Dear staff and friends of EREA,
Whenever we gather to celebrate together as people inspired by Blessed Edmund Rice we are reminded that our inherited charism is one which continues to draw people from all walks of life into a mission of inclusivity, compassion, justice, love and liberation. As part of the broader Church community, our mission response is situated within a diverse and often messy social and cultural milieu. Our charism genius, particularly through our educational endeavour, is our capacity to present a visionary and hope-filled view of the future to our young people and all those marginalised by our society.
The Charter Touchstones offer us all a means of living out this Gospel ideal. Presenting them in visual displays, or etching them into significant markers around our school, serve to keep each touchstone front and centre in our minds. However, in this static form alone they can easily be passed by; their dynamism demands that they are a regular part of personal and community reflection, dialogue and questioning. Creating the space to gather colleagues to discern one’s individual and collective contribution to the actualisation of these Touchstones, is thus the essence of Full of Life.
The encounters, conversations and experiences that you are invited into via Full of Life are designed to promote questioning rather than certainty and challenge rather than comfort. It is in these spaces that the Spirit moves most acutely within us, calling us to see and respond to the cry of the poor and the Earth.
“The Spirit is always hovering over the waters of chaos, bringing forth new life. It is the wind that brings change into life and turns it upside down and inside out. This is what a follower of Jesus always has to deal with: the Spirit is in the storm.” (The Spirit Moving in Our Midst: Be My Disciple; Christian Brothers, 2008 Chapter).
Whenever you enter into relationship with our sacred stories you open yourself to the potential for transformation. When your heart burns with passion for a new idea or your eyes open with wonder to a new perspective, you come fully alive. The range of EREA enrichment opportunities offered within Full of Life aims to affirm, encourage, renew, disturb and ultimately to inspire you.
Programs of global immersion and the diverse opportunities offered through Edmund Rice Education Beyond Borders extend people beyond their own cultural and geographical zones. At a time when our awareness of the interconnectedness of all life is so acute, we reap the benefit of being part of an international network where the voices of all peoples and lands can be considered and appreciated.
National Formational programs enable all staff to engage with the charism and its contemporary expression at the level appropriate to their role and time within the community. Likewise, national gatherings and conversations provide both role-based and interest group networking opportunities that support personal and professional growth.
Full of Life offers a unique and privileged invitation to take time to pause, notice and attend to the stirrings of our hearts. In this sacred space, may your own reflection and discernment connect you intimately with the liberating vision that the Gospel calls us to seek for all creation.
Live Jesus in our hearts. Forever.
Dr Wayne Tinsey