Italian College named after Jerome Emiliani!
Updated: Oct 6, 2020
The charisma of the Somascan Fathers will therefore provide the students at Emiliani Italian College with a Catholic and historically Italian mission, unique in its nature, which we will come to know as the Somascan Tradition
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“We had the opportunity to consider various options for naming the college. The final choice fell on Emiliani, a personality linked to the Italian heritage, to the world of Catholic education and to pedagogy.”
The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Marco Testa, appeared in a Facebook live stream on Saturday, 3 October 2020 to announce that the new independent K-12 Italian College for the South West of Sydney has been named Emiliani Italian College, in honour of Saint Jerome Emiliani.
A Venetian soldier who lived in the sixteenth century, Emiliani converted to a mission in the footsteps of Christ, following his release from captivity. He soon became the founder of the Regular Clerics of Somasca, also known as the Somascan Fathers.
"We had the opportunity to consider various options for naming the college. The final choice fell on Emiliani, a personality linked to the Italian heritage, to the world of Catholic education and to pedagogy," said Testa.
The Emiliani method is divided into five essential pillars: being with the students and living with them the educational experience, having a meaningful relationship with students and their families, the primacy of being active in 'work' - in the words of Saint Jerome: "to live by the dignified rule of work", as well as 'devotion' as being faithful to Christian values and finally 'charity' as a service to the needs of the poor.
"Saint Jerome Emiliani was a pioneer in caring for the poor, in particular for orphans and abandoned young people. His mission as a teacher took place at the time of the plague in the 1500s, surrounded by disease and families shaken by alienating events, a detail that we are sure may be relevant during this pandemic period, "added Testa.
In Italy, the Somascans are the rectors of the Pontifical Collegio Gallio, in the city of Como, established by Pope Gregory XIII with the bull "Immensa Dei providentia". To this day, the Collegio Gallio represents the oldest continuing primary and secondary education institution in all of Europe, founded in 1583.
The colleges of the Somascan Fathers have included notable Italians among their pupils. Poets such as Alessandro Manzoni, who studied in Merate and Lugano, and Apostolo Zeno in Venice, saints and blessed such as Saint Luigi Guanella and Blessed Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, both students of the Collegio Gallio, as well as explorers and popes, including Alessandro Malaspina, who landed in Port Jackson (Sydney) in 1793, and Benedict XIV, educated at the Clementine College in Rome.
"The Somascans have recently settled in Sydney and we hope to develop with them a greater synergy based on the knowledge of the charism of the religious order, whose educational drive is synonymous with excellence and things Italian," said Testa.
The Somascan Fathers have a profound Marian devotion. They strive for the academic and moral teaching of young people and are fervently immersed in Catholic practices such as Eucharistic adoration, communal prayer and works of charity.
"The charisma of the Somascan Fathers will therefore provide the students at Emiliani Italian College with a Catholic and historically Italian mission, unique in its nature, which we will come to know as the Somascan Tradition," concluded Testa.