Newly commissioned school staff challenged to model Jesus in their roles

02 February 2024

Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB has last week encouraged Catholic Education Western Australia Ltd (CEWA) staff from across the Archdiocese to approach their roles with enthusiasm, integrity and joy.

Archbishop Costelloe said this during his homily at the 2024 Catholic Education Commissioning Mass held at St Mary’s Cathedral on Monday, 29 January where some 421 new teachers and principals were commissioned to serve in local Catholic schools.

Staff were joined by Minister for Education Hon Dr Tony Buti, Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia Chair Eva Skira and board, Catholic School Parents WA Inc Executive Director

Siobhan Allen, Catholic Education Western Australia Executive Director Wayne Bull and his executive team. University of Notre Dame Fremantle Pro Vice Chancellor, Student Experience Prof Selma Alliex and Catholic Institute of Western Australia Dr Jonathan Topliss were also in attendance.

Mass concelebrants included Auxilliary Bishop of Perth The Most Rev Don Sproxton VG, Episcopal Vicar for Education and Faith Formation The Very Rev Vincent Glynn, CEWA Chaplain Fr George Kolodziej SDS and Vicar General Fr Peter Whitely.

Inspired by St John the Bosco who is referred to as ‘Father and Teacher of the Young,’ Archbishop Costelloe recounted the Saints’ life which was much dedicated to the development of young people.

“You will be a positive force for good in the lives of each of the young people you encounter throughout the course of this year if your interactions with them are characterised by gentleness and by love. This means, of course, that we will fail in our responsibility to the young people entrusted to us by their families if, instead, our engagement with them is characterised by severity, by aloofness, by disdain or by lack of commitment.”

Archbishop Costelloe concluded his homily by encouraging those present to model Jesus in all they do, just like the Saints have.

“….Consciously, take Jesus as your model in all your encounters with the young people who will be a part of your life and mission in 2024: This is what the Lord is asking of all of you who, in God’s Providence, have find yourselves involved in the work of Catholic Education here in WA. It is the challenge which I put before you and ask you to accept with enthusiasm, with integrity, and with joy.”

Incoming principal for the system’s first school, Mercedes College, Dr Lucie McCrory expressed her commitment to the Mercy tradition, aiming to bring life to its’ transformative power, and promised to act with the Mercedes College values at the forefront of her leadership.

“Our motto, aspire, excel, lead, hints to us the importance of aspirations, which are rooted in hope. We move forward from aspirations, to excelling when we harness the mastery required to bring a hope to life, and then we lead.

“Aspire, excel and lead in the area that your gift pulls you toward. This is my hope for every student in this Cathedral today.”

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