Vision, Values, and Mission
Together, building communities where people thrive and belong.
Through our presence with each other we cherish, respect and honour each story and the desire to experience the fullness of life.
We hold true to the authentic call of our hearts in openness and transparency. We do what we say we will do.
We understand that all of life has the right to contribute in peace and with hope.
Cultivating a deep awareness of the agenda of the world we desire and work for both social and ecological justice. We have a passion to disrupt unjust structures and join in the world's mobilisation for equality and restoration of rights.
In the spirit of Edmund Rice, our community seeks to build authentic relationships, learning together about people's everyday experience of the world. We are ordinary people understanding that our interactions and support for each other can create extraordinary moments of change for the common good.
Edmund Rice Community Services draws on the inspiration of Edmund Rice who, over 200 years ago, founded the Christian Brothers and the Presentation Brothers.
Edmund was a successful businessman who, following the tragic loss of his deeply loved wife, was led to see that the world of Waterford, Ireland, was marred by poverty and injustice. Having had the experience of meeting young men locked away in prison for petty crimes and despairing at their unfulfilled potential, Edmund experienced a deep call to work towards the liberation of this harsh and cruel world. He recognised that an education built around the practicalities of enabling these vulnerable young people to engage in a more fulfilling life would bring about such liberation.
Edmund himself drew inspiration from the gospel call of Jesus who, in first-century Palestine, decided to leave his settled life in Nazareth to spend his time with people struggling to survive on the very edges of life and society. As a married man, Edmund experienced the intimate love and devotion of his young wife and their daughter, Mary. The significance of being part of this nurturing family found expression in Edmund’s fatherly gentleness, a quality that characterised his life and relationships. It is no wonder that he saw potential in forming communities of men and women to live out a vision of bringing healing, hope and liberation.
Here in Australia, the Edmund Rice community credit its foundation to the community of Christian Brothers, Ambrose Treacy, Fursey Bodkin, Barnabas Lynch and Joseph Nolan, who arrived in Melbourne in November 1868 with absolutely nothing apart from their basic belongings. From this very humble beginning emerged the Edmund Rice story we belong to today. In Ambrose Treacy and his early community of Christian Brothers, we connect to a spirit of mission and a deep innate trust in an unfolding spirit of love and compassion.
Today as Edmund Rice people, we see our life as intimately entwined with the 14 billion-year evolution of the universe. Within this evolution we recognise the presence of a creative spirit, deep mystery, constantly drawing us into life. In listening to this deep mystery, we are called to choose life and stand in solidarity with the cry of the earth, the cry for justice and the desire for liberation of all life.