Adopted by Mary Aikenhead as the Congregational motto, it remains through time an inspiration for all ministry undertaken in Mary Aikenhead’s name. It draws our colleges into direct connection with Mary Aikenhead and the vision that inspired her life and her works, and it breathes life into our discernment and action.
Aware that today this is a love that calls us to uncomfortableness, that takes us to difficult and unpopular places, our schools joyfully embrace the challenge to be prophetic communities of learning and teaching, creators of new cultures and renewed ways of seeing, being and doing. Impelled by the love of Christ our colleges are places of courage and fearlessness, engaging in provocative and decisive actions that transform the world.
This is our colleges’ foundational purpose, they exist to be places where not only is the love of Christ experienced by each – where it is witnessed and experienced in all structures, relationships and actions, but they are also places where people are called through this witness to bring Christ’s love to all they meet. It is therefore both a source of witness and a call to action for those who lead, teach in, work in and with, and attend a Mary Aikenhead Ministries’ college.
It requires each college to celebrate the boundless love of Christ for the world, and challenges them to discern, develop and nurture contexts that bring to life the love of Christ; in particular through the application and expression of the core values of Mary Aikenhead Ministries – compassion, justice, hope and love.
A Mary Aikenhead Ministries’ college is therefore a community of abiding welcome and inclusion that ensures no-one is denied experience of, and access to, programs of learning, teaching and care that allow them to pursue excellence and the fulfilment of their potential. This can only be achieved when proper and comprehensive attention is given to recognising, respecting and reaffirming the dignity and call of each person in the development of all college structures, programs and processes.
In a Mary Aikenhead Ministries’ college the utmost care is to be given to these aspects of college life such that their pursuit promotes the full achievement of their intent and the avoidance of any unintended consequences harmful to the respect that is to be accorded to each member of the community or the attainment of the fullest expression of individual dignity.
A Mary Aikenhead Ministries’ college shall be known to all by the way in which the love of Christ for all, especially those most vulnerable, permeates the culture of the college community; by the way those who encounter the community feel welcomed, respected and affirmed; and by the visible and tangible presence of scripture, the Gospel values of compassion, justice, hope and love, and active ministry.
Catholic colleges under the stewardship of Mary Aikenhead Ministries will be known through:
- an obvious and demonstrated commitment across all dimensions of their community to the Gospel values of compassion, justice, hope and love;
- a recognition that all are made in the image of God and therefore deserve respect, dignity and welcome;
- each member of the community experiencing the love of Christ in all structures, processes, programs, relationships and actions; and
- the witness each member of the community gives to bringing the love of Christ to all they meet.
Catholic colleges under the stewardship of Mary Aikenhead Ministries may evidence this by:
- the consistent presence of symbolism and iconography which:
- celebrates our heritage and tradition as Catholic schools inspired by Mary Aikenhead;
- invites reflection of our Catholic tradition and its contemporary interpretation and application for young women of faith, and
- reflects a lived and prophetic understanding of the vision, values and mission of Mary Aikenhead Ministries;
- the provision of formal, relevant and authentically sacramental faith experiences for all members of the College community expressed through invitation to prayer, reflection and liturgical celebration;
- across a range of media in external and internal contexts, the use of documentation that communicates the centrality of the Catholic faith and tradition of the college and the evolving charism of Mary Aikenhead Ministries;
- the development, implementation and review of structures, policies, processes and programs that are founded on, and promote, the Gospel values of compassion, justice, hope and love;
- relationships within and across the community that recognise, respect and affirm the dignity of all as a reflection of the presence of the Divine in each person.