St Patrick’s Day is a special event at our school for we not only celebrate our patron saint with a liturgy, but we also fundraise to support our library. This fundraising comes in the form of a walkathon. Our students go out and seek sponsors, usually family, in order to complete a set course.
Our school community had originally planned to walk to St Joseph’s Church in Cumberland Street, Cessnock (1km) to celebrate Mass with our parish priest Father James Lunn. Afterwards, we had planned some fun games at a nearby park under the watchful eye of teachers and some volunteer parents. That was until the ominous threat of the Covid-19 virus bore closer to home.
Under the advice from the Catholic Schools Office, we thought it more prudent to remain at school for the safety of our school community and the wider Cessnock community. However, we would not be deterred from having our special day. Instead of having a whole school liturgy led by Father James, we celebrated a teacher-led liturgy in each of our classrooms. Later we staggered our classes as they came out to participate in the walkathon around our campus on a course that was planned by our Year 6 sports captains.
As would be expected on a St Patrick’s Day, there was plenty of green to be seen. The students enjoyed running, jogging, walking or strolling around our beautiful campus and the opportunity to get out in the fresh air. The day was successful after all, despite the setbacks and we did manage to raise some valuable funds to go towards updating laptops in our library. Well done to all our St Pat’s school community who helped organise the liturgy and events, the sponsors and of course our wonderful students.
Monday 16 March was a sea of shillelaghs, shamrocks and shenanigans at St Patrick’s Swansea as we celebrated the feast day of our school’s patron saint. The day began fittingly with a liturgy during which we reflected on the qualities of St Patrick that make him such an ideal patron saint of our school. Sincere thanks to Daniel Lockwood who coordinated the liturgy.
Following our liturgy, the adults wandered through the classrooms as the students worked, but when the work was over, the games began. Pin the shamrock on the leprechaun, pot of gold toss and Irish hot potato were among the challenges, while some of our senior students worked hard in the Shamrock Salon painting faces and fingernails.
Lots of green food for sale kept our energy levels up throughout the day, and the winners of our annual St Patrick’s Day art competition were announced. Gold-coin donations for wearing green clothes to school, as well as the proceeds from green food sales netted $378.65, which has been forwarded to Project Compassion, Caritas Australia’s annual Lenten appeal that aims to help end poverty, promote justice and uphold people’s dignity.
We were very fortunate to have staged our St Patrick’s Day celebrations before the coronavirus forced schools to cancel gatherings. Our sincere thanks to the staff, parents and grandparents of St Patrick’s who worked so hard to make this annual event such a wonderful day.
On Friday 13 March, St Patrick’s at Wallsend came together as a community to celebrate the feast day of our patron saint. It was a beautiful day filled with laughter and excitement - as well as lots of green.
To begin our day, staff, students and families joined to celebrate mass. Father Christian presided, giving a heartfelt message about the life of St Patrick and how we can follow in his example. Year 3 had prepared a colourful liturgical movement for our opening song and some beautiful readers. The Spirit of God was truly present, and it was a beautiful encounter through the messages and singing.
Open classrooms followed the Mass, where parents and members of the community joined with students to participate in some creative STEM activities. After a barbecue lunch, Years 4, 5 and 6 had prepared some engaging stalls and the school participated with gusto. Altogether we raised more than $1000 for Project Compassion. Well done, St Patrick’s.
After an exciting middle session, students in Years 3 to 6 returned to the church to pray the Stations of the Cross. It was a wonderful day where it truly felt like a community and a great place to be. Thank you to all our families, friends and parishioners who came out to support us and to Father Christian for presiding over Mass and afternoon prayer.
We will continue to raise money for Project Compassion for the remainder of the Lenten season. Coin boxes have been sent home with students in Years 3 to 6 and are due back on the last day of term. There is a contest to see which class has the highest percentage of boxes filled and returned. Infants classes have a Project Compassion coin box and have a contest to see which class raises the most money together. Just like St Patrick, let’s continue to make a difference in the lives of those who are crying out for help. For more information about Project Compassion and how the money raised is being used, please click here.
The Lochinvar school community celebrated the Feast Day with a sea of green. Students came to school dressed in all shades of green and enjoyed a fun-filled day purchasing green items from the school canteen and celebrating with St Patrick’s games and activities.
Photography by schools as well as Brooke Robinson and Owen Hammond (APAC Sport Media).