Bishop blesses new learning spaces at St Agnes


Opening and Blessing Ceremony at St Agnes Catholic High School, Rooty Hill
St Agnes Catholic High Principal Peter Brogan (left), Executive Director of Schools Greg Whitby, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP and Federal Member for Chifley The Hon Roger Price MP at the opening and blessing of the Rooty Hill school's new facilities.
On Thursday 22 April, an Opening and Blessing Ceremony was held at St Agnes Catholic High, Rooty Hill to officially open their newly constructed and refurbished learning spaces.

The new facilities were blessed by the Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher and officially opened by Federal Member for Chifley, The Hon Roger Price MP, representing the Australian Government and executive director of schools, Greg Whitby.

Other special guests included Sr Carmel Bennett fmm, the Australian Provincial of Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, founding sisters of St Agnes, Joy Short, head of school services and other representatives from the Catholic Education Office and architects Thomson Adsett. Also attending were local Catholic school principals; Robert Laidler from Loyola Senior High, Mt Druitt, Mary Creenaune from Good Shepherd Primary, Plumpton and Sr Brenda Kennedy from Holy Family Primary, Emerton.

The extensive building works included the construction of a Science laboratory and learning area and the conversion and refurbishment of two Art learning areas; two Music learning areas; a second Science laboratory, nine Technical and Applied Studies learning areas and a Performing Arts learning space.

Principal Peter Brogan welcomed families, students and invited guests to St Agnes and said the new facilities along with the enthusiasm of the teachers had moved learning and teaching at St Agnes’ well into the 21st century.

"The refurbishment of buildings and learning facilities has enabled our community to move forward in the learning and teaching at St Agnes," said Peter. "Sincere appreciation goes to our teachers who have welcomed and integrated the 21st century learning and teaching practices."

In his homily, Bishop Anthony spoke about the value of Catholic schools and the opportunities they provide to students.

"A Catholic school is a place where you can develop your skills and knowledge, where you can fulfil your need to be well educated; a place where you can develop virtues of good citizens and learn how to fulfil your responsibilities as a member for the community; and a place where you can encounter Jesus Christ, where you can learn to love as he did and where you can get the strength to share in the mission of Jesus Christ and the Church,’ he said.

"That’s why this Opening and Blessing is a significant occasion for you; that’s why it is so important in continuing to invest in your school and continue to offer better opportunities for you."

In addressing the students, Greg Whitby told them to work hard, value their Catholic education and take on the challenge of making a difference in the world.

"As a graduate of a Catholic school, my Catholic schooling was important to me, and the more time passes the more relevant and important it has become," said Greg. "Our parents sent us to Catholic schools because they want us to grow up to be good Catholic people. They wanted us to get a well rounded Catholic education, work hard and help make the world a better place," he said. "So value the great gift you have been given and take on the challenge to try and make a difference in the world. With these modern learning facilities you are very well equipped and will be great agents of change. If you work hard and value your education you will be sustained and nurtured by your school experience."

The Hon Roger Price spoke of the Australian government’s long term commitment of providing Australian students with the best possible opportunities.

"I congratulate the school in establishing these world class learning spaces," said Mr Price. "These outstanding facilities will encourage all students to obtain their full potential," he said. "Our contribution forms part of the long term commitment of the Australian Government to provide the best possible opportunities for Australian students."

The $5.5 million project was funded through the Parramatta Diocesan Building Levy with the assistance of the Australian Government who provided $1.14 million in Capital Grants funding and additional assistance through the NSW Government’s Interest Subsidy Scheme. The Diocese of Parramatta would like to thank the Australian and New South Wales Governments for their support.

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