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Jesuits farewelled from St Ignatius School

St Ignatius Principal Roycelyn Wilden and students Amelia Earley and Eve Brown
give thanks and praise to Jesuit Frs Stan Lim and Gaetan Periera

STAFF, students and parents at St Ignatius School promised to “keep the Ignatian flame alight” as they said goodbye to the Jesuits from Toowong parish.

At a farewell Mass for the order, the school made the pledge to Jesuit Fathers Stan Lim and Gaetan Periera and Sister Anna Venture.

Archbishop Mark Coleridge said although the Jesuits were leaving Toowong their charism would be forever etched in the soul of the parish and the school. 

St Ignatius Principal Roycelyn Wilden acknowledged and thanked the special guests for the legacy they left behind after more than 100 years of service to the parish.

The decision to leave the parish and school was made by a Jesuit parishes task force set up more than 18 months ago to respond to the increasing difficulty of finding Jesuits to serve in nine parishes across the country.

Led by the province delegate for parishes Loreto Sister Libby Rogerson, the task force was asked to discern and develop criteria for remaining in or withdrawing from a parish, and then to make recommendations for the Jesuits’ provincial and consult.

Roycelyn said they were grateful for the many holy men who had served the parish and school

“These men, companions of the Society of Jesus, have an inspirational founder in St Ignatius who lived his life after his coming to know Jesus, seeking to find God in all things and to follow Jesus wherever the greatest need can be found. 

“Ignatius also believed that an essential pre-requisite for helping people to a deeper union with God was to develop a profound respect for the value of education – an important characteristic he instilled in all of his companions was the striving after excellence in the spirit of the great Ignatian word – ‘magis’ (more). 

“All of these holy men have led us to a deeper understanding of God’s love and guided us in finding God in all things. 

“They have taught us the true meaning of consolation through reflection, the true meaning of grace and goodness which is animated by love but above all through their dedicated service to our school they have been our companions on the journey.”

Roycelyn said the primary school drew its own motto from the Latin motto of the Society of Jesuits meaning “for the greater glory of God as each day we strive to, Lift Up Our Hearts”.

She thanked Fr Gaetan for his companionship and support for the school, represented symbolically by his handstand, where he literally turned himself upside down for the needs of the students. 

She also praised former parish priest Fr Peter Quin, whose spirit was still with the school community, and Fr Lim who took over as parish administrator following Fr Quin’s death in 2016.

“Fr Stan you walked into our lives as we grieved an amazing man and you have truly ensured we have been held in the palm of God’s hand through your service of faith, grounded in love for Christ and the promotion of justice. 

“Our heartfelt gratitude for who you are and for all you have done,” she said. 

Brisbane Catholic Education Office

243 Gladstone Road, Dutton Park Q 4102

GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia

Phone: (07) 3033 7000

Fax: (07) 3844 5101