BRISBANE Archbishop Mark Coleridge has blessed and officially opened St Joseph’s College, Coomera.
Archbishop Coleridge told the foundation students, teachers and parents it was important to bless their college.
“Not everyone blesses a new school,” he said.
“But it’s one of those Catholic things we do to say this land on which the school stands is holy ground.
“It’s not just another bit of dirt, it’s holy ground because it’s where Jesus lives and moves and teaches.”
Archbishop Coleridge said it was Jesus and St Joseph, whom the college was named after, who would guide staff to teach, challenge and transform the lives of students now and into the future.
The Prep-Year 12 college welcomed its first students – about 300 – for Prep to Year 3, and Year 7 students at the start of the year.
Eventually catering to more than 1800 students, the first Year 7 students will graduate from Year 12 in 2024 and the foundation Prep students in 2031.
Brisbane Catholic Education executive director Pam Betts told those gathered it would be interesting to see what the college looked like in 2031 – when the current Prep students graduated.
“We are living in changing times and I am sure the world these young adults will be graduating into will be vastly different to the one we live in today,” she said.
“The smart learning spaces we use will be even smarter and there will be new technologies that we have not even thought of.
“While we may see many changes by 2031, the desire to foster a love of learning in a nurturing, faith-centred community will remain the same; it is our constant.”
Miss Betts encouraged the foundation students and future students to “take every opportunity presented, celebrate your successes and face any challenge with courage”.
“May your learning journey continue to be nurtured by excellent educators and guided by the Holy Spirit so that you have every chance to become the person that God created you to be,” she said.
Miss Betts said it took a lot of resourcing to build a school and thanked the State Government for the contribution of more than $15.4 million and the Federal Government for $1.8 million.
BCE made a final contribution of $2 million to build the college.
“I guess you can say with state and federal governments and BCE involved, the process of getting here has been a great example of teamwork,” she said.
Foundation principal Paul Begg said the blessing and official opening was another milestone in the college’s story.
“To have so many people support what we are trying to achieve here is very important,” he said.
“Schools are places that shape society, they are transformational.
“This is not about the buildings; this is about something that will transform young people’s lives.”
Mr Begg said the commitment in the first year from staff, students and parents in the community had been energising.
“I trust that, in this first year and in years to come, we will continue to grow and develop as people through the vision of this great school,” he said.