2019 Commencement Mass and more
We celebrated the beginning of our 2019 year with the Opening School Mass at St Mary’s North Sydney. The spirit in the Church was palpable. I never tire of nor take for granted the singing that takes place on these occasions. Tony McDonnell prepares the boys thoroughly and Rod Herbert prepares the choir.
I spoke about this moment in history and this is a summary of my thinking:
Our history was represented by the following:
- In the 1880s Fr Kelly SJ requested that the Marist Brothers commence a school on our site to educate the poor boys in North Sydney. Our Mass was said by Fr Andy Bullen SJ. Andy is a great friend to Marist as having been the Jesuit parish priest over many years.
- The Marist Brothers have led our school over the vast majority of its years. We had four Marist Brothers with us on the day: Brothers Michael, Tony, Peter, and Frances. Br Michael works at the school and Br Tony is a frequent guest.
- We were joined by a good group of parents. Parents have always been great partners with the school over its 131 years.
- Our students carry on the traditions that they have received over these years. Great values such as being there for those on the margins of society. We say this is being ‘Others Centred’.
- The School Captain, Joshua Willathgamuwa, spoke beautifully of the theme for this year which is Embrace. The seniors are asking that all students embrace their learning, the values of the school and their fellow students in friendship.
The future was recognised by:
- Primary students and teachers from St Michael’s Lane Cove. Lane Cove is one of the three network schools for Marist Catholic College North Shore (MCCNS) which will commence in 2021. The other network schools are Blessed Sacrament, Clifton Gardens and Sacred Heart, Mosman. A student who enrols in the network schools will automatically have a place in MCCNS.
- Primary students and a teacher from St Mary’s Catholic Primary, North Sydney. St Mary’s will join with MCNS to form MCCNS a Kindergarten to Year 12 College in 2021.
- We were joined by Dr. Dan White, the Executive Director of Catholic Schools. It was Dan who made the formal decision for the formation of MCCNS to take place. Dan retires from his role later this term and so it was great to have him present with our community during his final weeks as Executive Director of SCS.
Dr. Dan White told our students the story of David and Goliath together with using Luke Altham, a tall Year 12 student, to represent Goliath. Dan produced a rock and replica slingshot similar to that used by David. Dan’s message was that David was not an accidental choice of warrior to challenge the great Goliath but in fact a young man who had practiced all his life the skillful use of the slingshot to protect his flock of sheep from wolves. Dan took our theme of embrace and said that our students need to embrace their studies and really throw themselves into their learning.Our mass really made me aware of our history and our future as a College.