Blessing of school buildings at St Patrick’s School, Mentone
Tuesday 29 May 2018
My Dear Young Friends,
I am honoured to join Father Michael McEntee, your Principal Mr Tim Noonan, teachers, students and parishioners as we bless these new facilities for St Patrick's School. It is the first time I have ever blessed an elevator, and I am sure that the staff members will work better and more generously as a result of their new facilities.
I am here to encourage you in the work of Catholic Education, learning to know and love Jesus our Saviour, to prepare for life and to dedicate ourselves to the welfare of others.
'The Lord goes up with shouts of joy;
the Lord our God with trumpet blast.'
This morning we bless new facilities for your school, and this ceremony itself where we sprinkle Holy Water, a reminder of Baptism, encourages us to be who we are and to participate in deepening our faith and learning, and come to be closer followers of Jesus our Lord and Saviour. We are very fortunate in the Catholic Church to know Jesus as a person, because he not only shared our human nature, he was God as well. Thus he encourages us to rise up to what we can become.
A couple of weeks ago we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension. The Apostles were sad when they felt Jesus was leaving them, but he reminded them and reminds us, "I have gone before to prepare you a place, so that where I am you also may be." Our whole journey, from the time of our birth and Baptism, through the reception of Sacraments at school, on to working life, marriage and giving of our talents for others, is a journey in which Jesus is our light.
His words, his deeds, his new commandment, "love one another as I have loved you", are all an invitation to what we can become; to know him and trust him and be filled with all the gifts that only he can give.
The words "I can" are always part of what we say and do here at St Patrick's. St Patrick himself was lost in France as a young boy, struggled to come home to Ireland, and became a great teacher and leader. I am sure there are young boys and girls here at St Patrick's who have great gifts, who want to give them for people. I pray that your teachers will lead you into the exciting journey of learning to love and follow Jesus.
I congratulate Mr Noonan and the teachers on all that is being achieved here, and I ask that every one of us will realise that God loves us as if we were the only person in the world and that is why we are important and the use of our gifts is important. From the greatest to the least, Pope Francis reminds us that everyone is loved by God, is unique and is special.
Today as we thank God for these new facilities in our school, we thank God for the people with whom we work, and for the steps by which we achieve what we can become.
May St Patrick, our great missionary saint, bless us and keep us safe always.
+ Denis J Hart
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE