A quiet anticipation settled on the gathering as the song “Gathered as One” began and students from the primary schools processed with symbols representing Dominic’s life and charism. Father Bill Burston’s homily, together with a student‘s reflection on St Dominic, provided the community with much to think about and a sense of gratitude for the continuing work of the Dominican Order. Among the guests were some of the sisters from Waratah as well as members of the local community and CSO.
After the liturgy, the celebration continued at St Dominic’s Centre where, with the sisters, guests, parents and carers, a celebration cake was cut and the Dominican song sung.
It was at this gathering that Chris Quinn, Assistant Director of Catholic Education, announced, officially, the school’s name change. He reminded us that the Dominican Sisters identified a need for a school for the deaf and hearing-impaired children and answered that need by creating St Dominic’s Centre for Hearing Impaired children in 1875. The present school had developed a reputation for excellence in the education for children with specific needs. However, over the last few years children with multiple needs have been enrolled in the school and there is a need in the Newcastle and Hunter region for a Catholic education for children with multiple challenges. Therefore, in the Dominican tradition of recognising “the signs of the times”, the school will now be named St Dominic’s Centre.
May the Centre continue to be a space of welcome, safety, acceptance and care, a place of education where every member is valued and respected.
May we continue To Praise, To Bless and To Preach.