only follow Jesus, we also witness and make the way of Jesus our own.”
The bishop encouraged students to be proud of their faith-filled education and to go out into the world and use it as the basis for their relationships and lives in their world post-school.
In his talks, Bishop Mascord emphasised the importance of daily and life-long choices. “We do the things we do in social justice, in environmental action, in liturgy … because we are in a relationship with the person of Jesus,” he said. “For many of you, you might not have that relationship, and that is fine. Our purpose is not to convert you; it is to open up the experience so you can choose for yourself.”
Bishop Mascord encouraged students to be careful of judging other’s choices.
“If you choose [the way of Jesus], that is fantastic, and if you don’t choose that is okay also. But don’t criticise those who do, as to do so would not be accepting the principles in which you have been educated; tolerance, respect and honour. The challenge for us is, if we are truly to be leaders in society, we have to be faithful to the choices we make and not judgemental of the choices of others.”
Faith, Hope and Love: Year 12 Gatherings with Bishop Brian Mascord (Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong)