DR MICHAEL SLATTERY: A week in review

Last week we presented the Diocesan Teacher Scholarships to seven young people about to begin their studies to become teachers. Each has come from a Catholic school and wants to teach in a Catholic school.

In meeting these young people I was reminded of the importance of a love for children and a love for learning. These faith-filled young men and women will determine the shape of Catholic education in the future. They were encouraged to engage in their parish community, to engage in prayer, social justice and formal study in religious education.

The CSO team look forward to walking the journey with these young people, encouraging them, mentoring them and preparing them to take up a teaching position in our Catholic schools. Please keep them in your prayers as they embark on the vocation and ministry of educating for faith, excellence in learning and truth.

On Tuesday evening I attended my first Called to Serve Mass which saw staff from our diocesan schools and the Catholic Schools Office come together to celebrate the New Year and to commit to Catholic Ministry and leadership. Together we prayed for our Maitland- Newcastle school communities, acknowledged those who have served Catholic Education for 25 years and also presented the Monsignor Coolahan Awards to a number of people who have excelled in a particular field of education.

We congratulate the following recipients of these Monsignor Coolahan awards. In the category of:

School Support

Frances Bowen                St Pius X Adamstown

Lynette McMaster            St Pat’s Swansea

Deb Docherty                   Holy Family, Merewether Beach and St Francis Xavier’s Hamilton

Mark Stephens                 San Clemente

Excellence in the First Five Years of Teaching     

Cassandra Piggott            St Joseph’s Denman

Excellence in Teaching – Primary                             

Alison Smith                     Holy Cross Glendale & St Peter’s Stockton

Excellence in Teaching – Secondary                     

David Millen                       St Pius X High School, Adamstown


Diane Kibble                       St Francis Xavier’s Hamilton


St Joseph’s Denman


Simon Devlin

I wish to thank all those people who have assisted in any way with the preparation of these special events. They don’t just happen and your hard work is certainly appreciated.



Dr Michael Slattery Image
Dr Michael Slattery

Dr Michael Slattery is the Director of Catholic Schools, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.