TWO new schools in Brisbane archdiocese celebrated momentous occasions this month.
St Benedict’s College, Mango Hill, and Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School, Springfield Lakes, have been blessed and officially opened.
The two school communities were delighted to welcome Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge, who joined them for the joyous celebrations, that included special liturgies and the unveiling of plaques.
At St Benedict’s Archbishop Coleridge took a walk around the college as he blessed new buildings that included an administration block, classrooms and a hall on September 10, before State Member for Murrumba, Reg Gulley, joined him in officially opening the college.
At Good Shepherd School on September 13, Our Lady of the Southern Cross parish priest Fr Mauro Conte joined Archbishop Coleridge for the blessing ceremony before State Member for Algester Anthony Shorten helped him to officially open their buildings.
Archbishop Coleridge said the strong Catholic tradition of blessing buildings was done to recognise that where they stood was holy ground.
He praised the two communities on their successes so far and wished them well for the future.
St Benedict’s Foundation student Christian Paras said it was a privilege and an honour to be a part of the blessing and official opening ceremony.
The Year 8 student, who was among the first 55 students at the co-educational college, said he was looking forward to the college growing in the future as new grades were added and also to being one of the first graduates of the new college when he finished Year 12.
“We are all part of the history of our college now,” he said.
Foundation teacher Paula-Mary Camilleri said the opening was a wonderful experience with so many enthusiastic people who were passionate about making a difference right from the beginning for the college.
She said it was a blessing to have Archbishop Coleridge celebrate with them such a historic and auspicious occasion.
“I just hope that it (the college) continues to flourish in the way it has since we accepted our first students at the beginning of the year,” she said.
“We’ve got such great foundations here; a wonderful staff and a wonderful admin team and it’s just great to be here to watch it grow and I hope it continues to grow in the Benedictine tradition.”
Brisbane Catholic Education executive director Pam Betts told those gathered at both celebrations that it was satisfying to see the dreams of so many come to fruition.
She reminded the schools that they were part of a wider community of 137 schools and colleges administered by BCE.
“There is great strength in this community,” she said.
She thanked the Commonwealth and State Government for their support and recognition of Catholic education.
She said without the support of governments for capital and recurrent needs Catholic schools would not be able to operate.
“We are grateful for the recognition by both Commonwealth and State Governments, of the important contribution which non-government schooling, and in particular Catholic schooling, makes to our Australian society,” she said.
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