School milestone celebrated

School milestone celebrated

Ayear of celebrations kicked off in Millicent last month as staff and students gathered for the opening ceremony for St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School’s 125-year anniversary.

“We are celebrating 125 years, but it’s also about celebrating the school, Catholic education and the Mercy charism that is carried on within the school,” principal Liza Couzens said.

“The whole school will be part of these celebrations.

“It’s about bringing our community back together and making it vibrant again after losing some of that during COVID.

“Community is very important to us; we offer education but we are keen to open our school up to everyone in the wider community.

“Everyone is invited to participate in these events and everyone is welcome here.”

The year-long program includes a Mother’s Day High Tea with guest speakers on May 11, a whole of school Mass and veneration of the relic of St Anthony’s on June 19, and The Mercy Week Meet and Greet with the Sisters of Mercy, a film screening and a religious art exhibition (with pieces made by students) from September 14-29.

The program concludes with the gala weekend from October 18-20.

The weekend will include a dinner, the unveiling of a commemorative walk, a closing Mass and the opening of a 25-year-old time capsule.

“We’re hoping to track down everybody who was involved 25 years ago, when the time capsule was sealed on February 4 1999,” Ms Couzens said.

“We have not touched it since.

“We’ll open the capsule and make a new one.

“Who knows when they’ll open that in the future?”

The Sisters of Mercy established St Anthony’s and the foundation stone for the convent and school was laid on July 27, 1898.

The dedication of the Convent of St Anthony of Padua took place on February 1, 1899 and the Convent of Mercy School, as it was known then, opened on February 4, 1899.

In 1969, the school became St Anthony’s.

“Our motto is: ‘living, respect, justice and faith,” Ms Couzens said.

“Each year we have a theme to focus on and this year it’s ‘building a brighter future’.

“To build a brighter future, you have to go back to your foundations and build on and acknowledge where you have come from.

“In terms of what we do, particularly with Catholic identity, is we go back to our Mercy charism, which was inspired by Catherine McAuley, who was inspired by Jesus.”

Article by Katie Spain and re-printed with permission of The Southern Cross Catholic newspaper, Adelaide.

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