He mihi atu ki a koutou katoa: Archbishop John Dew, our leader in Faith and Community, Justice Denis Clifford (Chair BOP and other members of the BOP), Members of the new Board for the Foundation, the Honorable Christopher Finlayson (and other parliamentary representatives), Fr Paul Martin (present Rector) and past Rectors, Principals of local Catholic schools (and other College, school representatives), Old Boys of the College, Staff of St Patricks and Friends of the College. Katahi te painga o tenei ropu… what a wonderful gathering to launch this new Foundation – thank you for being here. It is a sign of good things to come.I am honoured to speak on behalf of the Provincial of the Society of Mary, Fr Brian Cummings (currently deciding our future in Rome) in particular in his capacity as member of the Society of Mary Education Trust. It is the priviledge of the Society’s Education Trust to help launch the St Patrick’s Wellington Foundation, not just with a financial contribution, but in Spirit, too.
It is because of the commitment to the purpose of the College, Sectare Fidem, a commitment to Catholic Education which grasps firmly onto the Faith and ensures it is known and spreads, that the Society of Mary Education Trust wants to help launch the Foundation.
We have seen the ‘Old Grey Mother’ of Cambridge Terrace give birth to a fine son here in the College at Kilbirnie. Now we see another birth in a Foundation which will help the College achieve its purpose in all that is good for full Catholic and Human education. The College comes of age tonight and is freed to stand on its own feet. It is indeed ‘Our Time’.
There is a Maori proverb, Ma te kohatu ka tika te whare, If the foundation stone is soundly in place, the building will also be sound. We see tonight the setting of that foundation stone in place. Each of us is invited to connect with that purpose.
We are reminded to recall the Word of God from psalm 127: Unless the Lord build the house they labour in vain who do the building. Perhaps we can turn that around positively to read: When the Lord provides the foundation, the home that is built will have full and lasting purpose.
I can witness to that personally: my vocation, my education, my Faith, my sense of music, my love of Mary all were nurtured at St Patrick’s.
Therefore, as a representative of the Society of Mary Education Trust, I am happy to present an initial cheque to Mr Mark McGuinness to help launch the St Patrick’s College Wellington Foundation.
Fr Philip Cody SM
Acting Provincial of the Society of Mary