RAY COLLINS: A message from the Pilgrim in Venice

Welcome back after what has been I trust a very enjoyable break. As always, a very busy term awaits us all.

I am sending this blog from our hotel in Venice where I have joined Bishop Bill and the 68 other pilgrims from the diocese on the intergenerational World Youth Day Pilgrimage to Poland.

We have had a wonderful day in Venice highlighted by Bishop Bill celebrating Mass for us in the crypt of San Marco Basilica. To have been able to visit this remarkable cathedral was in itself a privilege but have our Bishop and two clergy and a deacon share the Eucharist  with us was something special.

The basilica, which contains the tomb of St Mark the Evangelist, is an incredible construction, testament to the artisan skills that constructed it over the years. 

A personal highlight for me was to take a group of pilgrims to visit what is known as Vivaldi's Church, Santa Maria Della Pieta. It was built after the death of Antonio Vivaldi, the famous Priest and Composer who taught music to orphaned and unwanted girls in the attached Opspedale Della Pieta, an orphanage. The story of Vivaldi's education of these disadvantaged girls is very special.

We will be on pilgrimage for just over three weeks and already it is proving to be an enormous privilege.

Term 3 begins with an exciting conference at Newcastle University for all our schools. I particularly want to thank Kathryn Fox and her hardworking Teaching and Learning team for all the hard work that has gone into this great initiative.

With best wishes for another fulfilling term.

Ray Collins Image
Ray Collins

Ray Collins is the Director of Schools within the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. He is an authority on education issues.

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