Casimir College Marrickville De La Salle House

John Baptist De la Salle was born in Reims, France in 1651, he was the oldest of 11 children. At the age of 16 he was made a canon and three years later he joined the priesthood. At 21, De La Salle’s parents passed away suddenly so he returned home to care for his family. In 1678, he officially joined the priesthood and was ordained as a priest. In 1679 De La Salle met Adrian Nyel, who asked John to help in opening free schools for the poverty stricken young boys in Reims. He then went on to spend his life teaching poor children in parish charity schools. De La Salle’s followers were then called brothers which symbolises their loyalty to each other. Saint John Baptist De La Salle sadly passed on the day we know as Good Friday, April 7th in 1719. In 1900, he was proclaimed a Saint of the Catholic Church because of the good works he carried out throughout his life. His legacy remained so much so that in 1906 the Brothers came to Australia to open the first Australian Lasallian school in Armidale in country NSW. 

MOTTO: With God as Leader
The La Salle motto is made evident by John Baptist De La Salle himself and is carried out by his brothers, everything they do and have done in the past has been guided by the Good Will of the lord. We as young Christians are guided by God in all that we do and aspire to achieve in life. Through the Lasallian teachings we are taught to nurture the members of our community and bring awareness to the living presence of God in our world. We are called to express ourselves and find our true meaning as children of God and thus finding our purpose and vocation in life. At Casimir, we can follow the Lasallian teachings by treating others with love, respect and compassion. As a Year 12 student, the Good Works of John the Baptist resonate with our year group as we’ve faced many unexpected challenges throughout our last year of school, therefore highlighting the importance of sticking together and supporting one another. 

HOUSE FOCUS: Community
St John Baptist De La Salle established schools built for the community to educate through Christ and his influence on education was recognised by the Church as Patron Saint of all Teachers. St John Baptist De La Salle faced diversity from the ecclesiastical authorities who resisted him to form schools conducted by an association. The educational establishment resented his innovative methods and his insistence on gratuity for all, regardless of whether they could afford to pay. St John Baptist De La Salle succceded in creating a number of quality schools despite diversity throughout Francet that featured instruction in the vernacular, students grouped according to ability and achievement, integration of religious instruction with secular subjects,

Casimir College Marrickville St Brigid house

Saint Brigid is known as one of the most amazing and influential role models in Irish history. In her younger years, she worked as a slave where she spent her time cooking, cleaning, washing and feeding the animals on her father’s farm. However, when St Bridgid was 18, she was inspired by St Patrick and became a Christian who decided to dedicate her life to God. She looked after the poor, sick and elderly before deciding she wanted to be a part of a convent where she would be devoted to religious living. However, her father insisted she marry a wealthy man and live a life as promised. St Bridgid reached out to God asking for her beauty to be taken away to avoid the marriage. Her wish was granted and she went on to join a convent where she vowed to dedicate her whole life to God and blossomed to be more beautiful than ever. Throughout her life, St Bridget founded many convents all over Ireland. The most famous one was in Co. Kildare built beside an oak tree. She also founded a school of art that included metal work and illumination.

MOTTO: May the Passion of Christ be always in our hearts
St Brigid was evidently very passionate towards the religious lifestyle with complete dedication to God. She found strength through the Passion of Christ that lived in her heart which inspired her to spend her life advocating for God through supporting the most vulnerable in the community. This concept is relevant to our everyday lives as it inspires us to be resilient and work towards our goals. I am a year 12 student sitting my HSC this year so for me, this motto is strength, passion, confidence and patience. Strength to help me navigate through the difficult times along my senior journey, passion to encourage me to achieve my goals and push me to do my best, confidence to help me believe in myself and my abilities and patience to remind myself that hard work pays off. 

FOCUS: Service
Inspired by Saint Patrick to spread the word of God
St Brigid or Brigid of Kildare has the same name, associations and feast day as the Celtic goddess Brigid. Around 480 Brigid founded the first monastery at Kildare on the site of a pagan shrine to the Celtic goddess Brigid. It is said that Saint Brigid was generous enough to give away her valuables to the poor and even as far as performing miracles to heal and feed the poor.

Casimir College Marrickville Polding house

John Bede Polding was born in Liverpool, England in 1794, and began his life of service to God at age seventeen, where he joined the Benedictine order. Eight years later, Polding was ordained as a priest, until 1835 where he arrived in Sydney and was consecrated a Bishop, making him Australia’s first Roman Catholic Bishop. His passion for people’s right to education meant that his work as a Bishop consisted of forming missionary districts upon which he introduced priests, churches and schools. The Church continued to flourish through Polding’s work, and so he was appointed Archbishop in 1843, becoming the primate of the Catholic Church in Australia. His work continued from here, where he established numerous monasteries, colleges and schools, the first being St. John’s College. Polding’s desire to assist the disadvantaged communities saw him found The Sisters of the Good Samaritan of the Order of St Benedict in 1857, Australia’s first religious community. John Bede Polding dedicated his final years to raising funds in order to rebuild the fire-ruined St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney.

MOTTO: In all things glorify God
The motto of Casimir’s Polding house “In all things glorify God” was inspired through the Bible passage, “So that in all things God may be glorified” (1 Peter 4:11). The meaning behind this quote is that all actions made by us should be made with the intent of giving praise to God. This is the motto for the Polding house as this clearly reflects John Bede Polding’s life and work towards growing the Catholic faith in Australia. This means that at school, at home, and in public, we should be trying to think of God in all that we do. For example, at school sporting events, when we speak to each other, we should be speaking words of encouragement in order to deliver God’s words. When we help others just as John Bede Polding did, we are giving up our own time and energy, but yet we are drawing from God’s own strength. This motto should be a part of our daily lives and should be in the back of our minds as it reminds us of our duty to dedicate our actions in life for the purpose of God, bringing Him glory. 

FOCUS: Commitment to prayer
John Bede Polding travelled throughout the colony in Australia preaching and praying to strengthen his Christian faith. During his travels he was able to minister to 20 000 Australian Catholics through the use of his hands on approach. John Bede Polding attended to the spiritual needs of all Australians and was especially known for his compassion towards convicts who had been badly treated. Through his works he assisted in allowing the setting up of Australia’s first Catholic mission, a legacy that still lives today.  

Casimir College Marrickville Mackillop house

Mary Mackillop was born in Melbourne 1842 to Catholic immigrant parents from Scotland. She was the oldest of 8 children raised in the working class suburb of Fitzroy, Melbourne. At the age of 16 she began working to support her younger brothers and sisters. She then later took a job as a governess on a farm in South Australia as she had a dream of educating the poor. Through this, she met Father Julian Tenison Woods, an eccentric priest who shared her dream of educating the poor. He became her mentor. Together, Mary and Father Woods opened the first free Catholic school in Penola in 1866. Then, in 1867, they both formed a religious order of nuns, the ‘Sisters of St Joseph’, an order devoted to educating the poor. At this time, Mary took her vows becoming the order’s first sister and its leader. She and her sisters later founded hospitals, orphanages and shelters for the homeless. After a lifetime of ministry, Mary Mackillip died in 1909 and was declared Australia’s first Catholic Saint in 2010.

MOTTO: Never see a need without doing something about it
The motto for the Mackillop house comes from a quote by Mary Mackillop herself “Never see a need without doing something about it”. It is made evident through Mary’s dedication of her life to helping the poor that she has lived out this motto. At Casimir this calls and inspires us to be independent, devoted, humble, brave, generous, patient, virtuous and compassionate to all who we come across. Casimir students strive to imitate Mary Mackillop’s works through all aspects of their school life and the wider community. This is seen as students at Casimir are brave in which is expressed through their positive attitude towards life, especially in today’s world where COVID – 19 is still quite prominent. These qualities were demonstrated at the swimming carnival of 2020, where Mackillop students were very encouraging and helpful of their peers and teachers by volunteering to help deliver food and water to participants at the carnival. This cements the notion of “Never see a need without doing something about it” as students helped on their own volition. This Is a great starting block for the future of all students at Casimir and as a small deed, is foundational to the future where students can contribute to society positively and on larger scales through the faith of God. That being said, Mary Mackillop stands as an affirmation of the Catholic faith and an abiding sign of hope. For those who are not Catholic but respect the place of the church in Australia, it is a moment of great pride and satisfaction that we can acknowledge her presence and importance as a college house at Casimir.

FOCUS: Faith
Mary Mackillop’s faith was shown through her compassion for anyone in need regardless of their race, colour or faith. Maryʼs great faith inspired others to have trust in God, as she lived her life with a sense of gratitude and confidence that God would always provide. Additionally, education about religion in the Josephite schools also promoted faith and the spread of Catholicism among those who needed hope in times of crisis. Her works are still prominent to this day in her contributions to the development of Catholicism throughout Australia. Hence, her faith in the world is still strong and continues to inspire others to have this same faith in all that they do.