In a year marred by disruptions to student learning and cancellations of school events, the outgoing Year 12 students of John Therry Catholic College, Rosemeadow recently had the opportunity to celebrate a significant event in their school’s history – a blessing ceremony to officiate the change of school name.
The students were joined by school leaders, the Director of Schools, Peter Hill, and Bishop of Wollongong, Most Rev Brian Mascord DD, who blessed numerous spaces throughout the school and unveiled a plaque commemorating the occasion.
Originally named John Therry Catholic High School, in honour of Father John Therry who celebrated the first Mass in the Campbelltown area in 1822, the college has experienced significant growth since it was first established in 1981 with an initial enrolment of 300 students from years 7-9. Current enrolment figures stand at over 1000 students, which is predicted to increase over the coming years.
College principal, Wayne Marshall, said it was important that the name of the school not only reflects its proud and valued history, but also the growing role it plays within the community.
“The decision to operate as a College was made so that we align with all other religious schools in the Macarthur area,” said Mr Marshall. “The name change signifies that we’re maturing as an educational institution and represents more fully the growing position we now hold. The students are proud of their school and are rising to the expectations of attending a College.”
The opening of new or refurbished Catholic school buildings, including a name change, are significant ceremonial and liturgical occasions in the life of a school. As part of Catholic education tradition, it’s customary that these occasions are acknowledged with a Bishop's blessing.
“Current COVID restrictions meant we could only hold a fifteen-minute assembly, with only one single year group in attendance being Year 12,” said Mr Marshall. “It was a privilege to be able to share this significant part of the school history with the outgoing Year 12 students, our first graduating group since our change of name.”
Mr Marshall expressed his thanks to Bishop Brian and Mr Hill for their presence at the ceremony, and for taking time to bless numerous school buildings, individual class groups, and members of the school community, particularly the graduating Year 12 students.