THE great diversity of Queensland’s 306 Catholic schools will be the focus of this year’s Catholic Education Week, which runs from July 28 to August 3.
The theme for this year’s celebrations is “Many Voices. One Spirit.”
Queensland Catholic Education Commission executive director Dr Lee-Anne Perry said the theme reflected the broad range of social, economic, religious and cultural backgrounds of the 149,000 students in Catholic schools.
“Catholic Education Week is a wonderful opportunity for us to focus on the achievements of Catholic schools across the state,” Dr Perry said.
“It’s a time to celebrate the uniqueness of each of our school communities but to also realise that we are one in faith and drawn together through a common heritage.
“Our Catholic schools come in many shapes and sizes from our small rural schools to large metropolitan colleges, from boarding schools to flexi-schools for disengaged students and as a sector we listen to the voices of all those communities.”
Celebrations around the state will include Masses and other liturgical celebrations, parent and grandparent days, school activities focused on this year’s theme, and visits to community facilities such as aged care homes and childcare centres.
Dr Perry said this year’s official launch of Catholic Education Week would be on Wednesday, July 31 in Rockhampton.
“We have had wonderful celebrations in regional cities in recent years and we look forward to being in Rockhampton this year to celebrate with the Catholic school communities there,” Dr Perry said.
Rockhampton Catholic Education diocesan director Leesa Jeffcoat said schools throughout the Diocese of Rockhampton were gearing up for the celebrations.
“The launch will take place at St Joseph’s Cathedral, starting with Mass celebrated by Bishop Michael McCarthy and will include hospitality provided by the Rockhampton Catholic Education Office and the Rockhampton Region Catholic schools,” Miss Jeffcoat said.
“We’re excited to have the many voices of our school communities from Mackay to Bundaberg and west to Longreach represented at the launch.
“Catholic Education Week is a time to celebrate our students and their achievements but also our staff and their outstanding contribution to the ministry of Catholic Education.”
The launch will include presentation of the Spirit of Catholic Education Awards, including the Aunty Joan Hendriks Reconciliation Award, to staff and volunteers who have made an outstanding contribution to Catholic education.
Dr Perry said this year’s recipients represented a wide array of contributions to Catholic schools from across the state.
“The awards recognise people from all walks of school life who have in common a desire to build up the school community and to see our young people achieve their best,” Dr Perry said.
“It’s always inspiring to hear the stories of the award recipients and know that they are just a few of the thousands of people making positive contributions in Catholic schools.”