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Brennan House Mass: Let your light shine before others

Brennan House 2017 Prefect of Spirituality, Angus Mullins

From the Director of Mission, Phillip Davis

Last Friday, 10th March, 2017, the Brennan House Mass was celebrated by College Chaplain Fr Milani. The Readings (1 Cor 12: 4-11 and Matthew 5:13-16) mirrored the theme Strength through Diversity – Let Your Light Shine Before Others (Mt 5:16) with Brennan Prefect of Spirituality, Angus Mullins, connecting this message with life at Waverley College in his Reflection.

Other features of this Mass included the Entry Procession, featuring the new Touchstone Banners, the Gospel Procession, which included symbolic lamps and a ‘bushel basket’ and the Communion Reflection Song Burn Bright by Natalie Grant. I would like to thank the staff and students responsible for the organisation and specific roles during the Mass. Our House Masses now begin at 8.20 am which gives parents an opportunity to attend. All parents are most welcome.

Please note that the Conlon House Mass set down for the 24th March has been postponed.


Reflection from the Brennan Prefect of Spirituality, Angus Mullins

Strength Through Diversity – Let Your Light Shine Before Others

 That is the theme of this morning’s Mass. So, what does it mean?

Strength Through Diversity means that as a whole, we can become stronger by combining our differences, and as an individual, it means that we can express our qualities. It’s a way to say that we should accept those with differences, and promote the right for individuals to be unique.

This is reflected in today’s Gospel.

“You are the salt of the earth but if salt has lost its taste how can its saltiness be restored?” The passage implies that within a group of people there are diverse ranges of gifts and talents. Everyone possesses the power to change their lives and contribute to the community by letting their talents ‘shine before others’. However, if you don’t use your gifts and conceal them to the world, then what is your gift good for? If salt has lost its taste, who would use it? The unique taste of salt is cherished by cultures all around the world, including here in Australia. Imagine a food you like that has salt in or on it. What if the salt was gone? Would the food be as good as when it had salt? The same can be said about individuals. If you hid what you were good at, would you be the same person that you are today? Would people still see you as the same person, if your talents weren’t used?

All members of the community have many opportunities to express their strengths and talents. Here at Waverley there are countless opportunities that are available for everyone, for example:

  • You may have strength in sport
  • A strive for academic achievements
  • A willingness to help others through social justice programs and immersions
  • The ability to express yourself in the areas of performing arts
  • Or maybe you are more of a “hands on” person and prefer to create ideas from scratch

These are just a few opportunities for you to express your gifts to others at this great school.

But how can we as individuals, and as Brennan House, take the message of strength through diversity into the rest of our lives?

As an individual, you can choose to shine your light. We know what makes us unique from other people. For me, that’s singing, but for other people, it may be that you’re good at academia, sport, art, or anything else. As an individual, you can show the world what you are capable of with your talent: your gift.

Unfortunately, not everyone chooses to shine his or her light.

I have – and I’m sure you have – seen too many people with incredible talents wasted because that individual chose to hide what was unique about them; they chose uniformity over uniqueness. They do this because they feel the need to fit in, which is sad. I mean, why should we have to change who we are in order to fit in? Wouldn’t it be easier, and better, if we just accepted that all of us are unique, and appreciate those that choose to express their individuality rather than frown upon them? As was said in the Gospel about the lights, why hide what you are capable of achieving, by covering it with a bush or basket, when you can shine to the world, because even a single candle in a dark room makes a difference.

As a House, we must realise that all our talents and unique qualities contribute to making this school a better place. We have intelligence, sporting prowess, artists, cooks, builders, and so many more. Imagine what we could achieve as a House if we all joined our talents and qualities together? Just like the candles up the front.

Alone, there is a single flicker, however, if you combine the flames, you amass an unhindered light. Now it might be ‘cheesy’, but this House does reflect a wolf pack, and I’ll explain why now. Each wolf has its own role when attempting to catch prey. The success of the wolf pack is solely reliant on each wolf holding its own individual skillset that, when combined, can bring down any animal. It’s this kind of unity that we require in this House if we are to have strength through diversity. We should applaud those who express their qualities, and those that exceed in them. When people in Brennan compete in sports, or other competitions, we should acknowledge them and respect the amount of time and effort that it must take for those individuals to build and improve their talents.

That’s why the Brennan Prefects have decided that each week, there will be a Brennan man of the week, dedicated to those boys here in this room who strive for greatness in their respected area. Beginning next week, if anyone knows of a boy in Brennan who has achieved something great, then let one of the Prefects know, so we can see about recognising their achievement.

“Aut Vincere Aut Mori: Either to conquer or to die”: Brennan’s motto.

This means that we either succeed in what we are trying to achieve, or we die trying. This is a war cry, and aims to describe the feeling of those who have nothing to lose, so they give their all to the end. This is the motivation that we as a House need to show.

The theme of the Mass can be seen in our motto. We as a group must strive to achieve our goals, or die trying, and we can do this with the help of all our talents. If we want to win a competition, whether that is the athletics carnival, or another event that will be held in the year, we as individuals and as a House must put everything on the line, and hold nothing back, in order to strive for that greatness. Because even if you don’t win, or you don’t reach that goal, you still have the satisfaction that you gave it your all, and left nothing in the tank.

If we all can follow this motto throughout the course of the year, then nothing will hold us back.