Mission Blog: Year of Excellence
Welcome to the new academic year and the College’s Mission Blog for 2023. My name is Melissa Trolio, and I am the Director of Mission for 2023.
Excellence: Mercy Value for 2023
Each year, we commit to upholding the values articulated in our Mission Statement: Hospitality, Compassion, Justice, Service and Excellence, focusing on one value each year. Our 2023 Mercy value focus is Excellence. Living out a spirit of excellence can be best described as persevering with courage to achieve our personal best.
If we look at excellence through a Christian lens, excellence in the biblical sense points to God, as both the source and summit of that which is excellent. As Christians, we believe that God, our creator made us in his image and gifted us a purpose in life, and moving towards understanding what this purpose may be for our lives is to move towards excellence. Therefore, in this sense, excellence has more to do with values and ideals rather than being solely concerned with expertness. In essence, “we seek to achieve the highest good, a standard of excellence, because we are grateful that God gave the greatest good, He could ever give to humanity … Jesus.” (Brent Crowe, author of Moments ‘til Midnight).
This year, I wish to inspire staff and students with an understanding of excellence through the use of several key symbols and writings.
Inspiration from Catherine McAuley
Firstly, we take inspiration from Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, who explained, “perfection does not consist in doing extraordinary actions, but in performing extraordinarily well the ordinary actions of every day”. As Christians, we are reminded of the words of the Gospel “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works” (Matthew 5:16). Light is essential to our health and wellbeing, and it can also help with our daily routines. Put simply, the right light makes us see, feel and function better. In terms of our faith, we recall that God is not just a light or a kind of light; He is light itself. All light comes from Him.
A Pair of Walking Boots
Secondly, we think about the symbolism of a pair of walking boots. These remind us that life’s journeys are about learning and growth, and they have the potential to teach people about themselves and the society in which they live. We also recall that success is a journey, not a destination, and doing more is often more important than the outcome. The boots also remind us of Catherine’s mercifulness, grounding us in the needs of our local situation and how we might reach out to the edges of our time.
And finally, we turn to the compass. We need direction in life to guide us through challenges and moments of transition, providing mental resilience and adherence to productive actions. Researchers suggest that focusing on values is one way to gain a sense of direction. God has given each of us our own inner spiritual compass. The right direction of a Spirit-led life must surely point towards Jesus, for our spiritual journey is to become like Him.
So, this year, I challenge students, staff and families to develop a spirit of excellence. Having and developing a spirit of excellence comes from the conviction that:
- God is great, and so you want whatever you do to be great—because you are a reflection of Him.
- You want to give your best to God, while always improving on that. It’s doing so while in and out of your school community, no matter who is or isn’t looking.
- God is the one who gives favour and giftings, and we have a responsibility to steward those things well.
I wish you and your families a wonderful start to the 2023 academic year.
Melissa Trolio | Director of Mission