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Friday 31 May

The Catholic Education Sandhurst Ltd Mass for Healing and Justice took place at Catherine McAuley College Bendigo on Friday 31 May.

Almost 1700 people attended the Mass, including students and staff from Catholic primary and secondary schools of the Bendigo region, diocesan priests, Sisters of Mercy and invited guests. The Mass was also live streamed to primary and secondary schools throughout the Sandhurst Diocese.

The Mass was celebrated by Bishop Shane Mackinlay with concelebrants Fr Brian Boyle and Fr Denib SuguitanStudents representing all schools present played a leading role in the Mass, including procession of the symbols and flags, reading, dancing, singing, playing didgeridoo and clap sticks.

The Executive Director of Catholic Education Sandhurst, Ms Kate Fogarty said she was proud that the Catholic Education community could to come together, fully committed to waking alongside our nation’s First People.

"Reconciliation Week shines the spotlight on the work we can do towards healing as our schools, workplaces, and communities engage in meaningful conversations and activities,” she said. “Beyond National Reconciliation Week, the journey toward reconciliation remains crucial. The theme, ‘Now more than ever’, calls us to continue to seek understanding, to show respect, and to act, not just today, but every day,” said Kate. ‘Catholic Schools in the Sandhurst Diocese are committed to working toward healing and justice as active participants, recognising that reconciliation is an ongoing process that requires collective effort.

Catherine McAuley College Bendigo Assistant Principal (Faith Mission and Community), Cara Pawsey said, "Across every generation our Elders have played and continue to play an important role and hold a prominent place in our communities and families,” said Cara. "They are cultural knowledge holders, trailblazers, nurturers, advocates, teachers, survivors, leaders, hard workers and our loved ones.

"Reconciliation Week is a time of reflection and action, a time to recognise the injustices of the past and commit to building a future grounded in justice, healing, and unity. This year's theme, "Now More Than Ever," encourages all Australians to be a voice for reconciliation in tangible ways in our everyday lives. For the work of generations past, and for the benefit of generations in the future, we must act today for a more just, equitable and reconciled country for all.

‘We are encouraged to use our voices to champion institutional, structural, collaborative and cooperative change while celebrating those who have already driven and led change in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities over generations. To celebrate and recognise the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Reconciliation Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth.

‘In the spirit of reconciliation, we are called to reflect on our own lives and actions. Are we doing enough to support the healing of those who have been wronged? Are we actively seeking justice for all members of our community? Let us ask for the grace to see where we can do more, where we can be instruments of God’s healing love,” she said.

Bendigo Office

120 Hargreaves St
PO Box 477
Bendigo, 3552
Ph: (03) 5443 2377

Tatura Office

74 Hogan St
Tatura, 3616
Ph: (03) 5443 2377

Wangaratta Office

29 Templeton St
PO Box 1181
Wangaratta, 3677
Ph: (03) 5443 2377


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