90th anniversary and feast day of Loreto Convent - Friday 5 September


My dear young Friends,

This year all students and staff are carrying a 125 years of Loreto badge.  You carry forward articulately and beautifully the inspiration of the first seven Loreto women who came to Victoria in 1889 and lived under the mott  “While I breathe I trust in the Cross”.  The power of the cross and resurrection of Jesus is to show us that God is near to our lives and to send us out as missionaries in the world bearing witness to the presence and love of Jesus Christ, to Our Lady as the peerless example for womanhood and to the gifts which you have and carry into the society of today.

Since Loreto first opened in 1924 your College has been blessed with many remarkable women who have taken their places in the professions, in society and in family.  They in turn have nurtured families so that the strong links with past pupils and their parents have been a constant part of the tradition.

I am in full admiration of the way in which Mary Ward had a vision for women which was unheard of in her time and which espoused a recognition of the unique gifts of womanhood, of the capacities of women to adapt and to prepare to use their gifts in the service of the community and to lift the vision of the community to a deeper realisation of the integrity and unity of women and men for the service of God and communit

Our Lady’s own example beginning:  “I am the servant of the Lord, let what you have said be done to me,” goes on to the wonderful proclamation when recognised by the angel that she is to be the Mother of God.  In a particular way Our Lady resonates with what has happened to her in the gift given her by God, as does every woman of Loreto.  Her prayer:  “My soul glorifies the Lord and my Spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he that is mighty has done great things for me and holy is him name.”  This to me always indicates the confidence that we must have in God, in Our Lady’s prayers and in ourselves because of the talents we can develop.

Whether leaders in Year 12 or the youngest pupils in Prep or in early learning, we can recognise the talents that God has given us to be used in the service of others and develop them as a proclamation of what God can achieve in us as he achieved in Mary.

Today we thank God for 90 years of our school.  We remember with gratitude the Loreto Sisters, their gifted collaborators and all who work with us at Loreto.  May we remember the power of prayer and faith to inspire us and to give us the vision that we too can do great things. 

It is most important for us to realise that each one of us is unique, that we are different, that what we can achieve is very diverse.  Whether academic, cultural, sporting, nurturing, listening, speaking, challenging or announcing; these gifts are given in different ways to different people.  As Mary believed in God’s power in her life, so we too must believe in the importance of faith and prayer in our life, of living in justice and truth and walking in integrity to use the gifts we have as our proclamation of the wonders that God has and can do in our lives. 

As Archbishop I pay tribute to the wonderful contribution which Mandeville continues to make in the Archdiocese and I assure you of my prayers for all at Mandeville as I am united with you in this special Mass of Thanksgiving.  “For he who is mighty has done great things for me and holy is his name.”

+ Denis J. Hart,


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