Journey of holiness and openness

Home > News and Events > 2023 > August > Journey of holiness and openness

30 August 2023

As part of the 50th anniversary of the Maronite Eparchy of Australia, Antonine College, Pascoe Vale South, hosted an important visit of relics from five saints. Principal Joanne Bacash reflects on the visit and the opportunities for students to encounter God during the jubilee year:

What a blessing it was to have the relics of St Maroun, St Charbel, St Rafqa, St Nehmetallah and St Mary of the Cross MacKillop visit Antonine College earlier this month.

Students with a relic

As the only Maronite Catholic college in Victoria, founded by the Antonine Sisters Order, we were excited to be included in the relics tour. Sr Mariette Kareh, Congregational Leader of the Antonine Sisters, Sr Veronique Karam and Sr Rita El Azzi place great importance on opportunities for the students to develop and deepen their faith and, therefore, immediately responded ‘yes’ to having the relics visit the college.

This year, the Maronite Eparchy of Australia is celebrating its golden jubilee with the theme ‘The Maronites in Australia: A Journey of Holiness and Openness’. His Excellency, Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay provided our college with the opportunity to have the relics visit as part of the jubilee celebrations.

Foundation to Year 12 students took part in a prayer service where they could venerate the relics, and parents and special guests attended also. Children from Antonine Sisters Child Care Centre joined the Foundation to Year 4 prayer service. It was so special for all.

Year 12 students at the prayer service

Students at Antonine College have been learning about relics in the weeks leading up to the visit. All Religious Education classes covered the lives of all five saints and how they became saints. They learned that we can all be saints by praying, loving God and loving one another. Saints are real people who set examples for us so we can become better people. The relics visit highlights to us that we should take time to learn from the saints how to love God more and how to love God’s creation. Our college theme this year is ‘We are all called to care for creation’, and the saints show us what it means to love God, to love one another and, in turn, care for all creation.

May our Antonine College community continue to receive God’s blessings.

You remain our inspiration,
St Maroun, St Charbel, St Rafqa, St Nehmetallah and St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Pray for us.