Presidents Letter 150th Academic Year 2009 – 2010
150th Academic Year 2009 – 2010
On behalf of the Blackrock College Community I extend to you my warmest greetings for the school year 2009-2010. This coming year is the 150th academic year of the College and it is the hope of all of us that it will be a very happy, joy-filled and fruitful year.
During this Sesquicentenary, or 150th year, we will indeed have celebrations, particularly in thanksgiving for the past century-and-a-half of ’Rock life, but the hard work of the school will still continue unabated and the multifaceted activities of a year in ’Rock will be much as before: in the classrooms, resource rooms, laboratories, woodwork areas, in recreation areas, on the sports fields, in the orchestral and choir rooms, in the Jubilee Hall, and in our new prayer-space and in our Chapel. There will be the years’ retreats, the pastoral programme, the musicals, the Leman concert, educational fieldwork, BCR, ‘Greenwatch’, ‘Aidlink’, debates, outings and so much more.
Together with the above there will be four major additions to the normal year. Firstly, the year will begin with a special thanksgiving mass; Archbishop Diarmuid Martin will be the chief-celebrant. Then, during the October mid-term, there will be the Rock Rugby Festival in the College when school teams from all over Ireland and from England will attend. In the second term there will be a special Art Exhibition displaying the work of the very many past-students from all over the world who chose art as their vocation in life. And, fourthly, in the final term, the normal Sports Day will be enlarged to become an Open Day with the unveiling of a new work of art for the College. All in all it promises to be a very enjoyable and memorable year.
Looking back on the last 150 years, I now ask the question ‘what vision do we have for our boys, now and in the coming time?’
Our vision now and for the future is that our boys will be a Christian leaven in whatever society they find themselves; that they will be in solidarity, proactively, with the marginalised of society; that they will not be afraid to champion the message of Jesus the Messiah wherever God calls them with their gifts to serve. This could be in the corridors of government or in shanty towns; in relatively peaceful Ireland or war torn countries; in healthy climes or in diseased and pernicious famine areas; in stable regimes or in areas of huge population unrest and migration; among successful business people or among the rejected and ignored poor of our modern world. We hope that they will found schools, teacher training colleges and universities where the deprived poor will be welcome. And we also hope that they will open hospitals and clinics, introduce food growing for the hungry, water holes for the thirsty and clothing for those who have none. In our vision we also see them serving as lay and clerical chaplains in prisons, bringing forgiveness and consolation to the disregarded of society. Some could be imprisoned or even killed. Some could die in accidents or from tropical diseases. But then the many cemeteries throughout the world contain hundreds of graves of our past-students who died fighting for the message of Jesus, particularly among the “forsaken”. We do pray that our boys in the College today and in coming generations will, with fides et robur, go and serve all nations, bearing witness unto the Lord Jesus. No doubt, they will.
Fr Cormac O’Brolchain, C.S.Sp.