Opening Liturgy 2024

On Wednesday 21 February 2024 the St Peter Claver College Community and several invited guests came together to celebrate the new school year at our Opening Liturgy which included a blessing of everyone present.

Reverend Father Peter Gablonski celebrated the Liturgy of the Word, our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, led by Uncle Eric Ellis, performed a traditional Welcome dance, and our College Choir and Band shared their musical talents. Angela Ryan, Assistant Principal Religious Education welcomed the community to Va Pasifika, reminding us of the special significance of the word 'Va' which prompts us to cherish the relationships that unite us as we open ourselves to God's presence in the breath-taking and the ordinary encounters of our life.

We were pleased to welcome our guests:

  • Aunty Ruth Moffat, Elder of our community.
  • Mark Elliot, Regional Director Marist Schools Australia.
  • Paul Easton, BCE Cluster 9 Senior Leader – Schools Progress and Performance.
  • Gracey McGrath, BCE Participation Officer – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education.
  • Shayne Neumann, Federal Member for Blair.
  • Lance McCallum, State Member for Bundamba.
  • Andrew Fechner, City of Ipswich Division 3 Councillor.

Principal, Bruce McPhee reiterated the Liturgy's message – and our Marist Spiritual theme for the year – 'Let Your Light Shine' in his address to the College community.

“Every one of you is important," Mr McPhee told the Assembly. “Without the light you shine, our community is not the same."

Mr McPhee went on to give examples of people's light shining:

  • Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Dance Group performing the Welcome dance.
  • Jackson Beer (Year 7) for being the loudest More House supporter at our recent Swimming Carnival.
  • Students who say “hello" before Mr McPhee does.
  • The Choir and Band performing during the Liturgy.
  • Students who pick up rubbish, especially if it's not theirs.

College Captain Saupo Toeleiu expressed the hopes of our four 2024 College Captains for the year.

“We, your 2024 College Captains, stand before you, not to rule, but to navigate our school towards unity and excellence. We understand that the very essence of life lies not in solitary individuals but in the intricate web of relationships that connects us all together," she said.

College Captain Olivia Taalolo added, “Our diversity is the glue that binds us together. To lead is to inspire. St Marcellin Champagnat had a dream that through education all young people would come to know God, feel known and loved. We too have a dream and that is that every person in this school will feel known, that unity will be our shared endeavour and the light that dwells within each one of us will be ignited by the good we will for each other."

College Captain Joshua Fonomaalii added, “For me service is the most important characteristic of leadership. For the year to come, our mission as student leaders is inspired by the legacy of St Peter Claver, the patron saint of racial justice. St Peter Claver was surrounded by the darkness of exploitation and human suffering. Through his actions, not his words, he ignited the light of hope by doing very small but human things. Through the example of St Peter Claver, we are reminded to ignite a light for others through the small things we do each day in service."

College Captain Dennis Papua concluded by saying, “In 2024, our vision as student leaders, is to empower you to recognise your own potential, and to help you grow not only as individuals, but as a collective. We believe that it is our shared responsibility to ensure that Claver is place for all. A united and ignited community strengthened by diversity."



​   © Brisbane Catholic Education, St Peter Claver College 2024.