Mass celebrated at St Patrick’s Cathedral Melbourne for the 35th anniversary of Catholic Regional College, Sydenham

Thursday 22 June 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It is the presence and love of Jesus which transforms all of us, and here at CRC over 35 years, gifted leaders and intelligent, aspiring young people have worked together to take their place in the world with dignity and skill.

For me this has shone out through the leadership of principals, the huge vision of Father John O'Reilly and the readiness of young people to give dignity, respect, care and hospitality, so that in passing through CRC Sydenham we see our place in the world.

There is a remarkable chemistry which operates when people are respected and loved. Their enquiring minds present questions, desires and wonderings. The ability and giftedness of teachers interacts with those wonderings to provide reassurance and new vision.

What I have been particularly impressed about is the ability which CRC gives to help each one to have the understanding and skills to realise a hope-filled future.

This is no mean achievement when we have young people from a wide diversity of backgrounds with a range of gifts that each one of us, being unique, individual and unrepeatable, loved by God and understood as we are, so that growing as we are, we can come forward to what God has prepared for those who love him. What the eye has not seen, what the ear has not heard, what has not entered into the heart of man to conceive, what God has prepared for those who love him.

God's love for us is unique and individual. Each one of us is important and gifted with unique talents, adding to the infinite variety of people who are at CRC. Our role for each other is to foster our gifts and talents, to provide hope where people struggle, and to provide encouragement and ability to achieve within the range of our particular gifts, because each of us is different, each of us is important.

We are made in the image and likeness of God, we are loved perfectly. We have the model of Mary who gave us Jesus, in drawing us how to love ourselves, how to recognise our gifts and how to carry our College forward.

Quite often in his public life Jesus invited the Apostles and other people to come and see. Building up a personal relationship with Christ means that we see Jesus, not just as God out there, but a real person who went through the challenges of living as we do at this moment. We want to know him and believe in him, and when we entrust ourselves to him we are given life and we empower others. The wide variety of curriculum and culture at the College helps us to realise that there is nothing that we cannot learn, there is no change or development which we cannot follow through, and we are no longer individuals but a circle of friends because we are in love with Jesus Christ.

I do congratulate you on the 35 years of the College, but more than that I congratulate you on the wonderful atmosphere of supportive learning, of generosity for others, of respect for their gifts and of our common heritage of love of Jesus Christ, listening to his word and listening to others, which begins here in the Eucharist which we celebrate today. It is so important to remember that as Catholics we are not alone because we are all one in Jesus Christ. That is our great gift in common. We praise and thank the Lord for all that he has given.

As you grow to be discerning adults you too will take your place in the world as part of the body of Christ, and are part of the wonderful collaboration between the students, staff, family and parishes, recognising through the gifts that we have, the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the Light of the World, a light that darkness could not overpower.

+ Denis J. Hart,
Archbishop of Melbourne.

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