The St Nick’s kids were full of excitement as preparations were made for the guests. Centre Director, Selena Rosee, and the fantastic staff at Chisholm, went to great efforts to ensure that this wonderful Centre was showcased on this special day.
The blessing and opening commenced with an Acknowledgement of Country from General Manager of St Nicholas Early Education, Kerri Armstrong. Kerri then explained to guests that the children at every St Nicholas service begin the day with an acknowledgement of country. The children then presented this lovely version to the delight of those gathered.
CEO of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, Sean Scanlon, then welcomed everyone and spoke about the early days of planning St Nick’s at Chisholm.
“Looking back on the days that this was a cow paddock, the opening of this centre is quite an achievement,” said Sean.
Sean also spoke with pride about the whole site, with St Nicholas Early Education officially taking its place on the same site as St Aloysius Primary School and St Bede’s Catholic College. Families living in the area now have the wonderful option of a single drop-off point each morning.
Bishop Bill led a Blessing Rite. In his homily, Bishop Bill noted that those who worked at St Nicholas were blessed in that they witness the very best of humanity every day through the children in their care.
Bishop Bill walked through the centre, blessing both the rooms and outdoor areas and the educators and children. While he was doing so, children from St Nicholas entertained guests with a rousing version of “We’re going on a bear hunt” and then, when the Bishop returned, a beautiful prayer of thanks.
Federal Member for Paterson, Meryl Swanson MP, Member for Maitland, Jenny Aitchison MP and parish priest of Chisholm, Fr Paul O’Neill, all attended the event.
The official blessing and opening of St Nicholas Early Education Cardiff will take place on Friday 11 May and at St Nick’s Lochinvar on Tuesday 29 May.