Blessing of the Mandeville Centre, Loreto College, Toorak - Thursday 16 July 2015
My dear young friends,
It is with strong confidence that I recognise the vision which has brought the Mandeville Centre to completion. Progress and development in learning are meant to serve a very clear vision of our role and giftedness as human beings and to prepare young women to take their place as leaders in society. We want them to be equipped with a wide range of capacities to learn, to interact, to confer with others and to develop in new and dynamic ways their skills and readiness to contribute to family and community.
The vision of Mary Ward who said: “Women should and can provide something more than ordinary”, leads us to the heart of Christian education here at Mandeville.
Our education, above all, is Catholic and Christian, leading to our knowledge and awareness of God, our relation with God through sacraments, prayer, reflection upon scripture, and developing in each of us of the true Christian vision of ourselves as human persons.
At Mandeville we come to know that each person is unique and gifted and to realise that the development of those differing gifts in each person is a call for each one to recognise our full capacity. We are all gifted and unique in the sight of God. We need to be reassured of our giftedness, to develop our skills and to be able to use the best of modern educational theory and practice so that our time at Mandeville is used most effectively.
To me, the best teachers in my life were people enthused with a great knowledge of their subject and a thirst to deepen and continue that knowledge with an ability to communicate in a warm, human way and draw us into their own enthusiasm and excitement for the subjects they are sharing with us.
The Mandeville Centre successfully meets the needs of working parents by providing additional tutors here at the College until seven o’clock in the evening. Often the alumnae of Mandeville are people with busy professional or family lives, who do not wish to neglect their children, but are making a great difference in society and in the community. This new Centre allows parents to continue to do this while fulfilling their responsibility to assist their own children in developing their gifts and competencies in drawing out of their studies the very best of human learning and experience. They are enriched by an openness to the spiritual, to a deeper knowledge of people and to respect the uniqueness of each human person.
Through this new means of learning and the regular creative interactions it is my belief that Mandeville will contribute yet more to the enrichment of our society, to the growth of our young people in spirit, in ideas and in capacity to work and to share, which has been hitherto unparalleled.
I do thank the project committee and all those who worked to conceive this new Centre and now others who are working with Dr Stevens and the members of the staff to use it so creatively. Here in Melbourne it is important that Mandeville continues to be visionary and open to all the possibilities with which the gifts that God has given us can be used for the building up of the eternal and earthly kingdom. May God bless you and all who use this wonderful facility.
+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.