Merici College ‘united in hope’

EMBRACING its 2017 college theme, United in Hope; the Merici College community welcomed parents, friends and representatives of Catholic Education at their opening school Mass recently.

His Grace, the Most Reverend Archbishop Christopher Prowse was the principal celebrant, supported by parish priests of the Central Canberra parishes; Father Bernie Patterson and Father Kieran Adams.

It was an opportunity for the college to celebrate its mission and vision of hope that each student will grow emotionally, socially, intellectually, spiritually and physically, supported by God, the Catholic faith and by every member of the College community.

Committed to offering hope in the wider community, staff and students were encouraged to become involved with charity and awareness raising activities.

Hundreds of butterflies hung behind the altar creating a ‘wall of hope’.

The butterfly is the Merici College symbol of hope for the year as it represents the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ and connects with the struggles, successes and hope for others in our own lives.

All students were invited to make a butterfly in their religious education classes as a symbol of our faith, unity and hope in our world today. The butterflies now form an art installation in the College and serve as a reminder of our commitment to the College theme.

Archbishop Prowse supported the College’s theme through an engaging homily where he stressed the importance of fostering positive relationships and communication with our peers, family and community members.

He also articulated the importance of face-to-face communication and nurturing our own hearts and minds with hope so that we may, in turn, nurture the hearts and minds of others.

Every student sang and responded, unifying the Merici community as the girls understand that singing is a significant part of any celebration.

The Gospel procession was very moving and emphasised the sacred significance of the Gospel with students.

The Gospel was brought forward and passed between representatives of the specialist, transition and school captains, demonstrating Christ being at the centre of all that we do.

The gifts of bread and wine were brought to the altar by members of the wider college community as a sign of unity in the Year of Hope.

Sr Frances Fitzpatrick and Sr Angela Jordan (Sisters of Mercy who are linked to Balgo House), Sr Karen Muir (a Sister of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart who is associated with Penola House) and Sr Rita Reilly (a Sister of the Good Samaritan connected with Seiwa House) were joined by Eamonn and Claudia Moore, representing the parents of the community and junior students who represented the student population.