New Blessed Carlo Acutis Catholic College to be a world first

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Antonia Salzano, the mother of Carlo Acutis, is pictured in front of his tomb after it was opened in the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Assisi, Italy, Oct. 1, 2020. The tomb was opened in advance of the Italian teen’s Oct. 10 beatification Mass and will remain open for veneration until Oct. 17. Acutis died in 2006. PHOTO: CNS photo/courtesy Diocese of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino

A humble Australian bush diocese has announced the world’s first school campus to be named after a teenaged computer programmer beatified by Pope Francis last year.

Blessed Carlo Acutis Catholic College will be a K-12 school with a liberal arts focus and Wilcannia Forbes Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green hopes to build it in Moama, a fast-growing Riverina town in the southern part of the NSW diocese.

“It is an honour to name our school after such an inspiring young person who showed that children and teenagers can live lives devoted to God and to caring for those around them,” said Bishop Macbeth-Green of the new college which would be designed by ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects.

“All the students will be proud of their school name knowing that they too can live inspiring lives for others.”

“Our demographic research suggests that Blessed Carlo will grow to a medium size college over the next 20 years capable of maintaining this level of personalised approach.”

Diocesan Director of Catholic Education Anthony Gordon said that the college would serve the community of Moama and surrounding areas, beginning as a small school with highly personalised pastoral care and tuition for students in state-of-the-art facilities.

“Our demographic research suggests that Blessed Carlo will grow to a medium size college over the next 20 years capable of maintaining this level of personalised approach,” he told The Catholic Weekly.

“The teaching and learning at Blessed Carlo will be founded upon evidence-based pedagogy that ensures that every student’s learning needs are met.

An artist’s draft impression of the proposed Blessed Carlo Acutis College to be built in Moama in the NSW Diocese of Wilcannia Forbes. IMAGE: Supplied

“We will be offering tried and tested teaching methods with the best research based contemporary learning. The learning will have a ‘liberal arts’ feel about it due to the choice of texts and content which will immerse our students into the beauty of Catholic life and culture.”

Mr Gordon said that the diocese’s unique religious education program, Educating in Christ, will be taught at Blessed Carlo. “This program respects the developmental stage of young people and teaches the Catholic faith fully in an engaging way for students, teachers and parents,” he said.

“Bishop Macbeth-Green said he hoped that since Blessed Carlo was known for using technology to spread the Gospel, he would show today’s young people how media can be used for the good of society.”

“Students develop a deep understanding of sacraments, scripture, Church doctrine and moral teaching.” The college will include the only systemic Catholic senior education offering in Wilcannia Forbes, a diocese of 20 parishes that sprawls over more than 414,000 square kilometres.

The diocese is also served by 18 schools including Red Bend Catholic College, a Year 7-12 school in Forbes, more than five hours by car from the newly planned school.

In a letter announcing the college, Bishop Macbeth-Green said he hoped that since Blessed Carlo was known for using technology to spread the Gospel, he would show today’s young people how media can be used for the good of society.

Wilcannia Forbes Catholic Education Director Anthony Gordon and Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green. PHOTO: Tricia Ward

He said the college would “have at its heart” a daily life of prayer and devotion to the Blessed Eucharist where all students will have the opportunity to build a deep friendship with Jesus.

“I couldn’t think of a more uplifting or relevant model for the young people of Moama,” the bishop said. He said he knows of only one other school named after the young saint-in-the-making, an online school based in Canada.

Blessed Carlo Acutis was only 15 when he died of leukaemia in 2006.

“He was devoted to the Blessed Eucharist from the day of his first holy communion and used his gifts to promote the world’s Eucharistic miracles and the Catholic faith.”

The boy from Milan in northern Italy has been called the first millennial saint and “God’s influencer”. He was devoted to the Blessed Eucharist from the day of his first holy communion and used his gifts to promote the world’s Eucharistic miracles and the Catholic faith.

Well-liked among his peers, he enjoyed computer games and sports, especially soccer. He was devoted to daily Mass and the praying of the rosary, encouraged his mother to return to the practice of her faith, and said that he was happy to die “because I lived my life without wasting even a minute of it on anything unpleasing to God”.

Related:

Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green: life in a landscape that elevates the heart to God