Our schools are part of the Catholic community and at the heart of what we do is a faith founded on the mission of Jesus, the vision of Blessed Edmund Rice and being part of the global Catholic community. Our story is grounded in our faith tradition, our history and our aspirations for our young people and the wider world. The Charter for Catholic Schools in the Edmund Rice tradition describes our faith story:
God is beyond all words. But the words that come closest are love and truth. The Edmund Rice family is a community that thirsts to know God and longs to work with God in caring for creation and building God’s kingdom. We are people who make a daily leap of faith.
Jesus was a teacher who asked his followers to be teachers also, by both word and deed. Throughout his life, Jesus taught all he came across to act with justice and compassion and to challenge unjust structures that diminished people’s humanity. Christ calls us to help carry the cross of all those in the world who suffer through injustice of any kind. The cross tells us that the Gospel is never convenient. The raising of Jesus to new life gives us hope: that God’s love is true and real.
EREA is a proud member of the Catholic Church. The Church exists to continue the historical work of Jesus. The Christian community has a history of many colours. It has been a vehicle for great creativity, discovery and wisdom. It has fostered the life of the mind and imagination, and called and challenged people to reach out beyond themselves to make a difference in the world.
Born in Callan, Ireland, in 1762, Edmund came to the bustling city port of Waterford as a young man. Following the tragic death of his wife, he became more aware of the disadvantaged people around him and in 1802, he set up a free school for boys living in poverty. Edmund was given the grace to respond to the call of Jesus by identifying with Christ in the poor. His example evoked a deep awareness of God’s loving presence in all. He invited his followers to share the Gospel insight to reach out to the needy.
EREA was founded by the Christian Brothers and we continue to work closely with them in a variety of areas. The Christian Brothers dedicate their lives to the service of others, particularly those at the margins of society. They work across the world in areas of education, community engagement, faith formation and social justice. Since those small beginnings in Waterford in 1802, the Christian Brothers have reached out in mission to many parts of the globe. Christian Brothers and other members of the Edmund Rice Network are now working in over 30 countries. They are continuing to discern the signs of the times and respond to the needs of the poor and the earth, while working towards a just and sustainable future for all.
Formation within EREA
The Good Seed Will Grow – a Formation Framework for Edmund Rice Communities in Oceania provides a guide for planning, designing and reviewing the diverse range of formative experiences offered by Edmund Rice Education Australia. In the spirit of this Framework, the aim of these experiences is to provide opportunities for EREA staff in schools and offices ‘to engage with, interpret and integrate our sacred story, in order to continually bring that story to life’. The work of formation for mission is further supported through the “With a Listening Heart: A Design for Formation within the Edmund Rice Tradition”
Guide for planning, designing and reviewing the diverse range of formative experiences offered by Edmund Rice Education Australia