St Mary's Primary School at Sale unveils new sculpture

Very Reverend Francis Otobo.

New Sculpture titled 'Mother - Nurturer of Faith and Education'.

3 April, 2023 

A new sculpture in the grounds of St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, in Sale, has been officially blessed by Dean of St Mary’s Cathedral, Very Reverend Francis Otobo.  The artwork honours the mothers who have nurtured students in faith and education.

A liturgy was held to mark the occasion with the whole school attending along with parents and invited guests including Director of Catholic Education in the Diocese of Sale, Mr Paul Velten.


The sculpture, entitled ‘Mother - Nurturer of Faith and Education’ is a tribute to the Notre Dame de Sion Sisters (the School’s first Order), the Brigidine Sisters, the Sisters of Joseph, and former female principals who led the school for more than 150 years.


St Mary’s Catholic Primary School Principal, Mr Brett Morris, said the art piece, created by local artist Mr Ben Hoeskstra, is a sculpture of a mother and child accompanied by a young boy and girl.


“The sculpture speaks to the bonds of love that exist between mothers and their children and the partnership of school and parish.”


“Sponsored by the school’s Parents and Friends Association with the support of past and present school families through an engraved brick fundraiser, the sculpture includes many metal items that are recycled and re-purposed in a creative way.

Students were invited to contribute to the project donating many bits and pieces including old spanners, clamps, pliers, horse shoes and more. This gave the students an opportunity to engage and connect with the project.”


“The rusty steel recognises the rural background and contribution of the school’s first families who gave manually and financially to ensure a Catholic education for their children and generations to come.”


Mr Morris said the initial idea to commission a piece of artwork for the front of the school was that of Mrs Cathy Mesaric who was principal at the time.


 “Mrs Mesaric wanted something that would speak to the school’s Catholic identity and the bonds of partnership between parish, parents and school.


Director of Catholic Education, Mr Paul Velten, said the sculpture project reflected the strong sense of pride in the history and journey of the St Mary’s school and parish community.


“This connectedness creates a strong sense of belonging for students, providing the foundation for each student to flourish.”


“This sculpture is all the more special because so many people took part in its development and understand the importance and meaning of it.”


“Art is a powerful way to excite our inner creativity and develop faith-filled spaces where people feel welcome, safe and inspired. I commend the school and parish community for the work they have done in developing this installation which is a symbol of the faith, hope and love that surrounds the St Mary’s Primary School and Parish community.”

Mr Paul Velten speaking at the Blessing of the Statue.

From left:  Sister Geraldine Larkins srj, Sister Anne Boyd csb, Sister Patricia Watson nds and Sister Angela Bayliss nds.  Former Sisters return to celebrate the blessing of the Mother Nurturer sculpture at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Sale.  

From Left:  Very Reverend Francis Otobo, Deputy Principal Mrs Nicole Telfer, Director of Education Diocese of Sale Mr Paul Velten, Sister Geraldine Larkins srj, Sister Angela Bayliss nds, Sister Patricia Watson nds, Justine Glennon (daughter of previous Principal Mrs Cathy Mesaric, Sister Anne Boyd csb, Former Principals Mrs Ann Vaughan and Ms Diane Ward, and current Principal Mr Brett Morris.