Our College crest represents the values and ideals which our community upholds and which all students are encouraged to follow.
The crest is the shape of a shield, reminding us of St. Paul’s words, “So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight round your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate, and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace. At all times carry faith as a shield.” (Ephesians 6:14-16)
At the centre of the shield is the cross, the central symbol of Christianity. It reminds us that Christ died and rose from the dead for love of us, and that this love must remain at the centre of our lives. The openings at all ends of the cross indicate that, through Christ, we must reach out to others with the same love Christ shows his followers.
On one side of the cross is a bundle of sticks which have been tied together. As it is much more difficult to break a bundle of sticks compared to one single stick, this symbol reflects the values of Ecumenism which promotes Unity among all Christian denominations. As a consequence of this ecumenical practice, we are all challenged to foster peace, harmony and unity among all humankind.
On the other side of the cross is an open book. This is a symbol of Learning which is the “raison d’etre” of the College. This book has emblazoned on it the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet (the Alpha and the Omega) which remind us that Christ is the beginning and end of all learning.
It provides and carries with it the profound obligation that we prepare students to lead a life of compassion in service to others. It offers a model of education, of professionalism, of leadership and of living that is not merely about enrichment of the self but is about commitment to the welfare of our common humanity.
The Eagle is a symbol of spirit, vision, strength and courage. It is considered to be the king of the air and the messenger of the highest Gods. As a Christian symbol, the eagle represents salvation, redemption and resurrection. The eagle seems to easily ascend the skies and is held to represent a noble nature from its strength and aristocratic appearance. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
A lesson to be learned from the eagle is not to depend exclusively on intellectual solutions. Through its connection to the air element, the eagle is connected to intelligence, but also to the Spirit, the knowing that goes far beyond intellect. When you look at an image of the eagle, the wings signify protection, and the gripping talons symbolize ruin to evildoers. In spite of its enormous size, the eagle still takes flight seemingly effortlessly. This symbolic cue is the epitome of John Paul College aiming to provide the ‘wind beneath the wings’ of its students so that they can ‘soar like eagles’.
Not all students can be leaders and not all leaders will succeed, but we must not allow the illusion of limitation to ground us in our flight. The eagle teaches us to courageously face our fear of the unknown, so we are then able to fly as high as our heart’s joy can take us; to soar. As members of the John Paul College family, we must give up our limited perspectives and release ourselves from comfortable, familiar thought patterns, as to fly into a larger world requires that we are brave enough to enter unknown realms.
The College crest reflects symbolically the philosophy and religious values that underpins What we Believe and is represented through the College motto: Unity, Christ, Learning.