The Petrine Ethos

St. Peter’s College, as any Catholic school, has at the heart of its being, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It lights our approach to learning and to living. Consequently, when we say we embrace the Petrine Ethos, we embrace it as Saint Peter embraced the teachings of Jesus, in a human way, as a part of a living community of faith. Claims to even having an ethos can seem strange and unachievable to people, they find it difficult to relate to.

As a Catholic College, named after Saint Peter, we endeavour to grow in faith and in our example to the community by following the example of Peter. A lot is made of Peter being seen as the first Pope; however his beginnings and his later life were not privileged. Peter lived and grew in a small fishing town on the shores of the Sea of Galilee named Capernaum. He was a fisherman, not a man of great learning but a practical man. When Peter was called by Jesus he had had a hard unprofitable night of fishing. Jesus told him to go out and “let down your nets into the deep”. Somehow Peter saw something in Jesus, his reply was “Master we have worked all night and caught nothing, but if you say so we will lower the nets.” LK5:4-5

When the huge catch came in, Peter said “Depart from me Lord, I am a sinful man” LK5:8.

Peter is a complex figure, when Jesus calls for him to walk across the water to him; he begins and then has doubts and begins to sink. Then we have the denial of Jesus by Peter while Jesus is being tried. Peter knew his own failings, and he knew that Jesus was only too aware of them too. But Peter never lost his faith. Jesus gave Peter the command, “Feed my sheep, look after my lambs: Jn21:15-19 he said to Peter “You are the rock, upon this I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven…” Matt16:18-19.

What greater sign of trust could be given to Peter than these words? What greater mission could be given to Peter than to found Christ’s Church and to be its shepherd?

We acknowledge the call and commissioning of Peter as a call to us all. We embrace the call of Jesus to “Be Not Afraid” and go forward confident in the guiding presence of God. We embrace the humanity of Peter, a constant reminder that God works through each of us, imperfect though we are. Peter was constant in his endeavour to live out his mission; we at St. Peter’s College pray that we may live out faithfully our mission of feeding the College community with the life giving Word of God.