Once upon a time, a school chaplain who was ten years in the job, was asked by a new student in the school, ‘what is it you really do around here?’ Before he had a chance to think about how he would answer the question, an older student was passing by, and decided to answer for him. He said ‘when it comes to our chaplain, well he does everything and nothing, he is just here with us’. Those words, ‘…here with us’ capture the essence of what my role as chaplain is about here in Good Counsel College. Chaplaincy is not that much concerned with maintaining structures, programmes, or other tasks, it is about being a person of faith in God.
It is about meeting the people who go to make Good Counsel College in to the caring place that it is to day; and supporting them, i.e., staff and students. Because this is an AUGUSTINIAN SCHOOL, as chaplain I try to promote the Augustinian core values that St Augustine wished for his first followers, they are, unity, truth and love intent upon God.
Hopefully, this means that all who study and work here feel that we are part of a community on the road to God, and the daily tasks of education. This does not mean that the chaplain has all the answers or inspiration. Here in Good Counsel, I work as part of a team of people who show care and concern for others in so many special ways, I learn from them, I rely on them to help me to be that person of faith presence in our school.
And who better to help me in all of this, but our students, they are really great men, whose good company I enjoy. Last but not least; a teacher from our staff, Helen Bolger, also work as school chaplain. She is a gift in what she brings as chaplain to the school. And no doubt she will keep me on my toes!
Fr Michael Collender O.S.A.