Catholic Boys School Canberra, Nurturing boys education


Christian Brothers' Schools are places that aim to achieve a synthesis of faith and culture and to foster a caring family spirit where young people can realise their full potential as they grow towards healthy maturity.

Our Mission Statement reminds all members of St Edmund's Community that:

  • the Mission of the College is to understand, love, promote and transmit the values of Christianity in the Catholic tradition
  • each student is a unique creation made in God's image and therefore possessed of inherent dignity
  • parents have prime responsibility for their children's education, and the teachers support the parents in the development of their children through practising Gospel values we can transform society.

Full College Masses are held several times throughout the year and are conducted at other times both at the College and at other locations depending on the circumstances.

All students participate in the Religious Education Programme which is a compulsory unit of the curriculum.

A Spiritual Reflection Day for each of Years 7 to 10, a three day religious camp for Year 6 and a three day spiritual retreat for each of Years 11 and 12 are held each year.

The students are offered the opportunity of receiving the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist several times each year.

Mass is celebrated in our College Chapel every Thursday morning at 8.30am.

Following the traditions of the Christian Brothers, the students and staff are encouraged to foster a devotion to Mary - Mother of Jesus.

Mary - under the title of Mother of Perpetual Help - is the chief Patroness of all Christian Brothers' schools, missions and houses. Her shrine is in a prominent position in the foyer of the College Chapel

Special highlights in the religious life of the College are the annual Founder's Day Mass and celebrations, and the Year Twelve Graduation Mass.

The religious dimension of the school is proclaimed in our College Motto :
"CHRISTUS LUX MEA" - "Christ is My Light"

Blessed Sacrament Chapel

The College Chapel is designed to be the centre piece of the College Quadrangle. As the physical centre of the school, symbolising its place as the spiritual centre, it provides a central, quiet place for prayer and worship. Students are encouraged to visit the Chapel regularly and to attend the voluntary Masses and Reconciliation Services. In addition, each class or year attends Mass and Reconciliation Services on a regular basis. The Chapel, in particular, is central to the place of the College as the national memorial to Old Boys of the Christian Brothers Schools who have given their lives in the service of their country in wars.

The permanent Blessed Sacrament Chapel of St. Edmund's College was completed and blessed in 1984, the thirtieth year of the life of the College. Like the school it was built as a memorial to former students of Christian Brothers' Schools who gave their lives in the service of their country. On entering the College quadrangle one's attention is drawn to the Edmund Rice Grille on the front of the chapel.

Edmund Ignatius Rice, the founder of the Christian Brothers, is depicted in the plain garment worn in former times and designed to bring anonymity to men who have renounced material goods and as a sign of their consecration to God. The two boys, one with a book and one with a ball, are representative of the work of the Brothers. Thus is represented the spiritual, academic, cultural and physical side of the education of the boys.

The sacrifice of Christ on the Cross when he gave his life for all of us is the model for those past students who paid the supreme sacrifice in the cause of peace. The Eucharist is the sacrifice of Christ brought to us in our present lives. The reservation of the Eucharist in the chapel is a living memorial to the love of Jesus who gave his life for us.

The chapel is also a shrine to Our Lady. The school colours of blue and white demonstrate this dedication. Scenes of Mary's life are highlighted in the Rosary windows.

The traditional devotions to Our Lady are summed up in the shrine on the chapel wall. The bas-relief reflects the grace of the Immaculate Conception.

The Alter and Tabernacle are central to the Chapel. They are flanked on the north wall by the Way of the Cross, while in the south wall alcove stands the symbolic, bronze sculpture of an airman paying the supreme sacrifice of his life in war. The sculpture of the Airman is on loan from the Australian War Memorial. The sculptor, Dennis Adam, entitles it "One of our aircraft failed to return". While the Northern Wall depicts the Way of the Cross, the remembrance alcove depicts the crucifixion of mankind in war - with the airman impaled on a tree.

The school coat of arms, worn as the school badge, has as its focus an ancient symbol of the Eucharist, namely a Pelican wounding itself to feed its young on its on flesh and blood.

The alter of sacrifice is located in the front of the tabernacle. The chapel is large enough to accommodate a whole Form to participate in a Eucharistic celebration.

Jesus spoke: I am the light of the World. Whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness. (John 8.12)

It is from these words of St John that we take the school Motto: Christ is my light. In a unique way the tabernacle of the chapel demonstrates this symbolism. The secure brass lattice work shields the glass doors through which a light shines. This unifying theme of the Eucharistic sacrifice is enhanced and completed by the stained glass windows showing Christ's victory over death in his resurrection.

Symbolism for Stained Glass Windows

The first five windows are symbols of the Joyful Mysteries, the last three of the glorious Mysteries Holy Spirit descends upon a lily, the symbol of purity. Hands of Elizabeth welcomes the yet unborn Jesus (I.H.S.) into her home. Symbol of the Birth. The star of Bethlehem shines over the crib.
Jesus is circumcised on a white cloth in front of the menorah (the seven-branched candlestick) Jesus is found in the Temple, where the Tablets of Stone and the Torah Scrolls are kept. The symbol leads over from the Sorrowful into the Glorious Mysteries.

The Resurrection is indicated by the empty tomb. The stone is moved and a mysterious light shines in the empty cave and the Cross on Golgatha is bare. The Assumption. Here Mary, indicated by the lily, symbol of purity, is taken up into heaven. The Blessed Virgin receives her Crown in Heaven. The metalwork, including the front grille, was executed by the firm of Maison de L'Art of Sydney, the principal of which is Mr Frank Mancini. The designs of the Tabernacle, Lectern, Way of the Cross, Marian Shrine and stained glass windows were all undertaken by noted artist Stephen Moor of Strathfield, Sydney. The design and construction of the pews were carried out by Brothers, Stan Madden and Joe McKenzie.