By Jackie Weber
If you’ve hung around Presence Point for any length of time, you know we’re always on the lookout for a compelling shepherd-in-action story. The following is just that and comes to us from one of our beloved multiplication partners, Prendiville Catholic College – a school for 7th through 12th grade students in Perth, Australia. Their faculty, staff, and students are strong advocates for the shepherd leadership message. In fact, their school moto is Christus Pastor Meus (Christ My Shepherd).
An article published in the school’s Spring newsletter beautifully illustrated how teacher Di Pease sacrificially practiced Provision, Protection, and Presence – even while hospitalized and unable to complete Term 1 of the school year in person.
The author of the article stated that, “I am always in awe of the exemplary way she looks out for every member of her homeroom.” He went on to recount the following: “Whilst in hospital, Di sent this direct message to her homeroom students. It is a wonderful example of Di’s commitment to find good in every student and also her relentless effort to really know each child in her homeroom. Di was happy for me to publish her message to her little Homeroom Flock. She wrote,
I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a wonderful Easter. You have completed your first term at high school, and you are well into your journey as middle schoolers. I am so proud of you all. This is what I learned about you in Term 1…
Mason: All round beautiful person and Mr. nice guy
Ben: New haircut for high school and leadership skills emerging
Lea: Quiet achiever, beautiful inside and out
Lincoln: The quiet rock, who supports everyone
Angie: My social justice girl, you will make a great lawyer.
Jev: Mr. cheeky sense of humour, thank you for the laughs you bring.
Tall Son: Intelligent, great sense of humour and a nice guy
Cohen: Step out from the shadow, you’re smart, funny, and will soar when you try.
Emily H: Mature, intelligent, caring, I think we have a future Prime Minister in you.
Joel: Great attitude to give everything a go, I need to take lessons from you!
Patrick: Adorable, great sense of humour, and your generosity has blown me away!
Delaney: So much empathy for others, beautiful person inside and out, 2028 Head Girl
Emily L: Lateral thinker and problem solver, CEO of an international company
Miranda: Mature, caring, and your kindness towards others is a unique gift.
Rory: Comic timing is impeccable and a beautiful soul. Future coach for Man U?
Eliana: Intelligent, caring, and creative. My all-round girl!
Eva: Beautiful inside and out, a real team player
Malachy: You give earthing a go, quietly confident and a big heart
Asha: Problem solver extraordinaire, future cybercrime fighter or ASIO agent
Sienna: My sporty girl, you are going to light up our screens representing Australia.
Ollie: Such maturity and love for life, future pilot like dad or groundbreaking psychiatrist
Paige: So brave, caring, and ability to give everything a go. We are thinking of you.
Adam: Beautiful soul, caring, and funny, first to accept me as surrogate mum
Joey: So protective of others and straight down the line, future police chief or admiral
Lots of love and blessings, Mother Pease’”
What an investment Di had made in her students! She knew each of them individually in such a beautiful way. And what additional effort she exerted, while ill, to communicate her observations to them so personally!
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
I can just imagine how these students felt as they read this note. What words would you use to describe the possibilities? Valued, precious, worthy, gifted, treasured, respected, esteemed, cherished, prized, loved, priceless, extraordinary, exceptional, and remarkable all come to mind. Wouldn’t you love to have your children in Di’s class?
Shepherd teacher – she knows detailed characteristics of her sheep, she instills individual confidence and value in each lamb, and she promotes their self-worth by freely and openly sharing the strengths she sees in them, with them.
Let’s take up the shepherd leadership challenge, lean into the “Di” within each of us, and do the same for those we influence and impact.