It is worthwhile to reflect that St Pauls was founded so that we would be Christ to the world in our own age. And so we are. Even though humankind has journeyed 21 centuries since Christ was born into quite poor circumstances, our College has lived a somewhat similar life to that of Our Lord.
St Simon Stock
He was born in a humble stable, and our beginnings were likewise very humble, in makeshift accommodation. In fact our College was founded back in 1958 as the new Catholic school in the district of Pendle Hill. It was originally called St Simon Stock School and the written history of the College records: “The beginnings bore all the hallmarks of the pioneering days. Classes were conducted in the open air and in a garage for the first week, after which a small room was made available in the new building. St Simon Stock College for Boys took as its motto “Esto Vir” which means “Be a man”.
And so it was that like Christ, our College grew in years, guided by faith in our God. Many outstanding young men lived their lives according to that early motto, and with Christ as their light they fashioned lives that struggled for goodness. Our ex-students have made enormous contributions to Australian society through their work, their intelligence, their friendships and their families, their good will, their strengths, and their occasional mistakes.
We can be tremendously proud of our former students, and today we celebrate them as an important part of us.
Our College, as it grew away from its early beginnings, took on a new name and a new motto. It took as its inspiration the great 19th Century English convert and thinker, Cardinal John Henry Newman, and it educated its students under the motto “Heart Speaks to Heart”. In that second phase of its history our College competed and excelled in a whole host of fields, but it was uniquely known throughout Sydney for its especially strong sense of pastoral care for its students.
And now we are St Pauls. Who better to be named after than the great Apostle who did more than anyone of his generation to take the light of Christ to those many countries and peoples who made up the known world of his time? Those peoples to whom he travelled and wrote were a rich mix of many cultures and traditions, very similar to the Australian society of today.
In these early years of the new millennium, this torch of Christ, our light for the journey, is passed to us, and at a time when the light is needed more than ever in a complicated and demanding world, our motto is just the right advice for today: “Many Gifts-One Community.”
Let us all celebrate who we are and our strong history in God’s service for Australia, and let us pray that we will be able, with God’s help, to live up to our name, St Pauls, and to be “Many Gifts- one Community.”