Lighting the path for the next generation

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24 November 2022

Our school leaders were front and centre at the 2022 Annual Archdiocesan Celebration of Principalship.

Beginning with Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral celebrated by Archbishop Peter A Comensoli, and followed by dinner at the Park Hyatt Hotel, the event is a way to bring together the leaders of Melbourne’s Catholic schools, and recognise their commitment to the educational and spiritual growth of students in Catholic schools.

‘As contributors to Australian society, we often reflect on people shining a light’, said Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) Acting Executive Director, Dr Edward Simons. ‘Christ, of course, came to bring us from darkness into light. The imagery of light is obvious to us as educators; we illuminate the mind and, through that, the life of the person and, through them, the world. You are the leaders of Catholic education in Melbourne and your leadership is lighting the path for the next generation of our Church.’

Chris Stock, departing principal of Emmanuel College, Altona North, thanked the Archbishop for his leadership, and Helen Healy, departing principal of St Mary Magdalen’s School, Chadstone, delivered a reflection on behalf of all departing principals. ‘As Catholic school leaders, we can find ourselves at the meeting point between people and the Church, and I believe that principals have a unique mission’, said Helen. ‘We are called to build a school community where people can find a particular welcome and encounter with the person of Christ in very real ways.’

In addition to Chris and Helen, the following principals who departed during 2022 or will leave at the end of this year were recognised for their commitment to Catholic education:

The night also paid tribute to the recent passing of Vicky Wissell, principal of St Brigid’s School, Healesville (2017−2022) and Sacred Heart School, Yea (2008−2017). Vicky’s 15 years of service as a principal, and her prior teaching and early learning roles, have left a huge mark on the students and children in her care. Her recent passing is a terrible loss for her family, and the Kinglake, Yea and Healesville communities.

Special thanks to the altar servers from Simonds Catholic College, West Melbourne, the choir from Sacred Heart College, Newtown, the jazz band from St Joseph’s College, Ferntree Gully, and vocalist Colette D’Costa from Avila College, Mount Waverley, for adding to our event.