The largest congregation in my 18 years of attending this Mass filled Sacred Heart Cathedral to overflowing.
I am indebted to Bishop Bill, Mark Spencer from our Religious Education and Spirituality team and Sr Louise Gannon for the initial planning that went into the Mass which included the decision to conduct the award ceremony before the Mass commenced.
The acknowledgement of those who had served 25 years or more in Catholic schools and the recipients of the Monsignor Coolahan Awards for Excellence in Education formed an expression of the gifts we all bring to the Eucharistic table and was an appropriate prelude to our commissioning Mass.
The contribution of the talented musicians and choir from our staff ranks made the Mass very special indeed. To all those involved, under the superb conducting of Craig Wattam, I extend my sincere thanks for your sharing of your talents with us all.
Similarly, to those who fulfilled various ministries during the Mass, I also pass on my gratitude for your willingness to assist with the Mass.
Most importantly, I express my thanks to Bishop Bill and the clergy from the diocese for celebrating the Mass for us. Their support for Catholic schools, evident in so many ways, was again clearly demonstrated on Tuesday evening.
There are a large number of people to thank for all that goes into organising such an occasion and I particularly mention the members of the RE and Spirituality Team, Gail Hill from the Director’s Office and the many CSO staff who assisted on the night.
To all those who attended, particularly those who travelled such vast distances from the Upper Hunter and the Manning regions, thank you for your expression of support for Catholic education.
The evening was once again a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and to support and nurture each other in this enormously important arena of education. It is an immensely satisfying and invigorating way to begin our year in Catholic schools.