Chaplaincy Services: An Alternative Mission Statement
Message from the Chaplain
My name is Matthew! I am the School Chaplain and Director of Chaplaincy Services at St. Catherine’s College. The role of chaplain is a very unique role and St. Catherine's College is the only school in the local area with a full time lay chaplain - that is not just a blessing and a privilege but it is also a challenge. Thankfully, it is a challenge that I enjoy.
When I tell people that I am a school chaplain, one of the first questions they ask is: so, tell me what does a school chaplain do? I sometimes wonder if what they actually want to ask is: does a school actually need a chaplain?
My answer to that would be, “Yes, it certainly does.”
Often, I use this analogy to try and explain it: a personal trainer in a gym is there to teach, train, advise and ultimately support members get physically fit and healthy. Just like that, a chaplain in a school is there to teach, train, advise and ultimately support members of the school community become more spiritually healthy, bringing them into a relationship with Jesus and developing Christian values.
When reflecting upon the role of chaplain the famous quote of St. Francis of Assisi comes to mind: “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” In many ways, that is what I try to do and what I want for the members of the school community, especially the pupils. ‘Chaplaincy’ is about being a pastor and a minister that builds relationships, shows compassion, loves and cares deeply about their flock and calls forth the giftedness and leadership skills that they have.
I would like to think that I am someone that does all those things and helps people - especially our young people - grow in faith, confidence and self-esteem, embodying the words of our school patron, St. Catherine of Siena:
“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”
View some photos in the gallery below: