GOOD SAMARITAN ETHOS
The Catholic Order of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan was founded in Sydney in 1857 following a decision of Australia’s first Catholic Archbishop, John Bede Polding, to establish a new congregation of religious women.
From the very beginning, a commitment to women and the education of young people – girls in particular – has been at the heart of the congregation’s mission.
The charism of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan is at the heart of our College and underpins all that we do. The Parable of the Good Samaritan ends with Jesus saying, "go and do likewise!" This is our guiding principle. Doing likewise involves recognising our neighbour as anyone in need and responding to those needs with generosity and compassion. This ethos encourages us to embrace the principles of Catholic social teaching in our curriculum and to pursue peace and justice through social action.
Liturgy is central to our communal expression of faith and meaning.
In keeping with the Good Samaritan Benedictine tradition, our liturgies are based on scripture and seek to:
engage girls in meaningful experiences;
develop empathy for others; and
bring hope to students in a world in need of understanding.
Students are encouraged to be actively involved in liturgical celebrations including formal school occasions like Opening Mass, and ongoing celebrations such as the Assembly prayer, Pastoral Group prayer and Eucharist.
2020 - THE YEAR OF PAX (Peace)
In 2018 the Year of Communio marked the beginning of a three-year mission in Good Samaritan Education. In 2019 it was the Year of Benedictine Wisdom and in 2020, the Year of Pax (or peace). Each year the Mission cycle recognises that the Good Samaritan Benedictine tradition, Christ centred and built on the pillars of prayer, community and mission, requires constant reinforcement.
The focus for 2020 is to guide us into active participation in God's mission as we respond to the Gospel imperative to, 'go and do likewise' (Luke 10:37).
In 2020 the lenses of justice and stability will sharpen our attention to what is important in life as we balance our interior seeking of God with responding to the demands of social justice.
The focus for 2019 was to nurture and deepen the spirit of compassion, hospitality and welcome that will be necessary to 'receive all as Christ' (RB 53;1).
The practice of hospitality of mind, heart and hand will encourage fidelity to a Gospel way of life, which at its heart is about conversatio - a dynamic process of becoming and being shaped in the likeness of Christ.
Communio is an odd word but an important one in the context of the College. Community life is an important guiding principle in the Rule of St Benedict and the heart and soul of Benedictine life, shaping our collective identity and the communal seeking of God. Developing and nurturing community is “the reality at the heart of Benedictine life” and underpins our experience of ‘being’ and ‘doing’ together.
For St Benedict, community is the place where the practice of charity is lived out on a daily basis, where God is encountered in the other, and where we find the way to Christ. The Rule of St Benedict is simple, adaptable and gives priority to communal life based on a balance of work and prayer.
In 2019, Wisdom was viewed through the lens of the Good Samaritan values, hospitality and compassion.
Good Samaritan Education has a rich Benedictine heritage that draws on ancient wisdom for a modern world. The essential values of Good Samaritan Benedictine Education* are:
Love of Christ and Neighbour - Benedictine life, like that of all Christians, is first and foremost a response to God’s astonishing love for humankind, a love expressed in the free gift of God’s beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Love tops St Benedict’s list of tools for good works (RB, 5:10, 7:67-69, 4.1-2).
Prayer - Benedictine schools cultivate a fundamental attentiveness to the ways by which God is present in the human mind and heart and, indeed, in all creation. St Benedict directed that nothing is to be preferred to prayer (RB, 43.3). Lectio divina is the slow meditative reading of Scriptures and other sacred texts with the intention of discerning how God is at work right now in the world and calling within the individual’s own heart.
Stability - Stability shapes a Benedictine way of life. All commit themselves to seeking God. They resolve to pursue this, their heart’s deepest desire, together, day in and day out, in good times and in bad, throughout the span of their lives.
Conversatio - The Benedictine word “conversatio” means the process of letting go of self-centred preoccupations and false securities so that the divine life at the core of one’s being becomes manifest in a trustworthy pattern of living.
Obedience - Benedict begins the Rule with the exhortation “Listen,” emphasising the stance required of all who seek wisdom. Obedience is putting into practice what is learned by listening to the other “with the ear of the heart” (RB, Prologue 1).
Discipline - Benedictine life is built around a fundamental discipline of prayer, work, and relationships, seeking to free people to take delight in God’s presence within the self, the community, and the world.
Humility - The Benedictine way of life seeks an accurate knowledge of self, a pervasive awareness of God’s presence and dependence on others and creation itself. Benedictines recognise their limitations without losing hope and accept their gifts without becoming arrogant because the measure of their lives is not found in themselves alone.
Stewardship - At its core the Rule seeks to foster a fundamental reverence towards the creation that God has made. St Benedict exhorts his followers to regard all the tools and goods of the monastery as the sacred vessels of the altar (RB, 31.10).
Hospitality - St Benedict accords special attention to Christ’s unexpected arrival in the person of the guest, whom he describes alternately as poor and as a stranger. A blessing accompanies both the offering and the receiving of hospitality.
Community - The Benedictine community is rooted in a particular place in which mutual service, especially in mundane everyday life, is demanded of all with no expectation of individual reward. It is a challenge to contribute to a living, flesh-and-blood community on such terms.
Justice and Peace - The aim of Benedictine life is to find peace. We must pursue it and work for it. It is an active ordering of life so that peace is the outcome. Peace is a feature of just communities – for peace to reign, justice is fundamental.
*Adapted from Association of Benedictine Colleges & Universities Statement (The Ten Hallmarks of Benedictine Education): Education within the Benedictine Wisdom Tradition Revised August 27, 2007. Source: www.abcu.info
As a Catholic School, the study of Religious Education is compulsory in all years. St Scholastica's College is a school founded on the tradition of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan. Our spirituality has its foundation in the teachings of Christ and St Benedict and forms the basis of education at the College. The College’s Religious Education Department attempts to impart both Benedictine spirituality and Catholic teaching and tradition in every aspect of a student’s spiritual and academic development.
The Congregation of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan of the Order of St Benedict was formed to care for disadvantaged and abused women. The Sisters continue to be known for their Christ-like attitude of compassion and care for those they serve.
Today, in keeping with its heritage and the Good Samaritan Education Framework, St Scholastica's College connects to its community through service. Students are involved in service activities including volunteering at:
Matthew Talbot Hostel for Homeless Men
St Vincent de Paul
In addition, the College community is active in its support for collections for Caritas, The Marion Centre and the Good Sam Foundation.
Service of others and working for justice are firmly rooted in the Gospels and in the Benedictine Good Samaritan traditions and are a necessary part of our educational experience. With the Parable of the Good Samaritan as the benchmark, it is our responsibility to challenge our girls to think beyond their own circumstances, develop empathy and compassion, and to reach out to others.
The Good Samaritan Immersion Program is a great opportunity for students to join with staff and students from other Good Samaritan Colleges to witness first-hand the diverse ministries, on both a local and international level, of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan. The program offers insight into the lives of others who are not as privileged as we are.
Immersion experiences in the Philippines, Kiribati and Japan, working with the Good Samaritan Sisters.
The Santa Teresa Mission, an indigenous community near Alice Springs
The Philippines, Manila and Bacolod City. Girls participate in the work of the Sisters at the Good Samaritan Kinder School & Community Centre
They are three very different experiences for those who participate, connecting our community to the work of the Sisters and their response to the call, ‘go and do likewise’.