Celebrating kindness

Students and community members came together recently to celebrate the 90th anniversary of St Brigid’s Catholic School, at New Norfolk.

Archbishop Julian and Tasmanian Governor Kate Warner were both in attendance for the commemorations, with Archbishop Julian celebrating Mass in the school’s Presentation Centre. In his homily, Archbishop Julian recalled the enormous effort and sacrifice made by religious Sisters in the establishment of Catholic education, including the Sisters of Charity and the Presentation Sisters, both of whom were instrumental in the development of St Brigid’s.

He also spoke of Jesus being at the heart of all Catholic schools. “Today as we celebrate this fitting anniversary, let us recall the dedicated faith of our forebears who brought this School into being and be resolved ourselves to hand on a school to future generations because we too love our faith and know and deeply believe that Jesus Christ alone is the way, the truth and the life,” Archbishop Julian said. “Let us ensure that Christ lives in this school in the hearts of parents, teachers and students.”

What they’ve got at St Brigid’s is kindness for each other

St Brigid’s Catholic School was first taken over by the Sisters of Charity in 1925, and then by the Presentation Sisters from 1950 to 1993. Sr Janet Sexton, who is a Presentation Sister and has been involved with the School for 20 years, said it was the students who made St Brigid’s a special place. “What they’ve got at St Brigid’s is kindness for each other, [and] the children’s involvement in helping in any activities that come up,” she said. “These days too much emphasis is given to the ‘bad things’ that young people are doing and not enough to the wonderful things that teenagers and younger children are doing.”

Principal Joy Matar said the 90th anniversary was an important milestone for students and for many members of the community. “Ninetieth’s are always significant,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to highlight the charisms and traditions of the School to our students and our families…and engage the community in that. We’ve got two families who have [had] four generations through the school.”

The long presence of the School in the New Norfolk community was also celebrated by a ‘history room’ at the school, which displayed artefacts from the School’s past.

Sr Janet Sexton with St Brigid's students