Dear Parents, Staff and Boys
THE STATUE OF ST BENEDICT
The installation of the statue of St Benedict is the culmination of a dream which Tony Dobson will confirm began many years ago. It is our fervent hope that the statue will make some contribution to the spiritual life of each boy, parent, staff member or visitor who walks past it. May it remind us of the life and work of St Benedict and the example he set of how to live a good, Christian life. It is set aside to the glory of God in the hope that it will be a gateway that daily will draw us closer to God’s grace and help us develop an attitude of prayer, reflection and devotion.
Many of the traditional depictions of St Benedict show him as a “grumpy old man”. Our statue – commissioned from artist, Heidi Hadaway depicts St Benedict as a more appealing, younger but deeply thoughtful and wise man. The statue incorporates five symbolic elements which relate to the life and work of our patron saint – many of which can also be seen in the St Benedict’s Medal, one of the sacramentals of the Catholic Church.
A number of these elements are derived from the only available history of St Benedict which is found in the second volume of Pope Gregory I's four-book Dialogues, thought to have been written in 593.
Click here to see photographs of the statue of St Benedict.
What are these five symbolic elements?
- The simple, wooden crucifix that hangs around the statue’s neck is a symbol of the Catholic Church and is the ultimate representation of Christ as Redeemer and Saviour. It is the symbol of Benedict’s devotion and serves as a constant reminder of Christ's sacrifice and love for all men.
- The staff which the statue holds in its right hand simultaneously symbolises St Benedict’s Episcopal jurisdiction and authority and his watchfulness over his flock. It is also an allusion to the palmer's staff - a symbol of the traveller - borne in reference to the early pilgrimages to Jerusalem. The statue also shows St Benedict with his right foot ascending a rock and implies the physical conquest of the mountains of Subiaco, with all the courage, self-transcendence and mental lucidity required as the physical journey becomes an inseparable and complementary part of spiritual awakening.
- A satchel containing manuscripts hanging on the right hand side of the statue symbolises “The Rule of St Benedict”. The Roman Empire had crumbled by Benedict's time, and in the midst of collapsing institutions, moral decay, and social chaos, Benedict established religious communities based on gentle discipline, strict morality, and a well-ordered routine. Drawing on earlier monastic writings, Benedict crafted a rule that lays down the principles of Christian community life. St Benedict's Rule is one of a handful of documents that make up the foundation of Western civilization and Christian spirituality. The fact that it's still followed by monks and nuns 1,500 years after its composition as well as the fact that you can get online and purchase a copy of St Benedict’s Rule for Business Success shows its abiding relevance.
- The raven – in full glorious flight - is a reference is to the story outlined by Pope Gregory in the second book of the Dialogues. Pope Gregory tells how legend has it that a raven would bring Benedict food during his time as a hermit in the mountains near Subiaco, Italy. It is this legend that provides us with the name of our Sports Centre, our Preparatory School Sports facilities in Linbro Park and our Old Boys Rowing Club. Carolinne White’s translation of Pope Gregory's narrative reads as follows: "At mealtimes a raven used to come out of the nearby wood and take bread from Benedict’s hand. This time, when it came as usual, the man of God threw down in front of the raven the bread that the priest had handed him [it had been poisoned], saying, ‘In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, take this bread and drop it somewhere where no one can find it.’ Then the raven, opening its beak wide and spreading its wings, began to run around the bread, cawing, as if to indicate that it wanted to obey but was unable to carry out the order. Again and again the man of God told him to do it, saying, ‘Pick it up, pick it up. Do not be afraid. Just drop it where it cannot be found.’ After hesitating a long time, the raven took the bread in its beak, picked it up and flew away. Three hours later it came back, after having thrown the bread away, and received its usual ration from the hands of the man of God."
- While he was living in the cave near Subiaco, a nearby community of the monks pleaded with St Benedict to become their abbot after their previous abbot had passed away. St Benedict was reluctant to do so since it was clear to him that this particular community of monks did not lead lives in accord with the monastic ideals he himself held. Despite St Benedict's hesitation, they were insistent so eventually he accepted and became the head of their group. Soon afterwards it was clear that Benedict was right in his estimation of the monks for many of them began to resist his gentle guidance. One group went so far as to try and poison St Benedict's wine. It was St Benedict's custom to always say the blessing before eating and upon making the sign of the cross over the cup, it shattered, spilling the poisoned wine. St Benedict, realizing what the situation was simply replied that his monastic ideals and theirs were simply not suited to one another. He then retired to his cave at Subiaco. The shattered cup – lying at the statue’s feet - is the fifth symbolic element in the statue.
Parents are reminded that a full term's notice is required if they should be removing their son from St Benedict's at the end of 2012. Please ensure that notice is given by the first Friday of Term 3 i.e. Friday, 14 September 2012.
THE WEEK AHEAD
|Grade 4 & 6 Blue Entry Assembly
U11 Tennis Tournament
|Grade 4 Mass in the Chapel - 08:00a.m.
|Grade 5 Blue Entry Assembly
Hockey Tour to KZN departs
|Hockey Tour Day 2
|Hockey Tour Day 3
|Hockey Tour Returns
SOUP PACK DRIVE
As part of our Outreach Programme we are collecting packets of soup which will be donated to Healdtown College in the Eastern Cape. This is the school that Nelson Mandela attended and is part of the Mandela Day celebrations. This is purely a voluntary donation and packets can be sent in to Mrs Stoltz at reception.
Outreach boys are reminded that there will be outreach on Thursday 26 July 2012.
LOST AND FOUND
A Blackberry cellphone was lost at the Fun Day on Saturday. Please hand it in to Mrs Stoltz if found.
Despite s chill in the air, the fun day and St Benedict's Gathering went ahead and what a fantastic day it was! What a joy to see the delight on the boys' faces as they slid down some of the steepest slides and to hear the spontaneous laughter and chatter of children at play, thoroughly enjoying themselves. Then there was the somewhat louder, yet equally enthusiastic chatter in the beer tent and the loudest of all, the massed pipes and drums as they marched up and played the timeless great tunes of 'Amazing Grace', ' Flower of Scotland', 'Scotland the brave' and 'Green hills'.
This gathering also marked the 25th year of existence of the St Benedict's Pipe Band, an occasion celebrated in style and with due honour to this wonderful tradition.
The planning, preparation and hosting of the Fun Day and Pipe Band gathering was a joint effort of all Junior Prep and Prep School teachers, most ably assisted by parents from the two sections of the Prep School.
I wish to express my most sincere thanks to every member of staff and to all the parents who volunteered and assisted on the day. We make a formidable team and provided a fine example of team work for the boys. Thank you, also, to all boys and parents who supported us on the day, you made the day possible! Special appreciation and thanks are extended to Mrs Haji-Joannou for all the work done in the planning of the gathering.
SMIKE THE MUSICAL
Last night's gala evening brought to end months of preparation and rehearsals for our Prep School Play, "Smike". Well done to all concerned. Mr Chalmers directed the play and was wonderfully assisted by the Prep School staff and parents. Congratulations to the boys on the stage.. You did us proud and a special thank you to every member of the Prep School staff for your time, commitment and involvement, especially during the course of this past week.
I trust that the memory of being part of such an exciting and rewarding event will stay with you for many years to come.
Please note that unless otherwise stated by the sports master or teacher in charge, the term 2 afternoon programme has ended. A detailed afternoon programme for term 3 will be issued in the first week of term 3 and we expect the afternoon programme to recommence on Monday, 17 September.
TERM 3 DATES
A reminder that school closes for the end of term 2 on Wednesday, 8 August and that term 3 commences on Tuesday, 11 September.
GRADE 7 MONITORS
Congratulations to the following boys on being appointed as the next set of monitors : Jarrod Le Roux, Liam Walsh, Juliano Salgado, Katiso Kurata, Kyle Govender, Ross Holland, Kiano Kleiner, Matthew Punnett, Kyle Grimsley, Matthew Sham, Roberto Coelho, Dylan Khoury, Luca Biffi, Dario Abreu, Joshua Rodrigues, Alex Kelly and Dante Mitri.
From the Grade 7 Fundraising Team
Fun, Fun, Fun
Olympic Fridays – 27 July and 3 August
For R5 you will be able to come dressed in your Olympic attire on both these Fridays!
Wear a T-shirt of the country of your choice together with a pair of jeans and takkies.
MERITS OF THE WEEK
|For his kind and generous nature and for always being such a wonderful helper.
|For being a quiet Bennies boy who is very polite, courteous and for always working hard.
|For working diligently and being a true Bennies boy.
|For an outstanding start to school. Keep it up.
||Welcome back after a long absenteeism. Well done on catching up your work.
|For consistent, excellent work in English and for a super English exam.
|Well done and congratulations on your IPT squash tournament.
|For having such a positive attitude towards his school work and for working very hard.
|For a super Mathematics Cycle result. Well done Ethan, keep it up.
|For being kind, helpful and funny.
|For always being the perfect gentleman
|For a great Afrikaans exam result. Well done.
|For an outstanding Afrikaans exam. You are a STAR.
|For working so hard during the exams.
|For an improvement in behaviour and work ethic.
|For an excellent concert performance.
Newsletter 22 - 28 July 2012
FAREWELL TO MR CHALMERS
As indicated in a previous newsletter, Mr Chalmers will be leaving St Benedict's at the end of this term to take up the position of Headmaster of St Martin's Prep School in term 3. A farewell function will take place directly after Evensong on Thursday, 2 August. Booking is ESSENTIAL. Please contact Mrs Schnelle to confirm your attendance. (011 455-1906 or email@example.com)
Best wishes for the week ahead