Cause for Celebration
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 was a great day for the St Joseph’s College community and the Sisters of St Joseph, Lochinvar. On that day staff, students, parishioners, friends and Sisters of St Joseph came together, rejoicing to be gathering again the Chapel after the damaging fires of November 2018.
People entering the chapel were delighted to see it restored again to its former glory. Gone was the darkness, the soot, the charred and sodden carpet, the blackness of the altar and the Stations of the Cross. Instead, there were the freshly painted walls, the light of the stained glass, the shine of the brass, the polished pews and the smell of new carpet.
In the absence of our Bishop Wright at a national Bishops Conference, Father Andrew Doohan, the Vicar General presided at the celebration of the Eucharist. He was joined by Fathers Paul O’Neill, Bill Burston, Greg Arnold and Peter Street.
After a Year 11 student acknowledged the Wonnarua People as the traditional custodians of the land, the chapel rang with the entrance hymn, Gather Your People, O Lord. The First Reading from Ezekiel 47:1-12 told us that the water flowing from the temple brought healing and new life wherever it flowed. The Second Reading from 1 Corinthians 3:9-11, 16-17 reminded us that we are God’s temple and God’s Spirit dwells in us. The Gospel from Luke 19:1-10 was about Zacchaeus with the message that all are welcome in the Kingdom.
Following the homily there was the Prayer of Dedication and the Anointing of the Altar which began with the singing of the Litany of the Saints and ended with the incensing of the Altar and the covering and lighting of the Altar.
Before the Solemn Blessing, Mrs Patricia Hales, the College Principal, spoke of the significant role the chapel has had in the life of the school community and the Sisters over nearly one hundred years and continues to have to the present day. The chapel resounded with the sound of the Lochinvar Hymn which has been reintroduced to the school, so once again another generation of students sing Where the Meadows and the mountains meet in mellowed lines of rest.
Refreshments were served in MacKillop Place, the College hall where the hospitality students attended graciously to everyone’s needs. Many people took advantage of the time to sit and chat before returning to their end of year activities. Click here for more news and photo gallery.