Mass at the Blessing of St. John the Apostle school, Tarneit West, on Friday, 7 August, 2015

My dear Brothers and Sisters,

Your school of Saint John the Apostle is one of the newest schools among the 333 schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne. I am sure you know that Saint John the Apostle was the son of Zebedee and the brother of Saint James; a fisherman who worked alongside Saint Andrew on the Sea of Galilee. One day while they were cleaning their nets Jesus passed by, called them to immediately leave everything and follow him.

Saint John was the youngest of the Apostles who travelled everywhere with Jesus in his ministry and is referred to as the ‘beloved disciple’. In a particular way Saint John invites us to a knowledge of Jesus because we are a Catholic school. In every Catholic school the knowledge of Jesus, Mary and our patron saints is the beacon that guides our journey to learning and preparation for life, our knowledge and skill that we develop and our relationship with each other.

So Jesus asks us, as he invites Saint John, to be a community of believers who live for God, who live for other people, who seek to demonstrate that love in seeing the image of Jesus in those with whom we live and work.

It is so important for us to realise that what we learn about Jesus, our living of our faith in prayer and above all in the great prayer of the Mass on Sundays, our doing not only what is right and what will build up and help the community, but also the realisation that we are loved by God as if we are the only person in the world and this means that what we are and what we can become is so important.

My prayer in the coming years is that Saint John the Apostle school will grow to be a community which is an example of how to live with Jesus. This spirit will permeate the teachers and their desire to teach and form young people. It will touch the inquiring minds of our young people and it will reach out into family and community because in the education of any children the parents take the first place, teachers and parish work with them so that there will be real growth in faith, in learning, in respect for each other and in involvement with the community.

The specific design of Saint John the Apostle school is directed towards involving the community and to make the school a hub for the families, so that they will be at home and in love and respect with each other as Saint John himself was.

I congratulate the builder and the architect, your Principal Mr. Simon Dundon, the teachers and so many people who have worked to make Saint John the Apostle already a community of love and service.

God has given us so many gifts that we cannot just squander them. It is important that we learn and develop those gifts, but also that they be used in service and sacrifice for our community. May Jesus live in our hearts forever.

+ Denis J. Hart,
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