Goulburn’s lament for things past


PAST wrongdoings relating to institutional child sexual abuse were acknowledged by Goulburn’s Mary Queen of Apostles Parish when it held a ‘Liturgy of Lament for Things Past’ in the chapel at Trinity Catholic College.

Parish Priest Fr Dermid McDermott led the healing liturgy which had three aspects:

Firstly, the changes to Catholic education in Goulburn through the demise of four Catholic high schools and loss of identity and acknowledgment.

Secondly, the hurt caused to ex-students.

Lastly, acknowledgment of the lack of charity and the criminal abuse that occurred particularly at the former St Patrick’s College.

Parishioner Michael Jiear, expressed the need for such an event.

“There is a great deal of angst, anger, bitterness and disillusionment within the local community associated with the loss of connectedness with our previous colleges and their phoenix identity, Trinity Catholic College,” Mr Jiear said.

Catholic secondary education has a rich history in Goulburn, with the city being home to schools and colleges including Our Lady of Mercy College, St Patrick’s College, St Joseph’s College, St Patrick’s Technical School, St Michael’s Agricultural and Trade College as well as Marian College.

“History shows that these former school communities did not have the opportunity to mourn their loss at the time of their closures, a predicament that the Goulburn Catholic Parish wishes to rectify, albeit belatedly,” a parish statement read.

“While the pain inflicted in the past cannot be undone, it is the parish’s wish that the Lament be a time of unity and prayerfulness in the acknowledgement of past errors and criminal behaviour, while paving a way to move forward.”

The liturgy was attended by 40 people including Archbishop Christopher Prowse, Catholic Education Director Ross Fox and outgoing manager of the Institute for Professional Standards and Safeguarding Matt Casey.