In a break from tradition the Diocesan Mass celebrating Queensland Catholic Education Week, usually held at St Joseph’s Cathedral Rockhampton, was celebrated at St Patrick’s Church Mackay last month, gathering together representatives from Catholic primary schools and colleges from across the region.
Parish Priest Fr Don White presided at the Mass which was livestreamed and viewed by school communities in all regions of the diocese.
Director of Catholic Education – Diocese of Rockhampton, Leesa Jeffcoat, said it was timely and appropriate that the Catholic Education Week Mass was held in Mackay this year.
“As there were a number of significant events happening in our Mackay school communities during Catholic Education Week this year, the Mass was a wonderful way to further commemorate these milestones while offering praise and thanks to our God for the great gift of Catholic Education,” Miss Jeffcoat said.
Events in Mackay during Catholic Education Week included the Official Blessing of the Construction Site for Catherine McAuley College, MacKillop Catholic Primary School’s 25th Anniversary celebrations and the Official Blessing and Opening of redeveloped facilities at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School.
Drawing on the added significance of Catholic Education celebrating 200 years in Australia, the uplifting and joyous liturgy was centred on this year’s Catholic Education Week theme, A Spirited Tomorrow and was brought to life by a 40-voice combined colleges’ choir.
Following Mass, a presentation was made to Northern Region nominees for the 2021 Spirit of Catholic Education Awards. The annual Awards recognise the achievements of staff and volunteers who have made an outstanding contribution to the life of their school community and to the advancement of Catholic Education.
Assistant to the Principal Religious Education at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, Emerald, Natalie McCosker, was named the overall Diocesan Spirit of Catholic Education Award recipient, one of six awardees to receive the state-wide recognition during Catholic Education Week.
Miss Jeffcoat said school communities throughout the Diocese celebrated Catholic Education Week in creative and meaningful ways bringing joy and a wonderful sense of unity to our school, parish and wider communities.
“Numerous acts of kindness and outreach to those in need were again a particular highlight of the week,” Miss Jeffcoat said.
Miss Jeffcoat said Catholic Education Week provided an opportunity to give thanks for our wonderful Catholic school communities and to share our distinctive Mission with the wider community.