The official opening and blessing of the St Laurence Flexible Learning Centre in Broadmeadow in May was a major milestone in the history of Catholic education in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle with Catholic Schools NSW hosted the 2019 NSW Aboriginal Catholic Education Conference at the Crowne Plaza, Hunter Valley, in September, with more than 500 delegates in attendance.
St Nicholas Early Education grew to three areas during the year. These were: Early Education centres, which provide care and education to young children in the years before schools; OOSH, which is care for school-aged children before and after school and during vacations; and the third area, St Nicholas Pathways, which is the training of students to work in the early education sector.
In Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) he said: “At the very heart of the Gospel is life in community and engagement with others. The content of the first proclamation has an immediate moral implication centred on charity.” As I reflect on the year in review for the Development and Relief Agency, I am confident we have responded to Pope Francis’s call to be focused on charity and engaged with our local community in a manner that has had a positive impact for those in need.
“Synodality” and “discernment” are two words that have been used a great deal in church circles this year, and particularly in Australia as we continue our journey towards the Plenary Council of 2020 and 2021, and our own diocesan Synod of 2019-20-21.