Padua College Opening Mass

Last Thursday we had a wonderful celebration of our Catholic identity as we gathered as a college community for our Opening Mass. It is hard to describe what a special occasion this is for our college, but please take a moment to look at the attached pictures which capture the evening far better than I can put into words.

Special thanks to Fr Laurie Pearson for presiding at the mass, and to Fr Ian Mackintosh for con-celebrating. Many of our other priests in the region sent apologies at not being able to be there.

Great thanks goes to many students, staff and families who were involved.

Our College Vice-Captains, Ed Brownlee and Monique Machin, introduced the evening, and joined our Captains, Isabella Shannon and Grainne Snooks at the end of mass in passing our school symbols on to representatives of our new Year 7 students Lily Cameron and Jack Galvin (Mornington Campus), Caitlin Bouwmeester (Tyabb Campus) and Archie Davies (Rosebud Campus).

Our House Captains began the mass with our now traditional presentation of banners, and Alannah Deutsher, Bailey Cheevers and Tessa Houlihan were involved in the Entrance and Gospel processions.

Hayden Flynn, Peppa Eslick, Jessica Guy-Toogood and Rebecca Spear were all presented readings or prayers confidently and meaningfully.

Special thanks to Colleen McGreal who is a member of the College Board and the new principal of St Macartans School for also being involved in the readings.

It is always wonderful to have one of our families bring up the offertory gifts, and this year the Geurts family brought the gifts to the altar.

The music is always a highlight of our liturgies, and this year was no exception. Jodie Williams and the Yr 12 Music in the Spirit students, accompanied by the Year 7 choir, led the congregation in some beautiful hymns and reflections.

Of course such a major celebration doesn’t occur without a major organisational effort and commitment, particularly by members of staff.

Special acknowledgement needs to go to the College Maintenance Team and others on staff who assisted in the set up, the broader Music Department and Robb Dabbs for the sound, and others who assisted with traffic management and other practicalities.

And finally and importantly I would like to recognise the members of the Faith Team - Ange Virgona, Anne-Marie Wilkinson, Mo Cromar, Peter O’Halloran, Peter Woodhouse, Jodie Williams, Ciara Roberts, Samantha Vinson - who hold these celebration together and create the vibrancy and quality of an evening for which the college is rightly proud. Thankyou all.