THE combined 261 years of Catholic education provided by the Mercy Sisters and Christian Brothers to Rockhampton was acknowledged in a farewell Mass for the last of the city’s Christian Brothers, Br Mick Bible.
Diocesan administrator Fr John Grace in his homily at the farewell Mass said “this city has profited from their combined outreach in teaching at the Range College and St Joseph’s Christian Brothers College”.
Oceania Christian Brothers provincial Br Vince Duggan, leadership team member Br Chris Meehl and at least seven other congregation members were among those present at the Mass in St Joseph’s Cathedral on February 1.
“This evening closes the chapter for the Christian Brothers in Rockhampton,” Fr Grace said.
“Brother Mick Bible has been a staff member at the Cathedral College for its whole journey of twenty-two years.
“Like so many in Rockhampton, who have appreciated his vocation and ministry, we give great credit to his faithful service, thank him most sincerely and wish him blessed years of retirement when he can more easily, and with less disturbance or intrusion, relish the Lord’s immense love for him.”
Fr Grace also took the opportunity at the farewell Mass to “relay the tremendous gratitude felt by a virtual army of men and their families for the almost 100 years of boys’ education at St Joseph’s CBC, with the added twenty-two years of boys and girls”.
“A chapter door is closing but the treasure chest is patrimony, not only for the Christian Brothers but also for the Diocese of Rockhampton where Brothers have served in Rockhampton (south and north), Mackay, Yeppoon and Bundaberg as well,” he said.
“The history of each place is striking in the Catholic records of those cities and towns.
“The Brothers who have been in Rockhampton have aimed at forming Christian gentleman and Catholic leaders, who have filled every conceivable position in the Church and in society in both Australia and beyond.
“I am ever appreciative of my years at Christian Brothers College, West Street.
“In saying ‘Thank you’ this evening, we are saying ‘Farewell’, but hopefully not ‘Goodbye’.
“You remain in our hearts and in our memories.
“I hope that you can ever still call Rockhampton ‘home’ however far you may wander.”