CATHOLIC school students discovered new horizons as they marked Catholic education's achievements in Queensland during Catholic Education Week (CEW)celebrations.
To celebrate schools hosted a huge range of activities around Brisbane Archdiocese and across the state, including Masses and liturgies, youth leadership activities, award presentations and community outreach.
At the official launch for CEW in Townsville two extraordinary teachers from BCE, Jon Sorohan from St Paul's School, Woodridge, and Rosemarie Dwyer from St Augustine's College, Augustine Heights, were recognised for their outstanding contribution to Catholic education with a Spirit of Catholic Education Award.
Jon was recognised for his tireless and compassionate work with refugee, migrant and asylum seeker students and families who are in need while Rosemarie received the Auntie Joan Hendriks Reconciliation Award for creating positive change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff.
This year CEW theme “Discovering New Horizons" has been aligned with the official Year of Youth theme for 2018.
It derived from a speech given by Pope Francis at World Youth Day 2016 where he called young people and the Church to “open new horizons for spreading joy" allowing them to easily integrate CEW activities and materials with Year of Youth programs.
Nine Catholic schools from Brisbane's southside spread the joy when they gathered for an uplifting concert by MusicFire, a band comprised of talented Brisbane Catholic Education staff
Hosted by St Bernard's Primary School, Upper Mt Gravatt, students gathered in the Aspinall Centre for an opening prayer, introduction and words of encouragement from BCE Executive Director Pam Betts before the concert.
Ms Betts told the primary students there was no better way to celebrate our faith that through music.
During the celebrations, students took time to reflect on how they could discover new horizons and spread joy in the world.
They also presented generous donations of toiletries and household items to assist migrant and refugee families in the communities of St Paul's School, Woodridge and St Brendan's School, Moorooka.
Concert organiser Lawrie Knott, a member of MusicFire and a teacher at St Agnes School, Mt Gravatt, said the students really enjoyed getting involved in the music.
“It was a wonderful opportunity for students from different schools to join together to spread joy and make a difference in the lives of people in need," he said.
St Pius X School, Salisbury, student Charlize Van Buren she loved meeting students from other schools and sharing in an afternoon of song while Zoe O'Neill from St Bernard's said she enjoyed singing along with the band and the variety of songs the played throughout the concert.
Year of Youth coordinator and MusicFire member Steph Unger said the concert was such an exciting and joyful event for everyone who attended.
“Staff and students alike were beaming as they danced and sang along with MusicFire.
“One of the really wonderful aspects of the Year of Youth is that it is providing so many opportunities just like this one for young people (and those young at heart) in schools right across the Archdiocese to celebrate their faith and to remind us all that 'we are the church'," she said.
She said it was also great to witness St Stephen's Cathedral filled with hundreds of students who raised their voices in joy during a Youth Sings concert celebrating CEW and the Year of Youth.
The concert featured students from Years 4-12 singing an entire liturgy with Archbishop Mark Coleridge officiating.
Brisbane Catholic Education Office
2A Burke Street, Woolloongabba Qld 4102 Australia
GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia
Phone: (07) 3033 7000
Fax: (07) 3844 5101