I have been aware in visiting the different parts of the city – and indeed the Diocese – of the impact that St Boniface’s has had on so many people’s lives. Among others who have been richly blessed by their time in the school I was delighted to meet a number of Priests who were educated at St Boniface College.
There have always been good Shepherds in the Church with the mind of Christ Jesus, the one true Shepherd – and with his compassionate and merciful heart. Your Patron – St Boniface – was one such good Shepherd. Born about the year 673 he lived firstly as a student and as a teacher in a Monastic school, and then himself went on to be a great missionary traveller, taking the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to various parts of Europe. He is remembered today particularly in Germany.
He was clearly a gifted communicator and came across to those who met him as a free man. He was able to convince, through debate and argument, so that many came to believe in the person of Jesus Christ and the power of His Gospel, such that many found freedom themselves through what St Boniface taught.
St Boniface was also a tremendously courageous person. Wherever he encountered opposition he would entrust that person to the mercy of God. He was such a good Shepherd that he was willing to lay down his life for the cause of the spiritual freedom of others, and was put to death for what he believed.
It is my hope and prayer that students and staff will be inspired by the rich heritage of their namesake, so that they can be courageous and powerful witnesses to the truth in our own day. May such a sense of missionary outreach to others be part of all of our lives and may St Boniface College continue to prepare men to live truthful and free lives after the example of their Patron.
St Boniface, pray for us.
Mark, Bishop of Plymouth