GALLERY: Hunter celebrates Catholic Schools Week with the official opening of St Aloysius Primary Chisholm

The first newly established school to be built in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in 30 years, St Aloysius Primary School in Chisholm, was blessed by Bishop Bill Wright and officially opened by the Hon. Bob Baldwin MP, yesterday in celebration of the start of Catholic Schools Week 2015.

St Aloysius is the Hunter’s newest school and the opening attracted a large crowd of enthusiastic parents, students, teachers, clergy and religious, politicians, council representatives, state candidates, diocesan and Catholic Schools Office representatives, members of diocesan councils and even former St Aloysius Girls’ High students from Newcastle.

Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon Tony Abbott MP, passed on a personal message which was read out by The Hon Bob Baldwin, Federal Member for Paterson, at the opening, congratulating “everyone who has been involved in making St Aloysius a reality.”

Prime Minister Abbott said “This school will nurture the faith and education of students in the Hunter region. As a young student, I was educated at St Aloysius in Sydney. I recall the advice of my teachers, which has stayed with me ever since: always think about other people, have a strong sense of right and wrong, and have big dreams. I encourage the young students of St Aloysius to have big dreams, to have a go and work to achieve their full potential.”

Foundation Principal of St Aloysius, Mrs Suzanne Fern was beaming with pride as she welcomed everyone to the school and said that whilst the school is new, it is part of a much longer history and a rich tradition that should be celebrated and she looks forward to what the future holds for the school and its students.

Federal Member for Paterson, The Hon Bob Baldwin, said it was “fantastic to see our electorate supported by the Commonwealth Government in such an important way. St Aloysius is significant for our ever-expanding local community and I am impressed with the school’s ecological sustainability and use of technology,” Mr Baldwin said.

St Aloysius is one of 56 Catholic schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and more than 615 Catholic schools across NSW and the ACT celebrating Catholic Schools Week this week. Director of Catholic Schools in the Diocese, Mr Ray Collins, said he was delighted that St Aloysius could be officially opened as part of the state-wide celebrations.

 “The theme for this year is Educating for Today and Tomorrow and is entirely appropriate given St Aloysius’ commitment to 21st century learning environments and teaching methods. The diocese is thrilled to be able to meet the demand for more places in Catholic schools in the Maitland region and has delivered a wonderful new learning environment for the growing community of this area,” he said.

For more Catholic Schools Week photos and a video from the Catholic Schools Week Mass 2015, make sure you read next week’s Diocesan Update - out Tuesday!

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Emma Blackford Image
Emma Blackford

Emma Blackford is the Communications Manager for the Catholic Schools Office, Maitland-Newcastle and a regular contributor to Aurora Magazine.