Mass celebrated at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral for the 10th anniversary of Kolbe College, Greenvale Lakes

Friday 18 August 2017

My dear young Friends,

I want you to know that I am very proud of what has been achieved in Kolbe Catholic College since 2008. Having had recourse to that sometimes reliable source known as Wikipedia, I am very impressed by the great breadth of subjects available to young people to study right throughout their journey through the College. The additional list of electives, of facilities and activities which are provided are a great indication that your College is alive.

The primary purpose of Catholic education is to form young followers of Jesus Christ, to recognise their gifts, develop their talents through study and interaction and to witness to Christ in the world because authentic living as Jesus lived is the goal of humanity and is indeed the greatest gift of peace.

I want to encourage you therefore to go to your studies and activities with inquiring minds, to listen to your teachers as teachers listen to you and to your questions and seek to provide a response which will always be one which is Christian, which sees Christian leaders as working for the life of the world and which invites every one of us to develop the talents that we have.

Thank God the Lord made us all different; and if we respect each other mutually and see the great gifts which differ, which God has given to each of us, then we will move forward enriching the world in which we live in joy and hope.

Saint Maximilian Kolbe was a Conventual Franciscan priest, who had studied in Rome and was interred in Auschwitz. While in Rome he witnessed demonstrations against the Pope and encouraged devotion to Mary as the one who brought us the Saviour and is a powerful intercessor on our behalf.

He was ordained in 1918, was a writer and teacher, went to China and Japan, returning to Poland in poor health in 1936. At the beginning of World War II he was one of the few brothers who remained at the monastery looking after the sick. However, in February 1941 the monastery was shut down. He was taken to Auschwitz where he died on 14th August 1941 at the age of 47.

Kolbe is a remarkable indicator of the power of announcing the Good News, of the compassion that we can show to each other and the witness to each human life when he went to death in place of a complete stranger.

Kolbe is a remarkable, inspiring man who was canonised by Pope John Paul II on 10th October 1982. So great is his inspiration that we can pray, “Saint Maximilian Kolbe pray for us and our College and the witness that we can show.”

+ Denis J. Hart,
Archbishop of Melbourne.

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