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Opening Mass for School Year

16 February, 2024
 Diocesan Director Leesa Jeffcoat (far left) and Bishop Michael McCarthy (far right) pictured withRockhampton Region staff presented with Long-Service awards at the Opening School Year Mass recently.Front Row: Nichole Parkin (Emmaus College), Julie Goltz (St Peter’s), Karyl Young (Emmaus College), Kathy Fishburn (St Joseph’s Wandal), Seamus Toman (Emmaus College)Back Row: Patricia Billman (The Cathedral College), Anna Tom (St Mary’s), Katherine Howell (St Anthony’s), John McDevitt (Catholic Education Office), Natalie Pobar (St Benedict’s)

This year’s Catholic Education Opening School Year Mass held at St Joseph’s Cathedral Rockhampton on Friday 19 January and livestreamed across the Diocese, brought together, virtually and in person, staff, family members and friends of Catholic Education in prayer and celebration to mark the start of the 2024 school year.

The uplifting and joy-filled liturgy was a wonderful way to commence another year of learning and to acknowledge long-serving staff members, according to Diocesan Director Leesa Jeffcoat. “Our Mass was filled with great hope, positivity, and praise as we each recommitted ourselves to serving our communities and sharing in the Church’s Mission through educating the young people entrusted to our care,” Miss Jeffcoat said.

Bishop Michael McCarthy led the celebration assisted by Fr Bryan Hanifin, Fr Simeon Uchendu, Fr Samuel Okoroafor, Fr Jomon Poothara and Deacon Peter Doherty.

As part of the celebration Miss Jeffcoat paid tribute to staff in the diocese receiving long-service awards for 20 years or more service to Catholic Education.

“I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of Catholic Education to extend my thanks and deep appreciation for the commitment, dedication and tremendous service each of our award recipients have provided to our communities over such an extended period,” Miss Jeffcoat said. She said long-serving staff in other regions would be presented with their awards at an appropriate time within their school communities.

There were several Opening School Year Masses held in various other regions and school communities over the first few weeks of school welcoming students, staff and families to a new year as communities came together in prayer and worship.