Bishop blesses new BER hall and learning spaces at St Nicholas of Myra Primary
|The Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, blesses the new facilities at St Nicholas of Myra Primary, Penrith.|
The Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, has blessed the new multi-purpose hall and learning spaces at St Nicholas of Myra Primary in Penrith at the facilities official opening on Monday 6 December.
The new spaces were officially opened by Executive Director of Schools in the Parramatta Diocese, Greg Whitby, and Federal Member for Lindsay, David Bradbury MP.
The ceremony was held in St Nicholas’ new $2 million multi-purpose hall, a project funded under the Australian Government's Building the Education Revolution (BER) program. St Nicholas’ new learning spaces for Years 1-6 students and its refurbished administration block and learning areas were also opened and blessed by Bishop Anthony. This $3 million capital works project was principally funded by the Parramatta Diocesan education community and partly funded by the Australian Government.
Special guests at the event included NSW Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres, Mayor of Penrith Kevin Crameri OAM, St Nicholas’ Parish Priest Fr Chris de Souza and Sister of St Joseph Maria Casey rsj, who was instrumental in presenting the cause for the Canonisation of Mary MacKillop.
'There where you are you will find God'
St Nicholas of Myra’s Principal Anne Hines welcomed guests and spoke about the significance of the event being held on St Nicholas’ Feast Day and in the year of Mary MacKillop’s Canonisation. St Nicholas of Myra, established in 1852, was led by the Sisters of St Joseph from 1880 and it is believed that Mary MacKillop personally visited the school.
|St Nicholas of Myra Primary students at the Opening & Blessing Ceremony.|
"How wonderful that our school, the first in the Sydney area to be led by the Sisters of St Joseph, should be celebrating the opening of an almost brand new school in the year of the Canonisation of Australia’s first Saint," Anne said.
"Just outside the hall there is a mosaic dedicated to the Sisters of St Joseph that includes Mary MacKillop’s words, ‘there where you are you will find God’.
"That is my hope, that St Nicholas of Myra can be a place where God is found and where you will follow the example of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and St Nicholas."
During his homily, Bishop Anthony spoke about the important mission of Catholic schools like St Nicholas of Myra.
"A Catholic school is a place where you grow up where you learn all the things to become a well-educated and well-rounded person; where you learn to be good person and to fulfil your responsibilities as member of the Australian community; and where you learn to appreciate and get along with people from many different backgrounds and cultures," Bishop Anthony said.
"But most of all, a Catholic school is a place where you meet Jesus and learn to love."
Greg Whitby thanked the Australian Government for its support of Catholic schools in delivering value for money from the BER program.
"We are very grateful to the Australian government," Greg said.
"You know you get value for you money when you invest in our Catholic schools, and we look forward to providing even more value in future."
During his address, David Bradbury said that the new facilities were the result of a combined effort from the Australian Government, Catholic education, and school and parish communities.
"A lot of people have worked very hard to get where we are today," Mr Bradbury said.
"The Federal Government has been working in partnership with the Catholic Education Office, with your families, your teachers and everyone in your community so we can today not just to open this hall, but all the great new facilities that now form your school.
"The job is only half done at the moment as there is another partner in this – you. You’ve got an important job; you’ve got to try your hardest at school and make the most of these wonderful facilities."At the end of the ceremony, St Nicholas’ students performed their school song, Truth Through Learning.
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