Milestone mark for Sophia College, Plainland


​​Foundation Principal Narelle Dobson, Bishop Ken Howell and BCE executive Director Pam Betts with foundation students (from left) Samantha Haley, Addison O'Connell, Ruby Qualischefski, Darius Kebbell, and Matthew Rasell

​SOPHIA College has marked the start of a new era of Catholic education for families in Plainland and beyond with a Blessing of the Soil celebration.
As he blessed the soil on which the important business of educating young people will soon begin, Bishop Ken Howell noted it was now “Holy Ground".
Bishop Howell told special guests at the COVID-safe celebration, blessing the soil was an important step towards connecting the college community with the land it sits on.
“Blessing the soil means we can say this college is a place where God speaks and listens to us," he said.
He said he also found the name for the college an interesting choice.
“The creativity of this name, Sofia, very much places this college within the biblical tradition," he said.
"As such, it will be an invitation to dig more deeply into the meaning of what's behind that name.
“Sofia means wisdom, but not just any old wise saying, or interesting story, Sophia is all about a particular wisdom that comes from the divine, from God.
“This wisdom comes to people who set out to discover that which is true, noble and lasting," he said.
As part of the liturgy, soil collected by foundation families was combined with soil from the college site.
The combined soil will be used to plant an Illawarra flame tree sapling when the school is officially opened in 2021.
The tree will find a special place in the college grounds and will be a reminder of the college's call to be a vibrant community of learning that fosters care for everybody and a deep connection to creation.
The college, situated on a 19-hectare site, features flexible, inter-connected spaces for either small or large groups or one-on-one learning and large, modern sporting facilities,
When completed it will offer students from Years 7- 12 a Catholic education steeped in a rich Franciscan tradition.
Foundation Principal Narelle Dobson said the celebration was also a significant milestone in welcoming the college's first students.
“It's been very difficult during COVID-19 to actually connect with our new families and our foundation students.
“So, to finally meet five of them has been delightful.
“It has really taken us to that sense of purpose as to why we are here in the valley," she said.
For foundation student Darius Kebbell, who was the first student to enrol at the college, the Blessing of the Soil was a momentous occasion.
“It was such a beautiful experience," he said.
“We got to see the buildings where our classrooms​ will be. “It's all very exciting
“I can't wait to walk through those gates and into history as a foundation student next year," he said."
To discover more about what Darius and his fellow foundation students will experience while at Sophia College, Plainland, visit or call in to the office at Plainland Plaza.

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