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St. Peter's College. Keys of St. Peter

8 March 2018 | General Interest

The Keys of St. Peter are a very visual symbol in the St. Peter’s College community. You can see the Keys on the blazer pocket of the students. You can see the Keys on the badges proudly worn by staff and students. You can see the Keys on the gates as you enter the College grounds. Why?

The Keys are significant to the story of St. Peter, coming from the Gospel of Matthew (16:19), whereby Jesus says to Peter, "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on Earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on Earth shall be loosed in heaven."

It is this symbolism that leads to the legend of Peter as the keeper of the “pearly gates “of heaven.

The keys of the kingdom is also a Christian concept of church authority and can be seen on the coat of arms of the Holy See and Vatican City State, that include an image of crossed keys to represent the metaphorical keys of the office of Saint Peter, the first Pope and the rock that the Church will be built on.

With the Keys of St. Peter, often one key is gold and the other silver. The first represents the power to bind and loose in heaven, spiritual authority, while the second represents the power to bind and loose on earth, temporal authority.

Jesus gave Peter “the keys of the kingdom of heaven,” not the keys to heaven. A key was a badge of authority (Luke 11:52 ) and then as now was used to open doors.

Our hope at St. Peter’s College is that we give the keys for our students to open the doors of faith. That we give the keys for our students to open the doors of education. That we give the keys for our students to open the doors of service.

A key point of our Catholic education and key objective of our Catholic Christian faith is to hand over the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, given through the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, so that our students have:

Wisdom: To see God in everyone and everything everywhere.

Understanding: The ability to comprehend that we are followers of Christ.

Right Judgment: The ability to know right from wrong and to choose to do what is right.

Reverence: The ability to have deep respect for God and the Church.

Knowledge: The ability to understand the meaning of God.

Courage: The ability to overcome fear and to stand up for what is right in the eyes of God.

Wonder and Awe: The ability to be aware that God is all-loving.

The above is what we see as the keys to a holistic education at St Peter’s College.

Matt Williams

Deputy Principal, Faith and Catholic Identity