Mass for recently graduated Catholic teachers


Dear Friends,

In welcoming your to this Cathedral, which belongs to all of us in Melbourne, I come to commission you as Catholic teachers in our Archdiocese.  Your years of study and reflection, your desire to be a teacher because you love young people, your readiness to lead by service, your own individual gifts and vision, are all now to be placed at the service of others. 

In this Mass we come to bring our gifts to the Giver of all good gifts so that God will bless and strengthen you in your work as teachers; whether in English, Maths, Religious Education, Sport, the Arts, or whatever part of teaching you enter I want to say that I am very proud of you because your agreeing to teach in a Catholic school bears with it an agreement to be part of the mission of the Church to teach others as Jesus taught us.  I pray that this will be a special time of hope and newness.

Every Catholic teacher begins with a personal relationship of knowledge and love with Jesus Christ.  Jesus, as the only Son of the Father, came to fulfil God’s plan in all things.  We would do well to remember today that God has picked out each of us to do him some particular service. 

Above all, I would urge you:–

1.      To believe in Jesus as the One who will lead and inspire you;

2.      To believe in yourself and to use your gifts for others, to learn from those who are more experienced;

3.      Always to keep your enthusiasm and hope fresh and alive as you prepare your lessons and lead young people;

4.      Remember you are part of a great cohort of Catholic teachers who love children and are dedicated to them and are totally committed to giving of their very best. 

In so doing, I urge you not to be afraid and to show to the world the reason for the hope that is in you.  Or as Pope Francis has said to us:  “To bring the joy and enthusiasm of the Gospel, the Good News, to the people who are placed in our care.” 

It is Jesus who brings us near to each other.  It is you as a teacher, who will be sharing your experience of love and knowledge of Jesus with young people who will grow in that love and knowledge because of your prayerfulness and faith.  At first we may be shy praying in public.   Sometimes we may be hesitant to tell others of our belief and knowledge of what God is like.  Yet it is by being witnesses, by trying and allowing the light to shine that we come to influence others and to grow.

Often as a priest I have been called to the hospital and have gone straight away while feeling a little hesitant because I had others things I was doing.  When I have got there I have seen the courageous suffering of people and this has enriched and encouraged me.  It is the same with your classes; some day it will be an effort to go to school, some day what you are asked to teach will not always be easy and yet if you bring your very best gift this will build your faith, help you know that you are loved and help you to be the instrument of God’s love. 

Congratulations on your readiness to serve God’s people and may Jesus live in your hearts forever.

+ Denis J. Hart,

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