A central mission of Catholic schools is to enhance opportunities for the spiritual benefit of staff and students.
Here at Ratcliffe College, we have a long and proud history of supporting Catholic families and those who appreciate the values espoused by Christianity. Since its foundation in the mid 19th century, Ratcliffe College has been under the care of the Institute of Charity, commonly known as the Rosminian Order.
Blessed Antonio Rosmini, an Italian priest and philosopher, held the foundation and operation of Ratcliffe College close to his heart, and the character of our school rests firmly upon his educational philosophy. We read in our Mission Statement three of his principles:
The cultivation of a loving environment, bound to the rigours of intellectual integrity, are the bases upon which we seek to perfect our students’ human capabilities and their character. In a student population of great religious and cultural diversity, these bases form a great unifying force.
The work of Chaplaincy is to help staff and students meet God in their daily lives.
As the source of our being, and the goal of our growth, meeting God helps us truly meet ourselves. There are three broad areas of action we undertake to facilitate this meeting.
Meeting God in Shared Stories
Our Chaplaincy gives students and staff the opportunity to share their stories of faith in our weekly Chaplaincy Assembly and fortnightly Year Level Assemblies. Following the Liturgical Calendar, and reflecting on the activities of our school community, staff and students are invited to share music, word and prayer in each assembly.
The celebration of the sacraments is central to a Catholic school, and we are blessed with two priests on staff.
On important feasts of the Church, Mass is celebrated with the whole community, and each Year Level takes responsibility for one of these a year. The Boarding Community celebrates Mass every weekend, and we are pleased to welcome visitors to our 9:30am Sunday Mass in the Church. Each working day during term time, Mass is celebrated in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of the Church at 5:30pm.
During Advent and Lent, the school celebrates the Sacrament of Reconciliation through a presentation of student-led workshops and prayer in the Church. Priests are available to hear confessions of Catholics, or to lend an ear and bless those of other faith traditions.
Each year, candidates for Baptism, First Holy Communion and Confirmation are prepared and step further along their own journey of faith.
Our school motto, Legis Plenitude Charitas, is drawn from the Letter to the Romans – Love is the fulfilment of the Law. It is in loving service to those around us that members of our community share of their deepest, and find greatest unity.
Each Year Level takes on a charity to support with awareness and fund raising. There is also a Whole School Charity that we support each year, raising funds through casuals days, cake sales and the Parents’ Association Spring Fair. CAFOD, Faith in Families and The Carpenter’s Arms are charities we support every year.
Staff and students also participate in service to those within and beyond our Ratcliffe community. Our Voluntary Service Unit each week visits a local Friendship Group for people with learning difficulties, the Mother Teresa Group meets weekly to sort and distribute clothing collected, our St Vincent de Paul Society works with students in the Preparatory School throughout the week, helping read and run activities during their lunch breaks.
Our Chaplaincy Team consists of Fr Christopher Cann (Head of the Preparatory School), Fr President Philip Sainter, Mr Kevin Ryce (Senior Deputy Head, Academic), Mr Clement Donegan (Deputy Head, Pastoral), Mr Nicholas Walsh (Head of Religious Studies), Mrs Jo Leite (Head of Boarding), Mr Edward McCall (Director of Music), Mr Paul Michel (Lay Chaplain), and Mrs Eleanor Waters (Chaplaincy Assistant & Learning Support).
We meet regularly to discuss, review and evaluate the work of Chaplaincy, and to plan for its enhancement.