Hall dedicated to Australia’s first saint

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St Richard’s Primary School, Kilsyth29 August 2022

St Richard’s Primary School, Kilsyth, celebrated the Feast of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop by dedicating a hall to Australia’s first saint.

Some 15 years ago, the church located on the school’s site was removed. A new school hall was built as part of the Building the Education Revolution funding in 2010, and school Masses, liturgies, assemblies and whole-school events are now celebrated in this hall.

The school recently went through the review process and prioritised enhancing Catholic school identity in this four-year cycle. In the School Improvement Plan, the school aimed to enhance its Catholic identity in the hope of making it visible and enacted upon. When deciding on a new name for the school hall, staff, students and parents were all consulted. A short list of options was proposed with St Mary of the Cross being chosen as the clear winner.

St Mary of the Cross MacKillop accomplished many extraordinary things in her life. She showed courage, determination and overall, a tremendous amount of faith, all of which align with the school’s values and mission. These virtues are also what led her to being declared the first Australian saint.

The Feast of St Mary of the Cross was chosen as the date for the hall renaming, and the school celebrated with a Mass and morning tea. A number of past staff members, current parishioners and school families, along with current staff and students, came together for the blessing and naming of the Mary MacKillop Hall.