School a place to 'grow in the love of Christ'
|Assistant Principal Jeanette Black (left) shows Bishop Emeritus of Parramatta, Most Rev Kevin Manning DD, and Federal Member for Greenway Michelle Rowland MP around the new facilities at St Joseph's Primary, Schofields.|
Bishop Emeritus of Parramatta, Most Rev Kevin Manning DD, has blessed the St Joseph's Primary, Schofields' new library and refurbished multi-purpose learning spaces.
St Joseph’s received $2 million funding under the Australian Government’s Building the Education Revolution (BER) program to covert the school’s existing library into multi-purpose learning spaces, build a new library/resource centre, refurbish eight classrooms and build a large covered outdoor learning area. In addition, St Joseph’s refurbished their administration area and work offices with $125,000 received through the National School Pride program.
The Opening & Blessing Ceremony was held on Tuesday 30 November - the Feast of St Andrew.
During his homily, Bishop Manning said that like St Andrew - who shared his experience of Christ with his brother, Peter - Catholic schools are important places to share the Catholic faith.
"Being a student at a Catholic school is a wonderful opportunity to grow in the love of Christ, share the good news with other people and to learn to be good citizens of our country," Bishop Manning said.
"We are very grateful to the Australian and NSW Governments who help us to build Catholic schools and to keep them running."
Rich, relevant and rewarding
The new facilities were opened by relieving executive director of schools Sue Walsh and Federal Member for Greenway, Michelle Rowland MP. Other special guests included founding Principal of St Joseph’s Sr Maria Ross, Mary Immaculate Quakers Hill Parish Priest Fr Ian McGinnity and representatives from Thomson Adsett architects and Midson Constructions.
During the ceremony, St Joseph’s Assistant Principal Jeanette Black spoke about some of the positive changes resulting from the new facilities.
"Gone are the days when we dismantled the library for our assemblies and major celebrations at school," Jeanette said."We now have this beautiful gathering space and library for us to use for many years to come.
"These spaces provide us with the opportunity to be more flexible in our approach to learning and teaching as we work to make educating students at St Joseph’s rich, relevant and rewarding."
Relieving Executive Director of Schools, Sue Walsh also thanked the Australian Government and spoke about the value for money the Parramatta Diocese has received through the BER program.
"Walking around St Joseph’s you can hardly believe what this community was able to get out of $2 million," Sue said. "You can see the difference this money has made – the school now has beautiful, state-of-the-art learning spaces and facilities for the students and staff to come to each day.
"In the Parramatta Diocese, we have been very fortunate to have received funding through the BER program. It has made a very big difference and I’d especially like to thank the staff at the Catholic Education Office who have worked tirelessly to ensure we have received the best for all our schools."
During her address, Michelle Rowland MP acknowledged the support of the St Joseph’s school and parish communities.
"The School Principal, Assistant Principal, staff and parents have worked really well together to deliver this important project." Michelle said. "St Joseph’s is a great school with a great reputation for its special community spirit."
After her speech, Michelle Rowland presented books for the school’s new library to St Joseph’s school captains, Winona Graham and Adam James. Winona and Adam then ended the ceremony by thanking the staff and guests on behalf of the school’s students.
"As we look around the school today there are many people who have in some way shaped what our school looks and feels like," Adam said. "I’m sure they would agree that the new building and refurbishments have greatly improved our school."We are very proud of our learning environments and thank all involved."
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