Happy 40th Anniversary!
What a spectacular day we had last Friday to celebrate our 40th year of providing quality Catholic education to girls in the Penrith area. Our Mass, concelebrated by Fr Robert Riedling Parish Priest of Padre Pio Parish and Fr Zvonimir Gavranovic Parish Priest of Luddenham and Warragamba parishes, saw over 1,000 staff and students and over 100 ex staff and students fill the
church with prayer and song.
In his welcome, Mr Greg King, our Assistant Principal asked 39 of our Year 7 students to
stand up as a visual reminder of that first small group of pioneering students and their
teachers. It was certainly a stark contrast to the size of the current day college.
The gospel from Matthew 25:31-40 was proclaimed thoughtfully by Fr Zvonimir with the
final phrase “ …when you did it to one of the least of these … you did it to me …” poignantly and deliberately spoken in a hushed tone. In his homily, Fr Robert, after congratulating the college for its achievements to date, reminded us that when the reminiscing is all done, the core that will and must remain is our strong Catholic identity, built on the person of Jesus Christ. He reflected on the life of Caroline Chisholm and said that just as she was a woman of great faith, motivated by love of God, that we in turn should use her as a model of the life of love and service to which we are called.
At the end of Mass, Sr Elizabeth from Mt Schoenstatt Sisters of Mercy spoke about her
recollections of being part of the foundational years and Professor Margot Kearns, Pro
Vice Chancellor of Notre Dame University spoke of the “special quality” that marked out
the school from its beginning – she named that quality as the Catholic values upon which
the school was built. Special anecdotes were met with laughter from both past and present
Each year group created an item for a “time capsule” and wrote a reflection about what
they had chosen and why it was significant.
At the very end of Mass, to affirm that the College is still built on the foundation of Christ
who was servant par excellence, Ms Bernadette Murray led us in a reflection and
acknowledgement not only of what we do, but how many of us are involved in Caroline’s
Footsteps – our faith at work - within our school. By the end of the reflection, every girl
and staff member was standing.
A sumptuous morning tea followed for our guests and staff, which had been very
professionally prepared, by our Hospitality team and their students. From a display of
memorabilia, one could hear roars of laughter as 40 year old hairstyles and “those brown
socks“ were remembered. Our College leaders hosted tours for any of our guests who had not seen the extent of the growth of the college.