Faith, courage and compassion at statue blessing

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16 August 2023

Indigenous smoking ceremonyKolbe Catholic College, Greenvale Lakes, marked the feast day of St Maximilian Kolbe with the blessing of a new statue.

The intentions and design of the statue were a long time in development, and the Franciscan focus is evident in the representation of St Maximilian. He is depicted wearing the traditional robe, rope belt and sandals. Although most well-known for his sacrifice at Auschwitz, it is his Franciscan charism that the college wanted to emphasise.

The ceremony brought together students, staff, parents and members of the School Advisory Council. The Mass was graced by the presence of Fr Dishan, Fr George and Fr Tony, who led a touching liturgy. The occasion was further enhanced by Wurundjeri woman Stacie Piper, who extended a warm welcome to the attendees and led an Indigenous smoking ceremony. Special guests included Iwan Walters, Member for Greenvale; Cr Joseph Haweil, Mayor of Hume City; representatives from Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) including Vicki Garniss, Director of People and Culture; the college’s first principal, Anthony Kirley; and representatives from Landstruct, the landscape architects responsible for the captivating surroundings.

A time capsule was buried, including a letter from Principal Nick Scully to be read when the capsule is opened in 2073. He expressed his optimism for the future, emphasising the strength of leadership, the commitment of staff and the loyalty of the school’s families. ‘Our young people don’t always get everything right’, he wrote, ‘but they are working hard to prepare themselves to make a good living and to live a good life’.

Blessing of the new statue

The celebrations served as a powerful reminder of the college’s commitment to nurturing the spiritual, intellectual and personal growth of each student, and its role as a cornerstone of the community for generations to come.

Blessing of the new statue