Celebrating Opening Mass – Jennifer Oaten Principal

“How blessed we are. It is glorious sitting here and looking at God’s creation before us. The river, the trees, clean air, the gentle breeze, the birds. We must never underestimate how privileged we are. Santa Maria College provides a truly special environment, in which to work and learn.”

The above statement was part of my address to the community following our Opening Mass celebrated by Father Don Kettle, Parish Priest at St Joseph Pignatelli. I hope all our students realise how fortunate they are.

The beautiful voices of our Years 11 and 12 Choir were a highlight of the Mass along with the incredible solo parts from Gabrielle Hardwick and Kitriana Lim (Year 12). Their voices were very moving and added such a special element to the evening. Our Year 12 Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion were also commissioned and Olivia Lloyd ­­­­excelled in her first significant role as Liturgy Captain.

We were delighted many of our Sisters of Mercy could join us for Mass. Hearing them joining in with the choir in singing Catherine’s Suspice when no others in the audience had copies of the words, was a special moment.

Deputy Director of Catholic Education WA, Peter Yensch, Mary Retel, Tony Wheeler and Christopher Houlihan from Mercy Education all joined us for this special occasion.

The theme for our Mass was ‘hospitality’ this year’s Mercy value. Our readings and Father Don’s homily all focussed on this.

How do we define hospitality?

Hospitality is valuing each person for who they are. Not trying to change them but accepting them for who they are. It is about welcoming others and ensuring everyone is included.

Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, showed incredible hospitality in caring for those in need throughout her life today and we must remember that hospitality

  • is free,
  • is good for the giver and the receiver, and
  • makes our community a better place.

We hope all students and families will give and receive hospitality in 2019.

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