Our Lady's Celebrates 100 Years


I would like to share with you my speech that I gave on the 100 Year Mass Celebration on Thursday 17th of October. The students have been given a commemorative badge and a timeline which outlines the history of Our Lady’s School from 1919 to 2019 as a keepsake of Our Lady’s School 100 Year birthday celebration. We hope that you together with your child/children will enjoy reading about the people who helped to shape Our Lady’s school throughout its 100 year history.

On behalf of the Our Lady’s school community it is my great pleasure to thank our distinguished guests:  Archbishop Peter Comensoli, Bishop Mark Edwards OMI, the Priests who have concelebrated this mass, the Sisters of St Joseph, Staff from Catholic Education-Western Region, Representatives of the City of Brimbank and Principals from Catholic Primary and Secondary schools for their presence here today.

 I would also like to warmly thank all the past students, staff members, families and friends of Our Lady’s school for taking the time to join us here in Our Lady’s church to celebrate Our Lady’s school’s 100th birthday. For us who make up the current Our Lady’s school community 2019, today is a day of celebration and joy, a day to pause, honour and reflect on the past and to embrace the present and future that awaits us with faith and hope.

The history of Our Lady’s school dates back to 1919 when Father John Carney realised the urgent need for a Catholic school. He lost no time in proceeding with the work and the school was built at a cost of just over 366 pounds. His Grace Daniel Mannix, the Archbishop of Melbourne at the time opened the school on the 12th of October 1919.

The school’s beginnings were humble but the vision and dream for Our Lady’s was always big: to provide a high quality Catholic education for the children of Sunshine. This dream continues today.

We have created a summary of the school’s history in the form of a timeline, which we have given to each of you as a keepsake. We hope that you will enjoy reading through it and reflecting on the people and events which helped to shape our beloved school.

Over the decades, each generation of Parish Priests, principals, staff, families and parishioners continued to build onto the work done by the previous generation-always dedicated to providing nothing but the best learning opportunities and learning environment for the students who attended the school. Our school motto ‘Ad maiorem Dei gloriam’ or ‘All for the Glory of God’ sums up the inspiration and motivation that fuelled many religious and lay staff, students, families and parishioners to build a school community which truly reflected the Gospel values, inspired a life-long love of learning and a sense of social justice.

As you read over the timeline you will see that Our Lady’s school has been truly blessed and truly loved over its 100 years. Many of you that are sitting here today have had the privilege of serving this school community. Many of you have dedicated years to educating the students, improving and innovating Our Lady’s school in a physical sense and more importantly in a spiritual sense. Working tirelessly to build a Catholic school community where authentic relationships based on love provide the means for all students to flourish and grow.

 I want to acknowledge the outstanding contribution that both religious and lay staff past and present have made to the lives of the many thousands of young people and their families, and the justifiable proud history that Our Lady’s school has as a Catholic education provider in the community of Sunshine.

This is an achievement we should all be proud of. Father John Carney’s dream that began in 1919 is a dream that has been continued by many and has never diminished but rather continued to shine brightly throughout the school’s 100 years.

Our Lady’s school community today is rich in its cultural and linguistic diversity, has a strong sense of its own Catholic identity, nurtured by its deep historical and spiritual connections with the Sisters of St joseph and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Firmly at its centre are the students for whom we strive each day to create a joyful school that delivers a quality education which inspires our students to live a Christian way of life.

We warmly invite you all to come and join us after the mass in the school hall for a light lunch and refreshments. After which, you will have the opportunity to tour the school, view the facilities and meet the current staff and students.

 We have filled the school hall with pictures of the past and present, which we hope, will help to trigger memories and ignite many conversations.

 As you enter the school hall, you will see a table with a visitor’s book for you to sign and write a short comment about your connection to Our Lady’s school. This will be a record of your participation at this very special Our Lady’s school milestone birthday.

We hope that you will take the opportunity to reconnect and to share stories of your experiences at Our Lady’s school.

On behalf of our Parish Priest Father Peter McKinley and the Our Lady’s school community I would like to acknowledge and thank each of you for your part in contributing to the creation of a truly great school in which it is a privilege to teach and learn.

Thank you for your valued support of our school community.