Bishop blesses new St Monica's learning spaces
|St Monica's Parish Priest Rev Fernando Montano Rodriguez (left), Bishop of Parramatta Anthony Fisher, Executive Director of Schools Greg Whitby, State MP for Parramatta and Deputy Speaker Tanya Gadiel, Lord Mayor of Parramatta Clr Paul Garrard, former Parish Priest Fr Brian Rooney and St Monica's Primary Principal Michael Hopley.|
Bishop of Parramatta Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP has blessed the new multi-purpose learning centre at St Monica's Primary in North Parramatta in a special ceremony on Friday 28 May.
The learning spaces were officially opened by State Member for Parramatta, Tanya Gadiel MP, representing the New South Wales and Australian Governments and Executive Director of Schools Greg Whitby.
Special guests including Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Cr Paul Garrard, former parish priest Fr Brian Rooney, representatives from the Catholic Education Office, architects Thomson Adsett and builders Equiset Constructions, joined St Monica’s students, staff, parents and parish priest Fr Fernando Montano for the ceremony.
The extensive building works included the construction of the multi-purpose learning centre which provides flexible open-plan learning spaces for all stage groups in the one space with, a kitchen and a library, as well as a new administration block and after school care centre on the ground floor.
Principal Michael Hopley welcomed families and guests to St Monica’s and said the new learning centre was a place of collaboration and inspiration.
"Collaboration is the cornerstone of our school. Our community collaborates to provide the best education for our students," Michael said. "Thank you to the Commonwealth and State governments. The Building the Education Revolution is an inspiring term for what has resulted in an inspiring space.
"Thank you to the Bishop and Diocese of Parramatta who recognised the vitality of this parish and community as we work together in evangelisation for mission of the church."
The value of Catholic Schools
In his homily, Bishop Anthony spoke about the value of Catholic schools and the opportunities they provide to students.
|Greg Whitby (left), Michael Hopley, Tanya Gadiel MP, Rev Fernando Montano Rodriguez and Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP.|
"I was happy to tell a Senate Hearing on the Building the Education Revolution last week, how proud we were for the value we have obtained in our building projects by working with our local communities," Bishop Anthony said. "A Catholic school is a place where you can develop your skills and knowledge, a place where you can develop virtues of good citizens and learn how to fulfil your responsibilities as a member of the community.
"Most of all it is a place where you can meet Jesus, grow in his friendship and learn to live and love like he did."
Greg Whitby, who was a former student of St Monica’s, spoke to the students about how much the school had changed since he was young.
"I have a very special connection to St Monica’s as it was also my primary school," Greg said.
"A lot has changed since I attended primary school. The emergence of computers, digital cameras and mobile phones means the world has become smaller and yet the community of St Monica’s continues to grow and flourish.
"These wonderful facilities are very important to our Catholic learning communities as they provide an environment for a special kind of education; one that is relevant, engaging, student-centred and collaborative, and most of all Christ-centred.
"These new buildings will serve you and the future generations of learners well."
Tanya Gadiel spoke of the benefits the Building the Education Revolution would deliver to current students and future generations.
"This new development really has an enormous wow factor," Tanya said.
"I didn’t go to a school like this when I was young and I’m sure your parents didn’t either. What you have is really spectacular and you are very lucky to be able to learn in a place like this.
"The provision of infrastructure will benefit our children and our children’s children and will witness first hand the benefit of the Building the Education Revolution."
Construction of the general learning areas, the administration offices and student amenities were funded by $3.3 million in contributions from the Catholic community, $1.19 million in Commonwealth Capital Grants and nearly $400,000 from the parish. The NSW Government also assisted with loan servicing through the Interest Subsidy Scheme.
The multi-purpose centre was funded by $2 million of Commonwealth Capital Grants funding under the Building the Education Revolution’s Primary Schools for the 21st Century program. The Catholic Diocese of Parramatta would like to thank the Australian and New South Wales Governments for their support.
Visit Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta
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