21st Annual Special Needs Mass: ‘The Holy Spirit celebrating our gifts’

“It is that unity and difference that we celebrate tonight as we assemble to pray for the inclusive and integrated approach to children with special needs,” the words of Bishop Michael Malone’s homily 21 years ago, are as relevant now as they were then.

The Diocesan community gathered on Tuesday evening to celebrate the Annual Special Needs Mass at Holy Spirit Church in Kurri Kurri. The perfect hosts for the Mass were parishioners, students, family, friends and staff of Holy Spirit Primary School, Kurri Kurri, who welcomed all to share Mass, presided by Bishop Bill Wright.

“Tonight we gather to celebrate the breaking of bread with our Lord and God,” said Director of Schools, Dr Michael Slattery.

“We gather to celebrate diversity, and inclusivity and difference. It is a hallmark of being fully human.

“It is what Catholic schools do as their moral purpose by taking the message of Jesus and applying it to caring and loving others.

“Tonight we celebrate being differently abled.”

Bishop Bill spoke of arriving in this Diocese from Sydney and being highly impressed by the standard of care and support offered to students with special needs in our community.

As part of the theme for this year’s Mass, students from around the Diocese were invited by principal, Paul O’Heir, to place a piece of fruit with their name and spiritual gift written on it on the artwork trees that lined the walls of the church, signifying sharing their ‘gift’ with others.

The school choir and band kept the congregation enlivened with hymns, celebrating our differences and how those differences define us and our community.

The Special Needs Working Party and the Federation of Parent and Friends Association looks forward to proudly supporting the 22nd Annual Special Needs Mass in 2019.

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Amanda Skehan Image
Amanda Skehan

Amanda Skehan is the Marketing Team Leader for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and a regular contributor to Aurora and mnnews.today.