Media and Communications Office
Archbishop Peter Comensoli blessed St Paul’s College in Balwyn at the official opening of the specialist, state-of-the-art school on Thursday 28 February.
The school, accommodating 60 students with a diverse range of needs including intellectual, physical, profound multiple and sensory disabilities and complex medical needs, shone from pillar to pillar as warm February sunshine illuminated the school’s newly finished facilities.
Prior to the blessing in the nearby All Hallows Church, Archbishop Peter descended from the pulpit and slowly paced down the nave during his homily. He spoke of individual value and worth, pausing to connect with a number of St Paul’s students, emphasising to each person that ‘you are all treasures’.
The Archbishop invited several students to stand beside him. The students enthusiastically shared their names before Archbishop Peter encouraged the pupils to extend their hands towards his.
‘We are all made of skin and we are all treasures,’ Archbishop Peter told the children, ‘we don’t need to be made of riches to be treasures. We are all made it God’s image.’
‘You’re made in God’s image,’ he said gesturing to those gathered in All Hallows. ‘So are you. And you. And you too.’
Alongside St Paul’s beaming principal Tim Hemphill and school captain Zoe, The Archbishop led a large procession from the nearby Church to the facilities awaiting his blessing.
Originally opened as St Paul’s School for the Blind in Kew in 1957, today’s college has developed into a broader specialist school with the new facilities including an assistive technology centre, inclusive playgrounds and a cafe among Villa Maria Catholic Home’s $5.2 million project.
Speaking to Melbourne Catholic following the college’s blessing, Archbishop Peter remarked that St Paul’s gave parents, students, and staff a crucial environment to learn and develop.
‘For children living with disability, we need to let them and their families know that we’re walking the journey with them and it’s absolutely crucial we do that. A school like St Pauls is a great thing with incredible students,’ he said.
For more information on St Paul’s College, visit the Villa Maria Catholic Homes website via vmch.com.au