Opening of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop
The community at St Mary of the Cross MacKillop Catholic Parish Primary School at Epping North gathered in celebration on 3 March 2013 for the blessing of their new school. The Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, blessed the Archdiocese’s newest school in front of special guests, parents and students.
Principal Geraldine Dalton said the blessing of the new school was a proud moment for the local community who were joined at the opening by the federal member for McEwen, Robert Mitchell, and parish priest, Father Maurie Cooney.
Catholic Education Week
Catholic Education Week, which was held from 10 to 17 March 2013, was given added importance by the announcement of the new Pope, Francis I, on the day Catholic schools celebrated the Mass of St Patrick for Schools.
The 2013 theme for Catholic Education Week was Entrusted with Something Precious, which comes from a passage in St Paul’s second letter to the young disciple, Timothy. The Mass, celebrated by the Archbishop Hart, began with a procession of school banners into the cathedral. After the Mass the Treasury Gardens provided the picturesque location for the concert with police band, Code One, on centre stage. Students from Catholic schools also performed.
A new event for 2013 was the Young Speakers Colloquium for Year 10 students, which was held at the new Catholic Leadership Centre in East Melbourne. The topic was What Shapes your Identity? Speakers included Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Melbourne, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv; Kangaroos footballer, Daniel Wells; paralympian, Dylan Alcott; and Brighid Feeney, a volunteer with the Sudanese Australian Integrated Learning (SAIL) program Inc.
For the first time the Visual Arts Exhibition was held at the Catholic Leadership Centre. Seventy-nine schools were represented by more than 300 works of art that were exhibited. More than 600 visitors attended the exhibition in the week it was open to the public.
St Patrick's Day Dinner
The Irish ambassador, His Excellency Noel White, and Ireland’s Minister for Defence, Paul Kehoe TD, were guests of honour at the annual St Patrick’s Day dinner at the Park Hyatt on 13 March 2013. The Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, was the host and the master of ceremonies was the Executive Director of Catholic Education, Stephen Elder. More than 20 state and federal ministers were in attendance, including the Deputy Premier, Peter Ryan; Deputy State Opposition Leader, James Merlino; Federal Shadow Education Minister, Christopher Pyne; and Victorian Education Minister, Martin Dixon.
Graduate Teacher Welcome Mass
A total of 220 graduate teachers from Catholic primary and secondary schools across the Archdiocese of Melbourne attended the 2013 Graduate Teacher Welcome Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral on 30 April 2013. Archbishop Denis Hart reflected on the gifts and talents the graduate teachers will bring to their new roles and reminded them of the balance between wisdom and enthusiasm as they strengthen their professional expertise.
Opening of Fawkner Kindergarten
Parents and children were delighted with the official opening of the new home for Fawkner Kindergarten on Thursday 6 June at St Mark’s School in Fawkner. Years of planning and negotiations between the community of St Mark’s parish, St Mark’s school and the Victorian Government were realised with the launch of the centre. The kindergarten was opened by the Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development, the Hon. Wendy Lovell, MLC, who congratulated the parish on their contribution.
Student Wellbeing Drama Festival
The Student Wellbeing Festival successfully completed its sixth year in June 2013. Performances were held over seven nights, across three venues in the Archdiocese of Melbourne with 40 schools and 1,500 students participating in the festival. The performances were created by students and reflected the diversity of wellbeing topics in all subject areas. Many secondary schools involved used the drama festival as an assessment task in the Year 9 and 10 curriculum.
World Youth Day
On 20 July 2013, 55 students representing 40 secondary schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne departed for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to attend World Youth Day (WYD), accompanied by staff from those schools and the Catholic Education Office Melbourne (CEOM), including Executive Director, Stephen Elder, a chaplain and eight pilgrims from the Diocese of Sale.
The week of prayer, song and reflection culminated in a vigil with Pope Francis, which included an overnight stay on Copacabana beach before the final Mass with the Pope the next morning. During the WYD program, students kept in touch with the Catholic education community in Melbourne through a blog of their experiences, hosted on the CEOM website.
Archdiocesan Celebration with Principals
The annual Principals’ Mass and Dinner to celebrate principalship in the Archdiocese was held on 3 December 2013. It was a great opportunity to gather together in Eucharist and at dinner to acknowledge the contribution of so many principals and parish priests over so many years, and to share the many stories 2013 produced. The celebration began with Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral, followed by dinner in the Park Hyatt Ballroom.
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