Thriving Catholic community connects to “a bigger world”
The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney’s first newly-constructed Kindergarten to Year 12 School, St Anthony of Padua Catholic College in Austral, a recent recipient of funding from the Australian Government under the Capital Grants Program (CGP), celebrated the opening of their newest buildings with a blessing from Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP on Friday 22 November.
The Archbishop, accompanied by local parish priest Fr Bob Hayes, The Hon Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Anne Stanley MP, Peter Sidgreaves MP and Sydney Catholic schools executive director Tony Farley, gave a blessing over the school before touring the new buildings to bless each room with holy water.
The College is currently a Kindergarten to Year 2 School with over 200 students enrolled since first opening in 2017. With plans to continue to build the school and accommodate students throughout their entire school journey, it is forecasted to grow to 2400 students by the year 2027.
Guided by the mission of St Anthony of Padua, the College’s duty to guide students to become faith-filled learners for life is revealed in the school motto:
With Christ we Aspire. With Christ we Achieve. With Christ we Act.
Before his blessing, Archbishop Anthony addressed the nearly 500-strong audience by comparing the school to a city on a hill.
“Jesus says the Christian must be light to the world, a city built on a hill,” said the Archbishop. “Because cities standout, as a landmark, a beacon for all to see, a sign of civilisation and strength. I do believe that St Anthony’s will be this for the suburb of Austral.”
Following the blessing, Senator Fierravanti-Wells spoke about how pleased she was to represent the Australian Government at the blessing of a school built within such a strong community. Through the Government’s CGP funding the school has received more than $1.5 million that was used in the $2.2 million second stage of the school’s development.
“I hope that your new first class facilities provide the environment for you to be actively involved in your learning and set high expectations for yourself,” said the Senator. “It’s important that you [students] feel comfortable and that’s why from a Government perspective we want to make sure that the spaces you learn in are good spaces.”
Sydney Catholic schools executive director Tony Farley was next to speak, excited to encourage parents to be part of a thriving Catholic community in the Austral area.
“You’re going to be invited on many occasions, invited to come and be part of a thriving Catholic community.
“A thriving Catholic community can start to connect you with a bigger world.
“And you can not only access that, but you can be part of that.”
St Anthony’s college has a strong enrolment of more than 100 kindergarten students for the 2020 school year, and the school expects to continue to grow and thrive into the future.