Catholic College Sale celebrates past and welcomes new beginnings

The school and broader community from Catholic College Sale recently gathered to celebrate the opening of the refurbished John XXIII building and to say their final goodbyes to the historic Sion campus.

The school community was joined by the Bishop of Sale, Most Reverend Greg Bennet, Dean of St Mary’s Cathedral, the Very Reverend Peter Bickley, Sisters of Our Lady of Sion and the Hon Darren Chester MP for a range of events across several days.

Blessings and formal opening ceremonies were conducted for the John XXIII building and the new Charism Garden, which is located at the front entrance of the school.

The refurbished learning centre will be a hub for Year 7 and 8 students at the newly amalgamated St Patrick’s campus, while the new garden has been designed to reflect the link between the Sisters of Our Lady Sion and the Marist Brothers with the inclusion of never-ending circles. The circles are coloured both grey and sandstone, with the grey representing the brothers and the sandstone the sisters. The garden has been filled with a mix of Mediterranean and French plants to represent the origins of both groups.

A Liturgy of the Word was held at the graveside of six of the seven original Sisters who travelled to Sale in 1890 with the goal of opening a Catholic school.

Bishop Greg Bennet led a Decommissioning ceremony and Mass at the Sion Chapel, which concluded with a symbolic locking of the doors.

Former students and teachers from the Sion Campus reunited at Catholic College Sale for a garden party to commemorate the contribution of the Sisters of Sion to Catholic education in the region. Approximately 200 people gathered to honour 130 years of devotion from the Sisters.

Principal Chris Randell said that the events were a moving tribute.

"We were able to take time reflect on the courage and foresight of those original Sisters, led by Bishop Corbett, who initiated 130 years of education at the Sion campus," he said.

"They were brave, strong leaders and have left a long-lasting legacy that will continue to serve Gippsland for many generations to come.

"We are grateful for the gift of the Sion Charism, which will continue to be an integral part of the mission of Catholic College Sale into the future," he said.

More information about the history of the school can be found on the Catholic College Sale website.