The College’s House system exists to enrich the academic and social opportunities for our students. The six Houses have been named after six worthy patrons of our College whose lives are shining examples to which all students of the College can aspire in their journey to becoming valued members of society.
Each student is assigned to a House group which forms the basis of the Pastoral Care structure at the College.
The House system promotes a sense of belonging, encourages student contribution and includes a range of activities characterised by healthy competition and a strong House spirit.
‘A true heart knows no bounds’
St. Marcellin Champagnat was born in Le Rosey, a country hamlet in Southern France in 1789, the year of the French Revolution. He spent his boyhood years working on the farm with his father and learnt many skills that were to stand him in good stead later on when he founded the Marist Brothers. He was ordained in 1816 and was appointed to the Parish of La Valla. His first recruits gathered on January 2nd, 1817 the foundation day of the Marist Brothers. At this time, Marcellin was only 27 years old. Marcellin Champagnat loved young people. They, in turn, found his enthusiasm and energy contagious. Three elements fuelled his passion for life and shaped his spirituality; an awareness of God’s presence, an unwavering confidence in Mary and her protection, and the two uncomplicated virtues of simplicity and humility. He gave his brothers a clear mission, “proclaim the Word of God directly to the young”, he said. He knew that to teach young people you have to love them first. Marcellin guided his life and work by that principle and expected his brothers to do the same. He died at the age of 52, twenty three years after starting the brothers. Yet in this short time he was able to leave behind him three hundred brothers and fifty schools.
‘Moving forward together’
Father Theodore Ratisbonne, a distinguished preacher and writer, born of Jewish parentage at Shasburg in 1802. He was raised in luxury, was educated at the Royal College of his native city and was considered a leader among his people. The conversion of his three friends, caused him to study the Bible and this History of the Church. He was baptised in 1826. He was ordained as a priest in 1830. He worked in his native diocese till 1840 when he became the sub-director of the Confraternity of Notre Dame des Victoires at Paris. During the same summer he went to Rome, where Pope Gregory XVI decorated him a Knight and granted his request to labour for the conversion of the Jews. Houses were opened under the patronage of “Our Lady of Sion” for the Christian education of Jewish boys and girls. At his death he received the last sacraments from the Archbishop of Paris, and the final blessing from Leo Xlll. He died in Paris in 1884.
‘Courage, strength, determination’
Reverend Mother Marie Raphaela was born in 1859. She and six other sisters of Sion answered Bishop Corbett’s call for a group of religious to come to Sale. They left England in January 1890. Mother Raphaela was chosen to lead the group of Sisters to start a new boarding school and day school in Sale. Aged 30 years, she had limited knowledge of English and had the responsibility of establishing Sion in a new country. In September, 1891 the Sisters bought “Tracy’s Paddock”, eight acres as the site for their convent. Mother Raphaela designed the Gothic building and construction began in November, 1892. Mother Raphaela felt that her work would not be complete until a Chapel was built. From her armchair, where she remained day and night for five years, she followed the construction with keen interest. She even had herself carried on to the scaffolding to measure the width of the niche for the statue of Our Lady of Sion over the alter, when the builder decided to change its proportions. She insisted that the brickwork should be taken out and the original design adhered to. The Chapel, begun in May, 1890 was completed in August, 1901, just sixteen months before the death of Mother Raphaela in November, 1902.
‘Strive for better things’
John McColl (Br. Paulinus) was born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1878. He entered the training house of the Marist Brothers, three months before he turned 12. He taught at North Sydney and then in 1904, aged 25 years, he became Director of the Marist Brother school in Bendigo. In 1922 he was appointed the first Director of St Patrick’s College Sale. This period clearly proved his ability as administrator, his flair in public relations and his warm affection for the Brothers and boys. Old Collegians of these days remembered Br. Paulinus for his vigorous exhortations to live their motto, “Aemulamini Meliora” which means “Strive for better things”. His own enthusiasm was evident in the classroom and on the sports-fields. He took a keen interest in athletics and this played no small part in the extraordinary results St. Patrick’s had in athletics. He is probably best remembered for being the driving force in obtaining the land and building the College Oval. He was a strong and original type of man, and a leader among men.
The Daly family has been closely associated with the Colleges, especially St Patrick’s College since its commencement in 1922. During the time of Brother Paulinus, the first Director of St Patrick’s College, a group of men gave great support, especially in the construction of the oval and the foot-bridge leading to it. One of these men was Bill Daly. His wife Margaret worked at the College for many years helping both in the kitchen and in the laundry. There were seven children and many took up religious vocations. The youngest, Noel, became a Diocesan Priest and eventually the Bishop of Sandhurst. In 1953 Br. Geoffrey Daly, one of the four sons to become a Marist Brother became the Director of St Patrick’s College and, in 1959, he was succeeded by Brother Climacus Daly. During their time in office the College flourished in all departments. Both men supervised the renovation of many areas of the College. Br Geoffrey glazed the front verandah of the College, had the original foot-bridge built over Flooding Creek replaced and had the B field and the island levelled and fenced. Br Climacus was responsible for the extension of the College along Macalister St and around into Reeve Street. Both were outstanding teachers, related well to the students and contributed greatly to the success and growth of St Patrick’s College.
‘Live your dreams, don’t dream your life’
Many members of the Allman families have passed through Our Lady of Sion and St Patrick’s Colleges. Sr Ellen Allman and Sr Elizabeth Allman both played important roles in Our Lady of Sion College. Sr Elizabeth became Principal of Our Lady of Sion College in 1971 and on the amalgamation of Our Lady of Sion and St Patrick’s Colleges, remained the Head of the Sion Campus for another six years. Sr Ellen taught for many years in St Mary’s Parish School. Monsignor Allman was the Administrator of the Cathedral Parish for many years and Vicar-General of the Diocese. He was a great friend of both Colleges and was instrumental in procuring the land where the Sr Elizabeth Allman building is today. The Allman family were from the farming community in the Seaton and Heyfield districts. Many members of the Allman clan have attended the Colleges and have remained loyal supporters over the years.