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Feast of St Maroun Opening School Liturgy

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Principal’s Welcome at the Opening College Mass

Welcome to the 2023 school year.

It is wonderful to see you all gathered here today. I have to start by saying congratulations to all of you for the smooth start to the school year. So many of you were ready for school with all your books, resources and uniform organised. Over the many years I have been a teacher, I can tell you without a doubt, that those students who get ready and organised from the beginning of year, are usually the same students who do well over the rest of the year. Being organised, being early (not just on time), being ready – these are the keys to success. So well done to you all!

Happy St Maroun Feast day! Especially to those named Maroun. In today’s Mass, and at school, you will learn more about the great saint that St Maroun is. Taking on his name, we Maronites date back to the fourth century. Our history is one of a people strong in faith, overcoming persecution, to survive into the year 2023 and to be represented all over the world including of course here in Melbourne, in our College and in our Parish.

During the school holidays, there was another important feast day, the Feast of St Anthony the Great (also known as St Anthony of the Desert). This is a feast day, that we usually celebrate later in the year on Antonine Day. But today, I take this opportunity to wish the Antonine Sisters, Sr Mariette, Sr Rita and Sr Veronique a happy St Anthony Feast Day – after all, their Order is named after him, and our College also. We love our Antonine Sisters who founded our College through their hard work as part of their vocation. We are very proud to share in their mission here in Melbourne. Thank you, Sisters.

Dear students, we are all part of God’s creation. Each of you was created in the image of God. You are special. So is the person sitting beside you, in front of you, behind you. We are called to care for all of God’s creation – that means caring for everyone, especially the most vulnerable, and caring for the environment, the animals, the water, all of God’s creation. You may think, no one will notice if I care or not, or what difference will it make if I care or not? But God created you so you can play your little part in the world, and if we each play our part, no matter how small, we will be doing the work that God created us for. So You are special, we need each one of you to play your part. God loves us so much and all he asks is that we love him back and love all he has created – each person and each part of creation.

Each day, wake up and give praise to God. Say thank you God for giving me this day so I can play the part you created me for. In this Mass today, bring your intentions forward, sit still, concentrate on the words and join in the responses – this is how we praise God.

I pray that St Maroun, St Anthony and all the saints intercede on our behalf and pray for our Antonine College. I wish you every success for the 2023 school year.

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