The whole school celebrated our end of year ‘Mass of Thanksgiving’ on Thursday morning this week in our sports hall specially adorned for the occasion.
This year’s theme for the Mass was ‘Reflecting on the Image of God’ and throughout the week pupils had been preparing the hall for the special occasion. A very large cross, positioned behind the altar was flanked either side by colourful graphical hearts for each pupil and staff member that consisted of a personally inscribed silver heart with everyone’s name. The hearts were set across the entire wall of the sports centre and reinforced the theme of the Mass and the firm foundations of our lives in the teachings of Jesus.
Joining us for the Mass was celebrant Fr Mario Ashuikeka from Ladyewell. The Mass was a wonderful way in which to mark the end of the final academic term and to give thanks to God for the many blessings that we have each received throughout the year.
Mass began with an opening hymn with musical accompaniment by the school band. Maria Keating (Y7 & Y8) and Oliver Kerr (Y9 & 10) read the first reading (Ephesians 2:410) reinforcing the theme of our Mass. Our Chaplain Emily McDonald-Romero then delightfully sang the Responsorial Psalm with the congregation joining in the refrain.
The Gospel (Luke 15:11-32), the ‘Prodigal Son’ was then read by Fr Mario. The scripture reinforced that we should give thanks to God for all the blessings we receive and to pray for anyone or any situation that needs our prayers.
Fr Mario’s homily centred on how our father in heaven is a gentle father who directs our hearts with tenderness, showing us mercy in abundance. ‘It is never wise and no good would ever come from dragging someone to Christ kicking and screaming,’ he quoted, continuing, ‘but better to invite others to come to know Jesus through our positive experiences of him.’
Fr Mario thanked Mr Hubbard for all he has contributed to school life and how he has shown fatherly love towards all the boys and girls at school. He asked God to continue to bless Mr Hubbard and his family.
He also encouraged our boys and girls to be good during the summer holidays and always to be good for God.
Prayers of Intercession followed, with petitions from Russell Kashiri (Y7 & Y8) and Jodie-Leigh Harrison (Y9 & Y10).
Reflective music was played while all pupils had the opportunity to receive Holy Communion and those of different faiths or who have not made their first communion were invited to come forward with arms folded across their chest to receive a blessing. After the final post communion reflection and blessing the Mass concluded with a rousing hymn.
The celebration was again, a very peaceful and prayerful time for everybody involved in our school to mark our final days of the school year in thanksgiving.