Posted by Joanne Stewart
on 20 June 2019
On the 30th May in Dubbo and 31st May in Bathurst, Staff from Catholic schools across the Diocese joined together in recognising St John Baptist de La Salle's Tercentenary of his death - the Patron Saint for Christian Educators.
The purpose of the days was reminding and challenging staff of their special vocation as Catholic Educators. Philippe Dulawan and Amanda Proulx from the Lasallian Youth Team facilitated the day with the theme "One Heart. One Commitment. One Life".The day in Dubbo began with Aunty Marg Walker welcoming us to country and a boys dance group led by Brian Ah See performed. In Bathurst, James Sheahan Dance group performed an aboriginal dance and Yr 10 MacKillop College student Annabelle Masters did the Acknowledgement of country. Paul Hughes from MacKillop College & Kathy Powell from The Assumption School led the music for an opening liturgy at both events. Br. Peter Heaney spoke in Dubbo of his days in Orange and work as a brother. Fr Greg Kennedy in Dubbo & Fr Paul Devitt in Bathurst led our liturgies. CEDB Executive Director of schools Jenny Allen was MC and spoke at various points through both days. Bishop Michael McKenna joined us in Bathurst, and led the commissioning of staff at the conclusion of the day.
Sessions throughout focused on the ultimate mission of Catholic education, which is participation in God's Mission - bringing about the Reign of God - with a particular focus on the students "entrusted into our care". Now REC from MacKillop College Bathurst Amber Calleja (previously James Sheahan REC) spoke of the partnerships with Lasallians happening at James Sheahan and Principal of La Salle Academy Joyce Smith spoke of the work happening in Lithgow with establishing links with the Lasallian charism in a modern context. The day concluded with staff making an ongoing commitment to the ministry of education, including reflection on the demands and the rewards of this work, ultimately providing encouragement for the road ahead.
The majority of schools took the opportunity to bring their whole staff as a pupil free day. It was wonderful to join together in our ministry and celebrate our shared vocation. Thanks to Dr Angelo Belmonte from CEDB for his organisation.